£1000 of designer clobber from Bicester Village up for grabs!

The perfect Perch

A riverside delight nestled next to Port Meadow

Saltmarsh rocks!

An organic concept store in Stow. Don't faint (*thud*)

Hertford heartthrob

A funky farm shop and cafe to fall in love with
Muddy eats: The Fat Fox Inn, Watlington

29th Aug 2015


Certain pubs suit certain seasons. The Fat Fox Inn in Watlington has a kind of put-the-fire-on local vibe that works really well when the weather turns. And here we are, nearly in September, so probably the perfect time to review …

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‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ – you likey?

26th Aug 2015


There are times when the kids are screaming, the washing is piling up, work is going crazy and popular culture just passes me by. GRRRR, very annoying because I love all that stuff. Months later I usually find the time …

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New Frangipani stock now in!!!

19th Aug 2015


Victims of their own success, Frangipani ran out of stock a few weeks back. But I come bearing good news if you’ve been trying to snaffle a shirt or two, because the funky florals are back! There are 60 gorgeous …

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Cotwolds Corker: The Swan at Swinbrook

14th Aug 2015


When you come across a pub with in a setting this pretty, you know things are going to work out just fine. I’ve been dipping into the Cotswolds a lot over the last year, mostly for days out or sneaky …

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500 years of portraits looking *right at you*

12th Aug 2015


This little video – ‘500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art’ – might have popped up in your Facebook feed already (which is where I stumbled across it the other day). If it hasn’t already, take 2 minutes (and 52 seconds) out of your day and check it out…

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Muddy eats: Nelson St Restaurant, Buckingham

4th Aug 2015


On a beautiful sunny day in Buckingham last month I went to review Nelson St restaurant, a modern well priced eaterie celebrating its third birthday….

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KIDS: Longridge Activity Centre strikes gold

31st Jul 2015

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My kids have come back from an Activity Day at Longridge activity camp just buzzing with how great it’s been so I’d better pass it on! My oldest Muddy did it last year,  so we have form with this Marlow-based …

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What’s On This Week: Fri 24 – Weds 29 July

24th Jul 2015


Outdoor theatre: More Shakespeare than you can shake a stick at. Creation Theatre returns to the beautiful gardens and lawns of Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford for Shakespeare’s pastoral romantic comedy As You Like It (Tues 28 July through til …

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The Muddy Guide: Thurs 9 – Weds 15 July

9th Jul 2015


Broughton Castle Cycling Sportive, Sun 12 July Feeling energetic? The drop-dead-gorgeous Broughton Castle near Banbury (most recently seen as one of the locations in Wolf Hall)  is holding its third Cycling Sportive this Sunday. The four routes wind their way …

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Gifford’s Circus: The best family show of summer

2nd Jul 2015


Another year, another Gifford’s Circus triumph. This quirky, original, clever, funny village green circus, based in Gloucestershire, is becoming famous now, and justly so. I’ve been for the last three or four years (though they’ve been going for 10, so …

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Worth seeing The Producers? Find out here

1st Jul 2015


There are some major gaps in my musical theatre education and The Producers is definitely one of them. Winner of 12 Tonys and 3 Olivier Awards it ran on Broadway for 12 years and the West End for three, and, …

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Live in Oxford? Order Deliveroo!

30th Jun 2015


Have you heard of Deliveroo? If you live in Oxford you’re going to be praising me to the skies for this little nugget of info. It’s a brilliant take away service that deliverers food to your couch from some of …

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The Swan Inn, Denham

22nd Jun 2015


I nearly ate at The Swan Inn in Denham last year. I’d pulled up outside, thought, ‘Ooh, this looks great’ and then something at the back of my mind made me double check my destination – at which point I …

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Muddy eats: The Bull gastropub, Henley

20th Jun 2015


For an area that so attracts tourists in droves to its riverbanks and Georgian elegance, Henley is not overly blessed with places to eat and drink. Shaun Dickens at the Boathouse ties up fine dining; The Three Tuns is the …

