Win a £1000 luxury family weekend!

Be in it to win it - only for Muddy readers!

Panto frenzy

The Muddy bumper pants guide - oh yes it is!

Winter warming gnocchi

Make your pumpkins last past Halloween...

Storming barn for a luxurious escape

Wallowing in luxury up North....
REVIEW: Horse & Groom, Bourton-on-the-Hill

16th Nov 2015


Did it have you at ‘Horse’? ‘Groom?’ Or just ‘handsome Cotswold sun drenched honeyed stone’? Increasingly I zip out to the Cotswolds on Muddy business, mostly to look at the pubs and restaurants, because frankly they’re outstanding. The Horse & …

Read more you may also like...
My Favourite Places: Daphne Selfe

9th Nov 2015


The utterly gorgeous Daphne Selfe, Herts’ own supermodel, will be taking to the local catwalk this weekend at Hitchin’s Festiwool. She’s also been busy out and about talking about her new book – a fab memoir of her lifelong love of clothes and fashion, The Way We Wore. (Don’t you just love that title?)

In between all that busy-ness, I managed to catch a few minutes with Daphne to ask her about her favourite places….

Read more
David Attenborough and… er…. Adele…?

6th Nov 2015


Oh my giddy aunt. I have no idea why this popped up in my online feed, but I’m jolly glad it did. Who doesn’t love David Attenborough? And his voice-over for the start of the spanking new Adele video had me grinning…

Read more
We have a £500 Needle comp winner!

3rd Nov 2015

needle AW15

As a Needle knitwear superfan who recently shrank my most treasured cashmere jumper from the luxe brand in the wash (never have I seen my middle superbrat more excited, as it now fits her slight 8 year old frame) it …

Read more
Ta-da! Secret Messages rebrands

3rd Nov 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 16.16.08

What a difference a year makes. Secret Messages Emporium launched in 2014, won the Muddy Awards later that year, and has grown so massively that it’s now reinvented itself – no more vintage clutter, now a cool, stylish, retro-trendy interiors …

Read more you may also like...
Brilliant makeup ad — check it out

2nd Nov 2015


Hero, over at Muddy Bucks and Oxon, always seems to catch the coolest ads from around the world — and this latest one that’s caught her eye is an absolute cracker….

Read more
MUDDY EATS: The Old Thatched Inn, Adstock

2nd Nov 2015


One of the reasons I love writing Muddy is because of the pub reviews. Not because I’m piggy (though clearly I am a total cochon), but because it’s so useful knowing the very best pubs in an area. We all …

Read more you may also like...
Brilliant makeup ad – watch this!

1st Nov 2015


God bless Mr Muddy and his endless supply of cool vids. Have you seen this from Japanese beauty brand Shiseido? High School Girl? shows the incredible transfor­mative power of makeup – and then some. If you haven’t seen it, well, …

Read more you may also like...
5 Griselda Heppel books to give away!

28th Oct 2015

The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst Cover for    MATADOR

‘Tis true that on Muddy we totally heart author Griselda Heppel. Not only because she had the guts to self-publish when the agent didn’t turn into a book deal (and then promptly snaffled herself the People’s Book Prize) but also …

Read more you may also like...
WATCH THIS: Awesome trailer for Supergirl!!!

27th Oct 2015


At the risk of exposing myself as the last person on the planet to know about Supergirl, you have  to watch this trailer! I remember the Supergirl film from the mid-Eighties that starred Helen Slater and it was soooo lame, but …

Read more you may also like...
REVIEW: *Brilliant* family getaway near Bath

17th Oct 2015


I always get a tingle when I find something I know Muddy readers will love too and whoa, I’m feeling it big style on this one. If you’re looking for a family break with younger kids, this is totally it. …

Read more you may also like...
Highlights, camera, action! Anne Veck reviews

9th Oct 2015

during hair cut

Some hairdressers have all the luck. A client walks in and asks them for a life-changer of a  haircut, ones that requires skill and craftmanship. They want their bottom-skimming hair chopped into a dramatic, cute crop. They’ve never had their …

Read more you may also like...
What’s On: Thurs 8 – Weds 14 Oct

8th Oct 2015


Hetty Haxworth Exhibition, O3 Gallery Oxford, 10 Oct- 1 Nov I love these abstract prints from Hetty Haxworth – born in Oxford, living in rural Aberdeenshire and with possibly the coolest artist name since Pablo Picasso. Her screenprints have been shown …

Read more you may also like...
Ahoy Suzy!

5th Oct 2015


Suzy Hobbs is co-owner of Hobbs of Henley, the family firm that’s been providing boats on the Oxfordshire Thames since 1870. Married with three kids, she knows the area like the back of her hand, so her favourite places are …

Read more you may also like...
Win £500 of luxury knitwear!

5th Oct 2015


The weather has turned – isn’t it grim? – so the timing couldn’t be better to win £500 of stunning AW15 designer jumpers. Did I say stunning? That doesn’t really do them justice? What I meant super-flippin-gorgeously-stonking jumpers! If you …

Read more
Mum and Muddy spa day – and a new offer on!

