Half-term sanity saver

The most definitive Muddy Guide ever! (21-31 May)

The Dressing Room

A supercool fashion boutique you need to know about

The Bull & Butcher

A lovely local pub in idyllic Turville

London dining on a Herts weekend

The Buntingford Kitchen is definitely worth the drive...
Pluses and minuses

20th May 2015

Needle beatrix fotor

Plus: I have a brand new swanky iphone 6. Minus: My kids are desperate to get their filthy little hands all over it. Minus 2: Iris nicked it this morning. As I came back in the house from the garden …

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18th May 2015

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Let me tell you, this graphic design malarkey takes some time. If I spent as long as shopping as I did creating these collages I’d be a whole lot more stylish! But staring for hours at these clothes has just …

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TRY THIS: A lava shell massage

14th May 2015


Everyone has their favourite beauty treatment, the default that they go back to time and time again. Mine is definitely, 100%, without question, the hot stone massage. I’ve been stooping at my computer as a journo for over 20 years …

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(Mr) Muddy goes ape…

11th May 2015


Have you ever looked up at one of those tree-top climbing forest adventures and thought, yeah, I’d love to put down my cappuccino and muffin and spend an afternoon hoiked in a harness in the trees? Possibly not, but actually, …

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What’s On: The Muddy Guide 24 – 29 April 2015

24th Apr 2015


Oops, the Muddy Guide is a bit late this week – apparently there are some, ahem, Awards on at the mo that are slightly distracting yours truly! Anyway, here you go, lots to do if you’re in the mood for …

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Review: The Anchor pub, central Oxford

22nd Apr 2015


Oxford has some fantastic gastropubs but I think most would agree that they’re kind of hard to find in the city centre. Yes, if you’re Morse fan (or, ahem your dad is) you know about The Eagle & Child and …

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*Fab ad alert*: Dove ‘Choose Beautiful’

15th Apr 2015


How beautiful do you think you are? It’s a question posed by Dove in its clever and surprisingly moving new ad. I think a lot of us have become inured to Dove’s artfully grinning ladies in their white designer undies, …

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Tried & tested: Great hair salon in Henley

15th Apr 2015


I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had terrible hair cuts from great salons. Some of it is my fault, because I’m too lazy or scared to commit to a specific haircut and end up asking what must …

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What’s On: The Muddy Guide 16 – 22 April, 2015

14th Apr 2015


Plenty on this week if you’re in the mood to get out and about. Have fun peeps! x Family Activity Weekend, Longridge, Sat 18 – Sun 19 April Whoopee! The good weather has persuaded Longridge Activity camp (now part of …

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Muddy wears Needle-sharp knits

12th Apr 2015


Finally. Finally. I’d been waiting for nearly six weeks, through miserable drizzly, windblown days all through March, with my little parcel of joy, below, ready for the moment that the sun peeped through the clouds and I could finally wear …

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St Albans’ Odyssey: gorgeous, grown-up cinema

30th Mar 2015

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The newly-renovated Odyssey Cinema in St Albans only opened at the end of last year, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to pop over there ever since. So when Mr C came up trumps with tickets for my birthday, I was extrememly impressed that he’d taken the hint…

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Cool Marlow shops alert

24th Mar 2015


  Marlow, I flippin love you. It’s one of those towns where I know I’m going to find something cool to wear; be able to pick up a gift for a girlfriend; or grab a treat for Mr Muddy. I …

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Review: The Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk

23rd Mar 2015


There’s not much downtime on Muddy – I know *sob*, pass the Kleenex – as blogging it pretty much a take-over-life activity. January is the only month where I really take breath, attempt to rein in my horrific wine drinking …

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Into orbit

23rd Mar 2015

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Wow, Little Italy Espresso Bar. I mean, really WOW. My local coffee shop, which happens to be one of the coolest little joints in Bucks, always tries to do things a bit differently. Their Scandi-look espresso bar in Haddenham still …

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Cocktails, coffee and casual dining

22nd Mar 2015

beech bar

Hearing that the Beech House had just won Best New Pub/Bar at the national Publican Awards was excuse enough for me, so I asked my friend Lucy to join me (she needed so much persuading…) and we booked in for lunch…

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WHAT’S ON: Thurs 19 – Weds 25 March

19th Mar 2015


As ever in Oxon and Bucks, loads of cool stuff going on this week if you feel like going out. Have fun! Marks of Genius, Weston Library, Oxford, opens 21 March (until 20 Sept) A whole weekend of exhibitions and …

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REVIEW: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

18th Mar 2015

Curious Incident

I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre last night. The good news was that it was an extraordinary piece of theatre, one of the most exciting, surprising, physical and engaging pieces of …

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Muddy Herts gets raw and juicy….

