Girly getaways in the City: Experience summer in Sydney yourself {giveaway}

This is a sponsored post for lastminute.com.au

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I called Sydney home for 14 years. That’s almost half my life. I had to count it recently when someone asked. I thought it was much shorter than that, to be honest. It felt like it whizzed past in a blur of parties, falling in love, weddings and having a baby. Since moving up the coast in June I’ve been back to visit a handful of times, and I loved the fresh perspective – to see it all again with new eyes. To eye off the Harbour Bridge as we fly in and get excited to be seeing it in real life, even though I used to be able to see it from my rundown apartment when I was 20 every single day {you’d have to crane your neck from a small window in the kitchen but still we did have bridge views to boast about!}.

For the past 7 or so years, a few times every year, my sisters and I have been doing a thing. We log onto lastminute.com.au and nab ourselves a secret hotel. In case you don’t know, how it works is that each day there are a bunch of hotels that go up and they’re secret. So you don’t know which hotel they are, but you know the location {so City, or Double Bay etc}. It’s like getting a lucky dip. You do know their star rating so you’re not going to suddenly end up in a dive. Once you’ve paid for your room, an email will come through with the details of the hotel and then the excitement begins.

So, a few times each year we’d get ourselves a hotel and have a night in the City. We’d all cram into two double beds, or a king – we didn’t care as long as we were together and we’d have fun. Usually my Big Sis wants to watch a movie, sometimes there’ll be room service, other times we’d eat out… but it’s all about a girly weekend. Once Lacey arrived she was along for the ride too. She loves it. We did it for my baby shower, we did it for my sister’s Hens Weekend. We’ve done it when someone is heartbroken and needs cheering up, or to celebrate birthdays. It’s our little ‘thing’. For me, there is nothing better than staying in a hotel. It feels luxurious and there’s nothing to clean up. Gotta love that.

So a few Fridays ago, we did it again after being invited by lastminute.com.au to enjoy summer in the City. This time it wasn’t a secret {it doesn’t have to be – you can just go and grab a room or experience at an affordable price online}. Here’s how it all went down:

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We waited for our plane, and this happened. Brad Pitt appeared to watch my every move. I think he has a crush.

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We taxi-ed our way to pick-up Ma and her car, and then headed into the City to the Shangri La. We’d stayed there once before when my sister was leaving to live in America the next day… so this time was a bit happier. Amid the luxury cars {shiny BMWs, Audis etc} I rocked up in my Ma’s little Toyota and handed over the keys to the valet and smirked. We met my sister in the lobby {fancy word for entrance}, checked in and then headed up to the room. My first stop is always the bathroom {not because I have a bladder problem, but because I find them to be exciting – and I love the little toiletries. Is that sad?}.

After ten minutes of exploring the room, it was time to explore the City.

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We ate dinner at Sailors Thai Canteen {super yummy with communal tables and no reservations. Grab a few dishes to share}, then walked back through The Rocks night markets where there was food, people and Christmas parties galore. I also eyed off some sweet vases that I wanted but didn’t dare see how much. Summer is perfect for exploring the City, because it stays light for ages {thank you daylight savings} and the weather is balmy. Perfect.

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Then {because we’d had such an early dinner} we ordered boiled eggs from room service and grabbed a movie too. I fell asleep so if anyone knows how The Words ends, do tell!

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The next morning we got up early, had breakfast and headed off for our helicopter tour with a helicopter tour. It was seriously some of the best moments of my life. To see our beautiful City so close and from such a beautiful viewpoint was magic. We were without words for most of the trip because it was just so magical. Did I say magic? Once or twice perhaps, because it truly is.

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We then packed our bags, headed down to Circular Quay and grabbed a ferry to Watsons Bay. The view in the ferry is beautiful, but I must warn that it can induce serious real estate envy as you eye off the many mansions on the harbour front. Within about 30 minutes we arrived at Doyles. My Big Sis {Sarah} and he boyfriend were there to meet us. We grabbed a whole heap of dishes to share: oysters, scallops, squid, salad and dory fillets. Doyles is an old favourite of Hubby and I. We stayed there at the hotel on our wedding, it’s also where we had one of our first dates, and have celebrated some special moments too. The view is magic, and if you have kids they can play in the sand on the beach out the front as you eat. Or if you don’t have kids you can take advantage of the wine list and then the Doyles pub next door which is a great place to get social!