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Try this: The Dressing Room’s styling service

18th Jun 2015


I am so massively in a fashion slump it’s not funny. I wear same skinny jeans (or on a hot day, cotton trousers) every day. I am drawn on autopilot to every Breton top I see, so have am riddled …

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A Day in the Life: Biagio the Jeweller

17th Jun 2015


Always a pleasure to do a feature about things that sparkle.  Biagio the Jeweller has been the go-to store for diamonds and beautiful jewellery in Oxfordshire for the last 20 years, and it’s easy to see why when your read …

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My Favourite Places: Kay Burley

15th Jun 2015


I recently met Kay Burley when she was compèring a charity lunch for the Pink Ribbon Foundation – a charity supporting research to combat breast cancer – at Champneys Tring. As a news reporter and presenter, Kay has travelled all over the world, and I was curious to hear which places she remembered and loved from all those she’s visited. I don’t know how she managed to narrow it down, but she’s chosen a handful of places that she loves and that are important to her – particularly when she’s trying to relax and get away from it all….

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INTERIORS ALERT: The Old Flight House, Nr Bicester

15th Jun 2015


There are some places that are so ‘Muddy’ I could literally live in them. I featured The Old Flight House in Weston-on-the-Green (about 10 minutes drive south of Bicester) when it first opened a few years back, and it’s since …

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The Quince Tree cafe – you’d better go!

15th Jun 2015


Have you been to the new cafe at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley? It’s been quietly running for a month or so now, but I finally made it down on a stonkingly sunny afternoon last week and loved …

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Muddy goes out! A buzzy night in Oxford

9th Jun 2015

Outside TVC roof terrace

Last week I was asked by a reader where I’d suggest she went out for a buzzy night in Oxford with girlfriends. That was a no brainer for me as I’ve only just gone and done the same thing myself …

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OMG, the best men’s shirts EVER…

9th Jun 2015


Sometimes a fashion brand comes along that makes you want to weep with gratitude. Frangipani is different to anything else I’ve come across…

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Safari Slickers

9th Jun 2015


For the last ten years I feel like I’ve done nothing but take beach holidays with steel-reinforced childcare attached. Having young children is lovely in small doses (oh come on, you know it!). They’re joyful little things but blimey, it’s …

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Indonesian Ginger at Nutmeg Spa

6th Jun 2015

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Nutmeg Spa has been tempting me over to Hemel Hempstead recently with their gorgeous oases of calm and pampering. They have two salons in Hemel Hempstead – one up at Bridens Camp, (more Gaddesden than Hemel to be honest) and one on the Old High Street…

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My Fave Places: Freya North

3rd Jun 2015


Today — publication day for her 14th novel! — Freya North is sharing her favourite places with us here at Muddy Herts. Most of them are in Herts, too, where she lives out in the countryside with her two children, two dogs, and a horse…

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Gorgeous new Mews suites at Sopwell House

1st Jun 2015

Mews Exterior Night Reduced size

I popped up to Sopwell House recently – any excuse – for a sneaky peek at the new development there. And the new Mews Suites there totally blew me away….

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Wouldn’t you though?

1st Jun 2015

Summer Breeze IV 8x6

I’ve been drawn to seascapes since my best friend bought me the most beautiful oil painting for my wedding, and nothing rivalled it until now…

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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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Half-term sanity saver May 2015

20th May 2015


Never let it be said that I don’t *sniff* totally heart you guys. I’ve spent weeks – WEEKS! – researching the best of what’s on in Oxfordshire, Bucks and beyond over May half term week for your delectation. If you …

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Fashion fantasy?

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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The Dressing Room

23rd Apr 2015


One of the many brilliant things about having the lovely Pippa running Muddy Stilettos Hertfordshire is that I get to hear about cool stuff going on in her county. Boundaries between counties are funny things, because often there’s the automatic …

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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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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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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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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: 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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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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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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My Fave Places: Felix Camfield-Walker

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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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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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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