18th Mar 2015

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I went recently to see Hitchin-based Amy Huggins of Health and Happiness Nutrition because, well, having pointedly ignored ‘dry January’ and ‘forgotten’ to give anything up for Lent, I was feeling a bit rubbish – and a bit squidgier than I’d like to as well….

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What’s On this Week: Thurs 12 – Weds 18 March

11th Mar 2015


I don’t know what happened to that ‘in control’ feeling I had in January but life feels like it’s really speeding up at the mo – kids doing a million and one things, the Muddy Awards off like the clappers, …

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What’s on: Muddy Herts Guide 12-18 Mar 2015

11th Mar 2015


Yes, it’s Mothering Sunday this weekend – and there are lots of lovely things going on to entertain your mum, or to hint about being taken to. Or ignore it altogether and just go somewhere fun anyway. We’ve got fashion, art, Harry Potter, comedy and books. Will that do?

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #9: Headington School (Oxford)

10th Mar 2015


My first all girl’s secondary review on the Muddy Best Schools Guide, and it’s one that I know quite a bit about, having quite a few friends with kids there. I was at an all girl’s school too, so it …

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Fab new beauty treatments you’ll love

6th Mar 2015


I’m not really one for moaning about how my skin is going saggy and my bum is dingle-dangling to my knees, but given this is a feature about beauty, I suppose I should put my hand up and say the …

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My Fave Places: fashion designer Emma Rutherford

15th Feb 2015

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Emma Rutherford is one half of Needle, a luxury knitwear brand (pictured above) that in 18 months has already been snapped up by Anthropologie and other top London boutiques and whose stock I have totally pillaged since I discovered them …

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Getting crafty at Fabric HQ

14th Feb 2015

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I can’t sew.  I mean, I can tack on a button or a Cub badge if I absolutely have to, but I could no more run up something lovely on a sewing machine (which I don’t have anyway) than I …

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Duende pops up in Herts

10th Feb 2015

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Duende have been popping up their pop-up restaurants around the Chilterns for a while.  Now they’re popping over the border into Herts, and very glad about it I am too.   I went along last week, just to check it out, …

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Flowers? For me? You shouldn’t have….

10th Feb 2015

Credit: Heather Edwards Garden Photography

Ok, there’s a reasonable chance – start hinting! – that there might be some flowers flying around over the weekend. Whether it’s a dozen roses (traditional) or a last-minute service station bunch of carnations (more likely), chances are those flowers will have travelled a fair old way to get to you…

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Better, brighter skin and no saggy bits? Yes, please!

8th Feb 2015


There is no way, no how, ever, that I would consider a facelift. Nope. Not me. And then I heard about natural facelift massage. Natural? Sounds good. Massage? Love those. Facelift? Really?

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Downton Funk: groovy locations from the show

3rd Feb 2015


Downton Abbey has long left us, but if you’re still harbouring visions of yourself as Lady Grantham (with a naughty dalliance with Lord Gillingham in the staff quarters – oh just me?!), here’s a nifty swifty guide to some of …

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Watlington: small but perfectly formed

3rd Feb 2015


I haven’t had a Muddy day out in one town for a while – the last one was Chipping Norton last summer – but they’re good fun to do and always surprising too, because what you see from the car …

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But first, let me take a selfie…

30th Jan 2015

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I’ve got nothing against the selfie. But in an attempt to stop my nearly-teen from clogging up my phone, his phone, his dad’s phone, you name it, with literally hundreds of odd-angled pictures of himself, I handed him over for a day – hoorah! – into the capable hands of Cynthia Nolan at Shoot Me Studios in Berkhamsted…..

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J-Lo’s clothes ‘closet’ – prepare to weep!