Once our tummies were full, we headed back on the ferry to pick up our car and head home – our batteries recharged, and our hearts full. The City never fails us. Never.

If you want to book a summer getaway – just pop over to lastminute.com.au and have a look-see. You have to try the ‘boss is coming, look busy button’ for a laugh. I love a quirky sense of humour! You can book your flights, hotel and experiences all through the one place. Our flights to and from Sydney were only $48 through lastminute.com.au. Bargain!

One lucky Fat Mum Slim reader is going to get the chance to have their own experience. I’m giving away a $250 voucher to spend on lastminute.com.au experiences – you could set sail on the Harbour, get a dose of pampering with a massage, learn to surf at Bondi or anything your heart desires – experience summer in Sydney for yourself. To be in the running simply leave a comment below answering the following question: What do you love about summer?

{boring bits}
One entry per person.
Winner must be able cover their own travel to and from Sydney.
Competition closes 24th December at 11:59pm AEST.
Winner will be announced on December 26th at 10am AEST.

I traveled as a guest of lastminute.com.au. They covered my flights, hotel, helicopter tour and lunch. I covered our dinner, room service, taxi fares, ferry fares, helicopter tour for my Ma, parking and other incidentals. For more information please read my disclosure policy.

Comments

  1. says

    I love summer time.
    Flies.
    Sunburn.
    Sand.
    Water.
    Laughter.
    Late Nights
    Sleep-ins cause you stayed up late!
    And then the endless heat.
    But the one thing I do love the most about summer is my boys smiles while they enjoy all that I have mentioned about an Australian Summer :)

  2. Lifeassinglemum says

    This sounds like bliss! After having my son 3 yrs ago & my partner leaving when he was 10 months old I have not had something exciting like this since I wasn’t a mummy (who remembers that time??). Would be nice to get away for a short period if time.

  3. Julie says

    Australian summers are like no other. Eating watermelon on the grass with the juice running down your chin. Going to the beach and getting sand in/on everywhere. Night time swims, floating on your back and looking at the stars. Running into the 7/11 to get Surpees and burning your feet on concrete. The smell of the lawns just mowed. Queensland summers remind me of being a child.

    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/

  4. says

    I love Summer because it means we get a hot Christmas. All the lovey-dovey Christmas songs are about winter and snow and fireplaces – but I love that for our Christmas we get to hang out in pretty dresses and still have a hot lunch even if it’s 40 degrees outside.

  5. Karli says

    I love that Summer means rejuvenating after teaching all year. It is pure me time. Yep, it is stinking hot but gosh it is nice to lay by the pool reading the Great Gatsby and then potter to the shops and take myself for lunch. All of that plus Macadamia Weiss bars. Ohhh yep!

  6. Sharni says

    I love summer because it means not having to rug up in a 5 layers of thermals, scarves and beanies.. it means sunglasses and shorts and warmth :)

  7. Amy says

    Summer is about floaty dresses. Warm nights out by the BBQ. Spending Christmas Day with families. Forgetting about putting sunscreen in the middle of your back. Not setting an alarm in the morning. Setting goals and making plans for the New Year. I love it all!

  8. Olivia says

    I love summer as it means early mornings, late nights, SUN, sand, surf and spending valuable time with friends and family. I’m making a trip to Sydney (from across the ditch) with my best friend in January and cannot wait to experience such an exciting city.. and the beaches and nightlife too. This is the perfect post – thanks Chantelle!

  9. Natalie Stewart says

    My family is home! My son is on school holidays and my husband has more than one or two fleeting days off too. We are all together.

  10. lisa martin says

    i love days spent at the beach, with that little sting at the end of the day to remind you you’ve been at the beach all day……

    i love finding a new summer drink this year is {pimms, with cucumber, mint, orange + lemonade

    wearing floaty/maxi dresses with fun accessories……..

    bbq’s with friends with the fire pit going at the end of the night

    new summer music…….aaaaaaawwwwww i love summer

  11. says

    I love the smell of coconut scented sunscreen, sand between my toes, salty beach hair, the extra hours of daylight, the light the makes photos look like they’ve been taken through a golden filter, the easy BBQ meat and salad dinners, the memories made and the feeling you get when you close your eyes at night that makes you feel likes you’re still floating on the waves of the ocean. Love love love summer!

