Tag: Duchess

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice

Booyah in a Big Way!

Now I know what you are thinking.. Aren’t I little old for Disney?! Truth is that you are never too old for Disney!

You might think Disney and Booyah don’t go together – but I can’t actually think of anything more Booyah than front row seats to a bunch of my favourite characters skating and singing their way around an ice rink.

I am one if those people that when a new Disney movie is released, I am lining up at the movies with thousands of kids to see the first session available, and I have no problem sitting at the back, crying my eyes out to a happy ending.

So when I heard that Disney on Ice was coming to Newcastle, I convinced KAM that we simply had to go. I love the classics – give me the little mermaid any day of the week and I’m a happy girl. Who wouldn’t be?! It’s a happy film full of singing crabs and seagulls and a love story that rivals any Oscar winning performance. And this years Disney on ice just happened to feature the little mermaid, beauty and the beast and of course, Frozen. Let it go, okay?

KAM having never experienced a live Disney production was a little apprehensive when I told him I had purchased VIP front row seats. But knowing that the only way we do things is VIP, and seeing how excited I was ( I really was like a 5 year old on Xmas morning), he just smiled and said “ok, what do I wear?” I do love him!

Newcastle I think does it a little differently to Sydney whereby I believe the rink itself is a little smaller. However this does nothing to deter the masses and for us it just meant sitting that bit closer to Mickey, Minnie and all of their friends and experiencing the cold first-hand, especially when real snow starting falling from the sky and blanketing us all in a winter Frozen wonderland.

The show itself goes for 2 hours with a 15 minute interval and each set is broken up into small 20 minute snippets of the highlights from 4 different Disney favourites. Ariel at one point rises to the sky from a rope (with no safety harness) and completes a beautiful routine to rival her name. When the ice melts for good during Frozen the stage is filled with around 50 singing, dancing and skating birds, bees and flowers! It is an information overload that you just can’t help but smile at and clap along with the spectacular!

I know you might think this is a little naff. But please give it a chance. Disney on ice puts a smile on your face from ear and ear and takes you back to a time in your life when everything was just simple, honest fun. Forget your day and leave your worries at the door. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and all of their friends will make you realise that life doesn’t have to be so complicated all the time. Well… At least for a couple of hours anyway!

Thank you Disney for reminding me about the simple pleasures in life. Love and music equal happiness. If only life were that simple all the time xo

The Sebel, Hawkesbury Valley

The Sebel, Hawkesbury Valley

Stop-over in style at the Sebel

There are some places where luxury is in abundance. Hotel after hotel offering luxury inclusions and top of the line service. I have to travel to the Hawkesbury region of southern Sydney quite a bit, and when I do, there is only one place I choose to stay. I mean, if you have to work, you may as well lay your head somewhere nice at the end of a long day, right?

Heading out through town towards the air force base, the Sebel Hawkesbury Resort and Spa appears like a mirage in the middle of a desert. The country Manor House styling of this hotel and its beautiful grounds are inviting from the moment you enter the gate. The lobby is grand and the staff welcomes you back like a member of the family.

After checking in and before heading to our room, we usually head straight to the bar. Set with big booths and deep leather couches, it is the perfect place to unpack your day, before unpacking your luggage. If you are up to it, the snooker room is a great place to challenge a loved one. If you are going to do this though, have a Shivers and take your time. The space is perfect for a slow afternoon wind-down after a long day. And KAM is a good snooker player, so I need something to soften the blow!

There are a number of room types in this lovely hotel, but we only ever chose to stay in the Balcony Suite. Priced at around $ 300 per night, this room is full of heritage country charm with the separate living room having big comfy lounges to meld into while staring at the blazing fireplace (which you will need in winter as it gets very bloody cold here!). The living room also has a tiny hideaway balcony where you can sit with a morning coffee and watch the mist rising from the mountains beyond.

While you are here, if you are lucky enough to catch some of the training exercises being performed from the air force base, it is a sight to take in. Every now and again, the massive planes roar low over the hotel and hundreds of tiny parachuters jump from the rear hatch. It is awe-inspiring! I’m like a kid every time they fly over and I can’t help myself but to wave in excitement.

The bedrooms here are full of dark antique furniture and you really feel as if you have stepped back in time. There are lots of blankets piled high to keep you warm and the large European duck-down pillows are the softest anywhere. I look forward to this luxury every time I stay! You can snuggle up in bed on a cold night with a glass of something nice, watching television, forgetting all about the world beyond for a while.