25th Jan 2015

jeans from behind

I took my only serviceable pair of jeans off the other night to get into my jarmies – as you do – only to realise there was a huge rip in the the middle of the bum section. I’d rejected …

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Rural hotspot in Berrick Salome

24th Jan 2015


It’s always interesting when a pub changes hands to see what the new landlords have learned from the old. The eighteenth century The Chequers in Berrick Salome saw Mark and Sandra Duggan take over from a pub that seemed to …

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My Fave Places

20th Jan 2015

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Felix Camfield-Walker was born and raised in Hitchin – and he’s got no intention of going anywhere else anytime soon.  Farley’s Hair Emporium is about as relaxed as getting your hair cut is going to get – serious vintage décor, a …

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Mr Muddy, what a man!

19th Jan 2015

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I had a hilarious email from a reader the other week requesting that I never show full photos of Mr Muddy as she likes the image of him in her head (borderline pervy but I like her style).  So with …

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Check out the *NEW* Muddy noticeboard!

19th Jan 2015

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Let it not be said that I just sit drinking coffee-wine-gin chasers on my chuff in front of the telly (um, well, ok, maybe sometimes), bashing out Muddy posts, and taking you for granted! Here, my lovely Muddiers, is a …

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Saro Brindley’s Favourite Places

19th Jan 2015


Saro Brindley is the owner of EyeLike in Beaconsfield, a contemporary gallery that boasts Banksy, Pure Evil and Peter Blake amongst its artists. From going walkies with her dog, to eating out big style, here are her favourite places.  Burnham …

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Wellies on! Perfect pub for the end of a walk

18th Jan 2015

fox and duck sign

If you’re looking for a great pub where you can park your wellies at the end of a bracing walk and fill up on food that isn’t just your average pub offering, The Fox and Duck in Therfield would be a …

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Having a wiggle and a giggle

16th Jan 2015

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OK, here’s my comfort zone. And then, over there, there’s dancing. And then, a whole lot further out from that, there’s burlesque. So no one was more surprised than me when, one night after clearly one glass too many, I …

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What’s on: The Muddy Guide 15 – 21 Jan

14th Jan 2015

Two Screaming Ladies (c) Ed Paschke

Ready to go out yet? 2015 is starting to pick up, with plenty on this week to rattle your social cage. Have fun and, as ever, if you try something out, please let me know what you think. Knowledge is …

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MEDIA: Come on, let’s go for it girls

13th Jan 2015


Have you seen this yet? I  loved the promo for This Girl Can, released yesterday by Sport England in the hope of encouraging more women to take up exercise. Did you know, fact fans, that in Europe equal numbers of …

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Muddy eats @The Squirrel Pub (Penn St)

12th Jan 2015


Feeling hungry yet? I’m getting a bit twitchy about soups and stir fries and have been starting to fantasise about a juicy whopper pub lunch. Anyway, my erotic musings about dribbly burger juices and wobbly panecottas reminded me that I …

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Try this: The Pig Barn courses (Stoke Row)

11th Jan 2015


I took a fantastic little course last month on Christmas wreath-making (oh my days, hand me my velvet Alice band and get the vicar over for tea, I’ve finally turned Home Counties!). Obviously wreath-making is the last thing on your …

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Crafty boxes for creative kids

30th Nov 2014


I was sent these the other day by Oglee Poglee in Berkhamsted, which has just launched craft boxes for kids, and they’re FAB.

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Get away: The perfect hotel for R&R

12th Nov 2014


  Howard’s House is a very sweet hotel in a tiny Wiltshire village called Teffont Evias (and no, I don’t know how to pronounce it either), not far from Salisbury. The village is mostly a church, a stream, lots of …

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Sushi? In Berkhamsted? Yes please!

11th Nov 2014


Every so often, I just need a big city fix. Usually that involves 40 minutes on the train into London, just enough culture to say we’ve been there done that, and then far too many cocktails with my much-more-glam-than-me friend …

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High-end Hitchin store for vintage and more

9th Nov 2014


  You have to love a place that lays out an actual red carpet for you. Especially when it’s bright red shag pile. Graceland is definitely the newest – and most fabulous – place in Hitchin to pick up something …

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