  12. carly kalisz says

    the sound of crickets, the smell of the grass after the sprinkler has been on and the taste of homebrand lemonade icypoles =)

  13. Mary says

    ‘Sand in your pockets and nothing on your mind.’ – Think Josh Pyke summed it up pretty well for me. THE best thing is no work, no stress, a chance to just be!

  14. Dianne says

    I love late nights where you can take it easy, sitting outside chatting and drinking with friends. There’s less pressure to constantly be somewhere, doing something, we can all take it easy and relax! Best thing about Summer is opening up all the windows and doors after a stinking hot day, to let that beautiful cool change to breeze through the house.

  15. Betty says

    I love impromptu trips to new places because the weather is fabulous, especially at night when you just feel the need to go somewhere….Love Melbourne in summer.

  16. helen says

    I love the freedom of summer! You don’t need a jacket (or one for the child), and the long days means you naturally stay out a bit later, after dinner walks and such. You eat fresher, lighter food and amazing salads. Stone fruit and raspberries.
    P.S. Christmas is also in Summer – what is not to love?!

  17. Dayna says

    I love the smell of coconut! Whether it be the smell of coconut oil or a pina colada – its a very summery smell and reminds me of warm days, and cool water!

  18. Alison Smith says

    Summer is the absolute best season for me. Being outside with the kids, vege garden exploding and lots of swimming!

  19. Stephanie says

    I love the sunsets, when you take a walk in the evening and the day has cooled down and dinner is an easy fruit salad, that you made earlier.

  20. johanna rees says

    Sand between my toes, the smell of salty air, eating alfresco, mango or watermelon juice dripping down your chin, relaxing outside, and the chance to renew your soul.

  21. Simone Valentine says

    For me its waking up as the sun comes up & then heading for a quick refreshing swim first thing! Nothing beats that fresh, alive feeling & I often crave it through the colder months. I also love that you can eat fish/chicken/ham & salads for dinner without feeling lazy! xx

  22. says

    oh my, summer was never my favorite season… but i’ve grown to love it for the long days, the afternoon naps in the shade, the sound of summer rain, the bike rides, the sight of my cats playing in the sunshine, the road trips, the home made ice cream, the outdoor cinema, the summer festivals, and the magical evenings with friends in the twilight.

  23. Karen - Chair and Chair says

    Cherries. Swimming in the ocean. Eating dinner outside. Early morning walks, before it gets too hot. Mango season. Hydrangeas. Cooking a BBQ and enjoying it with an icy cold glass of white wine. Sand. Camping. Late night storms… I could keep going if you want !!

  24. Jill says

    Summer is the stuff of dreams. When adults sit at their desks, and
    children sit in school, they dream of summer. Summer is the time of
    infinite fun. The days seem to last forever, and the fun never stops. It
    is a time of romance, excitement and an overall enhanced enjoyment of life. For me summer is also about enjoying some of the simple things in life – lazy picnic’s by the sea, walking barefoot in the grass/sand, day dreaming whilst looking up at the clouds in the sky. It’s a time to dream, explore, laugh and spend quality time with those you love. Summer time create’s some of my fondest and cherished memories.

  25. Amy @ Whisk & Whimsy says

    I love that the biggest decision I have to make during a particular week in summer is whether I will watch the Boxing Day test or the start of the Sydney to Hobart. Whether it’s leftover prawns and pav for lunch or a bit of Christmas ham. Whether I’ll read a new book I bought myself for Christmas, or whether I’ll step out and enjoy the sunshine. Summer is the time I finally relax and switch off, because the office is shut and the nation is on holiday. It’s so nice to take a backward step and contemplate some of life’s less complicated decisions.

    http://www.whiskandwhimsy.com

  26. says

    Holidays and being able to be a granny to my grandson…I work full time so when I am on holidays in January I get to look after him…I love spending time with him and it helps his mum and dad our with day care fees (which are exorbinant). We do all sorts of fun things..last summer we swam, visited his great Nana (my mum) in Yamba, climbed a little bit of Mt Warning, ate chocolate, ice cream and other such stuff normally not allowed. So that is why I love summer!!!

  27. says

    What do I love about summer? Eating mangos and stone fruits, going to the beach and getting wave crashed, hot Christmas dinner on a 40 degree day, icy poles, the smell of BBQs, Australia Day, there is too much to enjoy during Summer.

