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  • St Andrew’s, Pangbourne

    Muddy says: This bucolic co-ed prep school in the rolling hills of Berkshire is family-oriented with great results.

  • Sunningdale School, Ascot

    Muddy says: Small and perfectly formed, Sunningdale is a superb family-run prep that is proudly non-selective.

  • All that jazz

    The restaurant/bar at architectural salvage troopers LASSCO in mid-Oxfordshire now has regular live music nights and a fab new food offering. Tune in here.

  • Moulsford School, Moulsford-on-Thames

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded boy’s prep school in South Oxon in a stonkingly lovely setting on the Thames, with a strong reputation for sport.

  • Lush green scenery and a thatched roof hotel with a swimming pool in the foreground

    Gadzooks – grab up to 40% off Turquoise Family Holidays!

    Was summer a staycation washout? In that case you may want to feast your eyes on Turquoise Holiday's Family Sale - up to 40% (yes, you read that right) off stunning holidays in the Maldives, Mauritius and South East Asia. See you on the sun lounger!

  • model wearing KITRI wearing a red flowing dress with puff arm detail

    Gotta Have It

    Swishy jumpsuits, cool day dresses and shirts with an edge. We'll take everything at KITRI, thanks. Get on board with this new affordable designer brand.

  • back of woman in white and blue oreintal dress looking over shoulder

    6 hot-to-trot wearable AW17 trends – go fetch!

    We asked an expert - Helen Spencer from chic boutique Nellie & Dove - to decode the new season's top trends. Don't go shopping until you read this!

  • 7 things to ask at school Open Days

    Been to look around a school for your child and felt none-the-wiser about whether it will suit them? We've nobbled Rachel Dent, the head of top girl's school The Abbey, to help make Open Days work for you.

  • Who’d A Thought it?

    Muddy Stilettos Review Of One Probably The Quirkiest, Funniest & Most Blingy Kent Boutique Hotel!

  • Stay here: The Inn @ West End

    Take an award-winning pub in a pretty village, add stylish rooms and fab food. Add gin (easy when there's a comprehensive gin menu) and book up.

  • Your Festival Wedding

    Goodie bags, heel-guards and the power of bacon: 10 essential tips from the Muddy award-winning, Beautiful Bells.

  • women in white galaxy star hush trainers bending down touching floor

    New season fashion wishlist!

    The shops are heaving with delicious new autumn/winter collections so shall we go shopping? (Enablers? Us?) Read on for this season's key pieces, as currently coveted by the Muddy HQ gang. Credit cards ready!

  • Are you a floater?

    Back to the womb: a spell in a darkened floatation tank filled with warm water must be the ultimate relaxation therapy.

  • We’ll take your advice, Natalie!

    Owner of Cliveden estate, an author in her own right and now the brains behind the first ever Cliveden Literary Festival, Natalie Livingstone knows a thing or two about the local area. Here's where she likes to hang out.

  • the break book surrounded by flowers

    The Muddy Book Club – September’s best new reads

    Read all about it! Muddy's professional bookworm Kerry Potter burrows into this month's best literary offerings. Make some space on your bedside table pronto!

  • New Cliveden Spa reviewed

    Ain't nothing like a luxury spa day to seduce you into a blissful state of laziness. Resistance is futile.

  • The Maytime Inn

    Looking for a romantic escape or maybe just a dog-friendly stride out and Sunday lunch? The Cotswolds' pretty Maytime Inn has your back and then some.

  • The Manor School, Abingdon

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded day school in Abingdon with fantastic IPI reports (excellent across the board) for boys 2-7 years, and girls 2-11 years old.

  • Get your sexy back

    Keep the holiday vibes going with a little fake tan, a goblet of G&T and 25% off boutique bedlinen at Draper London

  • weight training women

    7 benefits of weight lifting

    Forget bulging biceps, we're talking weight loss, lean muscle mass and healthy bones - er, yes please!

  • Festival fever

    Hey festival lover. If you missed out on Glasto, no matter, Surrey's three-day music and arts fest is still yet to happen. Here is everything you need to know about Always The Sun

  • Go see La Cage Aux Folles!

    John Partridge, Adrian Zmed and Marti Webb star in this fabulous musical about a drag star and his partner playing it straight

  • Food glorious food

    Loosen your belt and fasten your napkins: Muddy previews the fantastic Woking Food and Drink Festival

  • Property flirt

    Ready for another spin round a fab gaff? This one's a real beauty: a large, late 18th century stone farmhouse combining country charm with the feel of an elegant townhouse.

  • Pick of Edinburgh Fringe

    Heading to Edinburgh Festival? Overwhelmed by the brochure? Get a shortcut with my picks of the Fringe

  • Fancy a night with George Clooney?