In the morning, we suggest going down for their big buffet breakfast in the Atrium. This is the prettiest of spaces with floor to ceiling windows and a romantic courtyard off to the side. If you are warm enough, sit outside under the big umbrellas and take your time. The eggs are piping hot, the bacon is crispy and it all pairs very wel

The beautiful Atrium & Courtyard at Sebel Hawkesbury Valley
The beautiful Atrium & Courtyard at Sebel Hawkesbury Valley

l with a glass of bubbly – if you don’t have to go to work, that is!


Whilst the Sebel might just be a stop-over, who says you can’t do a stop-over in style? And the Sebel has style and charm in abundance. It might cost a little more than the company credit card will allow, but it’s worth the splurge. You can’t live to work, so you may as well work to LIVE.

Sebel Hawkesbury Resort and Spa
61 Hawkesbury Valley Way
Windsor NSW 2756
[email protected]

Little Love Letter

Little Love Letter

Nambucca Head’s Beach, NSW

This beautiful Little Love Letter is brought to you from stunning Nambucca Head’s Beach in Mid North NSW.  While we were there, I couldn’t resist taking my shoes off and walking knee-deep in the crystal clear water. The weather is always nice. The town is relaxed and everyone is chilled. There is a great pub across the road from the Beach too. Hopefully this Little Love Letter will inspire you to go and check it out for yourself!

10 Commandments of a Co-Pilot…

10 Commandments of a Co-Pilot…

The success of any road trip relies heavily on the co-pilot being aware, prepared and open to dealing with anything at any time. Relationships have been built or destroyed on the backbone of co-pilot skills during a road trip.

Below I have outlined 10 Commandments the co-pilot must adhere to and be willing to execute to ensure a smooth, safe and happy ending to any road trip. Be warned however, road trips can be stressful, nerve-racking and downright traumatic at times, so waiver from this list at your own peril.

  1. The co-pilot must be stocked with lollies (preferably orange snakes) and/or potato chips to ensure the driver can sustain concentration between pit stops.
  2. Always, and I stress, always have a set of headphones at the ready and untangled in case a unpredicted phone call beckons the driver. You are expected as co-pilot to plug them into the phone and hand them carefully to the driver.
  3. Have a smart phone handy with either the location of the destination on MAPS or information around potential accidents & hazards ahead. The smart phone can also be used for inspiration for conversation – I encourage you to look at American News where American Politics or ‘crimes of passion’ are blamed on a myriad of ridiculous excuses. This can provide hours of discussion.
  4. Any use of the horn by the driver MUST be supported and encouraged, followed by the comment “What was that person doing? Good job Hun”.
  5. Clever and expert overtaking must be applauded by the comment ‘nice job babe’, also dodgy or impatient overtaking can only be commented on by saying Nice job babe”.
  6. If the driver asks “Was that a speed camera we just passed?” the only correct response is “nah, that was one of those average speed cameras honey, it’s all good” with the understanding that if a fine arrives in the mail you will take the hit.
  7. Success of the road trip can rest on the shoulders of good tunes, the co-pilot must be prepared to be DJ during their stint. Some commentary between songs in a DJ voice is desirable however not essential. I suggest a pre-made CD, downloaded songs on an iPad or iPhone to maintain the rhythm of the drive.
  8. It is imperative the co-pilot constantly assesses the wellbeing of the driver. For us, a 2 hour stint behind the wheel is how we share the long drives. After the 2 hour cut-off time check in with the driver either asking for a bathroom break or in general how they are going. If you notice the car driving down a part of the freeway yet to be opened that is an indication a switch in driver is required.
  9. As the co-pilot you are never to reach and hold the bar above your left ear (otherwise known as the Holy **** Bar). At times this may be a knee-jerk reaction which is hard to control. I invite you to refrain and instead type away on your IPad or look like you are searching for something on your phone. Reassurance & confidence will serve you well.
  10. At any point, when a brilliant song comes on the stereo stretch your legs, put them up on the dashboard, close your eyes, and sit back soaking up the moment, the love and the freedom of the road.
10 Commandments of a Co-Pilot
KAM Taking Over

We have done a lot of road trips – in fact the majority of our travels are done on the road, stuck in the car together for hours on end. By following these co-pilot commandments we guarantee you will arrive safely, still in love, and more importantly – working as a team on the road.

Written by KAM for How The Duchess Does It