  28. Judi Adams says

    What I love about summer is it’s time to get away, Have a holiday, Time for rest recreation and play, Somewhere different to stay, I would love to experience Sydney the Last Minute way, Even better nothing to pay, Make my day, pick me Hooray !

  29. Ying Ying TAN says

    To be honest, the summer heat reduces my appetite, makes me sweat and jump into the pool to burn some calories. That is why the best thing about summer is… my sexy figure!

  30. Beauty Snippets says

    The thing I love most about Summer is that my family from around the country comes to Sydney for their holiday. It’s that one time of the year where everyone is guaranteed to be there for summer bbq’s, pool parties and everything in between xx

  31. Rachel says

    I love the summer school holidays!
    I love the break from school/dance routine and just being able to soak up as much time with my daughter.
    We love to go exploring too, and Sydney is one our favourite places to do so.

  32. says

    I love the long days in summer. It’s great to have a few hours of light after work to pack as much stuff in with the family as possible. Oh and I love a good summer BBQ!

  33. Micaela says

    I love spending more time with friends and family! The days a longer, the kids are on holidays, the adults have time off work…it’s the perfect time to head to the beach or have a BBQ!

  34. adriene says

    I love being able to break out the colourful, skimpy clothes and free myself from the burden of heavy and prickly sweaters and runny noses!

  35. Linda Jordan says

    [I don't want to be in the running for the give away I'm just commenting because I liked your post.]

    I’ve always dreamed of going to Sydney someday, though it is pretty far down on the totem pole of my bf’s dream vacations so I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance. It looks amazing though!! I’m not sure I could get used to having Christmas in the summertime though… I’m already complaining just because we don’t have snow, but it is definitely winter!! [I live in NYC, USA]

  36. Pam says

    Gotta love the balmy nights and the bats flying in the night sky looking for somewhere to go. Merry Christmas . It’s great having sisters.
    Pam

  37. Sarah G says

    I love spending hot summers nights on the beach with the kids, building sandcastles, collecting sea shells, throwing sandy seaweed clumps at hubby for a laugh, followed by proper icecream, in a cone, as we watch the sun set.

  38. Kylie says

    Being able to have bare feet all the time, eating dinner outside most nights, having the house all open and airy, eating cherries and peaches and knowing Christmas is on the way :)

  39. says

    I love the long days and the cool nights… That cool change you can depend on in the late afternoon, and the relief that breeze brings….Picnics at Balmoral Beach and long walks along the harbour… it seems like the day goes on forever, and how you want to spend it, feels limitless.

  40. Elizabeth says

    Summer offers longer days,
    and how to fill them? Let me count the ways!
    Long afternoons full of sun,

    with friends, food and plenty of fun,
    days full of shopping, sunsets over the sea,
    dancing, running and cycling so happily!

  41. Kim R says

    I love all the festivals. Carols in the Domain, Summerdayze, Sydney Festival…It’s great to get out and about in the sunshine with family and friends!

  42. Kirsten W says

    Sunshine, swimming, bike riding, hiking, camping, beach, picnics, the park, friends, family, wine, beer, music…Summer is such a beautiful time of year – I love it all!

  43. says

    Cherries gelatos realising my kids Christmas wish
    family together BBQ my Summer dish
    swimming sand between my toes
    music festivals and my tanned Summer glow

  44. katie says

    Bare feet, Christmas , fast drying laundry. icy poles, swimming, time off from work! 8pm daylight, sunshine and finally, the perfect excuse to drink mojitos. x

  45. Sarah Collett says

    I love the atmosphere of everyone being outdoors happily enjoying friends and family. Everyone seems happier and also all the summer fruits that are tasty

  46. says

    Holidays! Hubby is a teacher and this is the only time we can have a proper holiday as even during term breaks he usually has something on to do for school. He is a very hard-working teacher so I’d love to surprise him with a get-away!

  47. RoseP says

    Summer tennis on TV – our family tradition.

    With beer and wine drinking for ammunition.

    Many glasses we consume

    So there’s many umpires in the room!

  48. says

    I love the food. I love food at the best of times, but summer food is *the* business. Stone fruit. Cherries! Big, fat plump cherries look like they ooze summer to me. Salads. Tomato and cucumber combos with a bit of other green stuff thrown in. And sharing it with my loved ones. Pretty much heaven.

  49. Jade says

    Sunbake, gelati, fake tan, jump waves with my son, new sunglasses & eat fish’n’chips on the beach! Ahh summer Lovin!

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