Safari Slickers

How to have a family-friendly adventure holiday

Fashion fantasy?

Update your wardrobe for real with these knock-out pieces

A right royal lunch

Muddy eats at The King's Arms, Woodstock

London dining on a Herts weekend

The Buntingford Kitchen is definitely worth the drive...
Live in Oxford? Order Deliveroo!

30th Jun 2015

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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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Muddy eats: The Swan Inn, Denham

22nd Jun 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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TRY THIS: A lava shell massage

14th May 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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

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  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

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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

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  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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