2nd Oct 2015


  My mother and I have reached the stage in life where we buy each other events rather than things. Spa days, hotel breaks, theatre trips, all united by long thin glasses of bubbly stuff. We’d taken advantage of the …

Read more you may also like...
Gifts galore at Vinegar Hill

2nd Oct 2015


  It’s quite hard to find a good local high street gift shop these days, don’t you think? Either they’re national chains selling sub John Lewis type products, or they are so tiny that you don’t get the choice you …

Read more
Did you win the £1000 Bicester Village prize?!!

30th Sep 2015


Well, that was fun! We entered September with a sartorial bang – a flippin fabulous fashion prize for grownups and kids from Bicester Village worth £1000. And now, a few weeks later, we have a winner. Drumroll, spotlight, whisky chaser… …

Read more
OMG, you’ll LOVE this Beckham ad!!!

30th Sep 2015


If you read Muddy regularly you’ll know I have a bit of a love-hate thing going on with David Beckham’s ad campaigns. He’s a handsome man and all, but his level of smouldering-under-wrinkled-browness over recent years has been making me …

Read more
Muddy eats: The Chester, Oxford

22nd Sep 2015


I eat at plenty of gastropubs, but not many tick the gastro box, plus properly, truly, buzzily local. But helloooooo to The Chester in Oxford, where have you been all my life? This cool pub is within tickling distance of …

Read more you may also like...
Muddy Best Schools Guide #14: Moulsford School

16th Sep 2015


If you’re considering new or next schools for your kids, or thinking of moving into the area, you’ll want to know about Moulsford School. This is the 15th school in the area I’ve nosed around, and it’s fascinating to see …

Read more you may also like...
New season Needle!

13th Sep 2015


At the beginning of a new fashion season I used to always read up religiously on the latest trends. Now the glossy mag fashion show summaries make me roll my eyes a bit – this season, for example, monochrome is …

Read more
Cannelle does it again

8th Sep 2015


Jasmine. It’s the latest super-beauty ingredient doncha know, so brand-new-and-spanky that Decleor only launched its Aurabsolu range of moisturiser, eye cream and refreshing mist last week. As is so often the case, Cannelle Beauty in Henley (just down from the …

Read more you may also like...
Muddy eats: The Fox and Hounds (Christmas Common)

7th Sep 2015


It’s been a couple of years, a change of hands and a refurb since I last ate at The Fox & Hounds in Christmas Common, so I was curious about its reincarnation. You never know which way these things will …

Read more you may also like...
My Favourite Places: Charlie Hussey

1st Sep 2015


Charlie Hussey has spent most of his adult life in Berkhamsted, doing the all-too-familiar commute into London every day. Lucky for local music lovers, his mid-life… er… hiatus (don’t call it a crisis… it wasn’t a crisis) turned into BerkoFest – a music festival that brings some big names, and some smaller ones to the town….

Read more
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 …

Read more you may also like...
Fussy eaters? Here’s just the thing…

27th Aug 2015

cookery 5

Despite the best efforts of me and Mr C – well, mostly me – our two aren’t the most adventurous of gourmets. In fact, one could quite happily live on pasta and variations on the theme of cheese-with-bread; the other would be happy with sausages and icing licked off the top of cupcakes (“do you want the rest, Mummy?”)

Read more
‘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 …

Read more
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 …

Read more

18th Aug 2015


I’m so excited about this competition I could explode (*KA-BOOOOOOM*) Bicester Village really needs no introduction – it’s a totally dreamy designer outlet right on our doorstep, which is why I continue to spend more time and money here than …

Read more
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 …

Read more
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…

Read more
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….

Read more you may also like...
KIDS: Longridge Activity Centre strikes gold

31st Jul 2015

longridge ext IMG_2169

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 …

Read more you may also like...
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 …

Read more
The perfect Perch

13th Jul 2015


I love this pub. A total Muddy box-ticker, The Perch in Binsey Lane has it all. Family-friendly with a lovely garden. Newly developed terrace for grown-up eating. Cosy feeling inside for gastropubbing with friends or having a quiet drink in …

Read more you may also like...
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….

Read more
Indonesian Ginger at Nutmeg Spa

6th Jun 2015

nutmeg 5

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…

Read more
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…

Read more
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….

Read more
St Albans’ Odyssey: gorgeous, grown-up cinema

30th Mar 2015

odyssey 5

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…

Read more
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…

Read more
Muddy Herts gets raw and juicy….

18th Mar 2015

hah 5

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….

Read more
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?

Read more
Getting crafty at Fabric HQ

14th Feb 2015

fabric hq 6

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 …

Read more
Duende pops up in Herts

10th Feb 2015

duende 8

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, …

Read more
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…

Read more
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?

Read more
But first, let me take a selfie…

30th Jan 2015

H photos 02

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…..

Read more
My Fave Places: Felix Camfield-Walker

20th Jan 2015

felix 7

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 …

Read more
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 …

Read more
Having a wiggle and a giggle

16th Jan 2015

Image1 (3)

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 …

Read more
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.

Read more
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 …

Read more
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 …

Read more
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 …

Read more