    OK, so he won't actually be in the same room, but he's just a stone's throw away from the refreshed, funky Great House in Sonning. Flash him from your window and you might get lucky.

  • A French fancy in Reading?

    You know it! L'Ortolan restaurant in Shinfield has held its Michelin star for 15 consecutive years. Under Head Chef Tom Clarke this French fancy is a food experience worth trying.

  • Say namaste to an Asian hotel in Alicante

    An Asian-themed hotel right in the centre of Alicante? Meet Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa

  • Dame Kelley Holmes looking strong and empowering wearing green workout t-shirt, black sports bra and black watch

    New health & fitness festival

    After a summer of booze, bands and bonkers kids, you're going to need a sanity-saver. I've got just the thing.

  • West End Kids

    Heading to the big smoke this summer? Need a few hours to snooze in the dark? Keep the Mudlets entertained with our pick of the best kids' theatre in town

  • Fiddler On The Roof

    Chichester Festival Theatre's big summer production starring Omid Djalili

  • The Black Horse

    The newly refurbished Black Horse in Reigate is creating quite a stir locally, not least because of its Michelin starred ties.

  • Surviving the summer

    If the thought of six long weeks with the nippers has you reaching for the gin at 10am, don't worry. Children's life coach Lisa Parkes is here to help.

  • Edinburgh Fringe tips

    Get the best from the fest with my handy guide to how to plan your gig-going

  • Property Flirt

    Release your inner estate agent and guess the price of this period town house with contemporary features, glorious walled garden – and studio annex

  • Perfect eats in town for Mudlets

    Heading to the big smoke this month? Check out our top places to feed the Mudlets

  • Salome, Stratford

    A sexually ambiguous version of Oscar Wilde’s Salome with Matthew Tennyson playing the female lead and music by Perfume Genius.

  • The Buddy Holly Story

    West End hit The Buddy Holly Story is taking early Rock 'n' Roll on tour - get your feel-good fix!

  • Spring Mischief: Part I

    An interview with Oppenheimer playwright Tom Morton-Smith about his hotly-anticipated new play, The Earthworks, at the RSC’s The Other Place, Stratford until Sat June 17.

  • Holiday Glamping

    This bijou glamping site on the Surrey-Sussex border is the perfect place enjoy the natural charms of the English countryside and satisfy your kids with a cool camping fix

  • 15 Collingwood is just ‘fabulous’

    Beautiful mid-century and modern movement design classics mixed with industrial and reproduction furniture, it's all high quality, but most notably (to Philistine Muddy at least), it's VERY affordably priced.

  • It’s Just an Illusion

    Use your 'imagination' to join the dots in the first major UK exhibition of 'Op Art' at Warwickshire's Compton Verney this summer.

  • Reviews: The Addams Family

    If you're at a loose end this week and want to entertain you, the kids, the partner, your girlfriends, please see this!

  • The Fat Duck, Bray

    The waiting list just got longer. Heston Blumenthal's Berkshire restaurant adds another gastronomic gong to the trophy cabinet.

  • RED (CAMPER) VAN WOMAN

    This baby's got everything you need to be pretty much self-contained. It's fab to drive and when you park up you can be cooking up dinner, knocking back wine and/or be cosy in bed within minutes.

  • 24 Hours at Stonehenge

    24 hours bang slap in the centre of Wilts with a bunch of ancient stones and uh...not much else. Can you really spend a whole 24 hours there? 'Course you can!

  • Spread Eagle, Midhurst

    Fancy preparing for layer removal with a spa day, or holing up and fine dining in cosy surrounds? The Spread Eagle Hotel at Midhurst has you covered either way and it's so historic Elizabeth I stayed here!

  • Elstree, Woolhampton

    If you are looking for a school where boys can be boys, have a nose at this bucolic prep in Berks.

  • The Crucible reviewed

    'Post Truth' politics, bandwagon hysteria... there's much still familiar in Arthur Miller's famous witch hunt play The Crucible, on at Brighton's Theatre Royal until Saturday.

  • The Stanwick Hotel

    This Muddy is a regular visitor to The Stanwick Hotel, (formerly The Courtyard Hotel), as I have a monthly networking group I go to that's hosted there (never networked? You haven't lived ; ) Also they're a Muddy Award winner, so I thought you guys could probably do with a peek inside too!

  • The Gurnard’s Head

    My ultimate destination pub, in beautiful West Penwith! Go for the fish, go for the wine, go for the scenery. You won’t be disappointed.

  • FUNNY GIRLS

    Stand-up comedy may be a male-dominated field but watch out fellas, these funny women are coming to Wells

  • Battle of the Bangers on St George’s Day

    The Welsh may have their leeks, the Scots their Haggis, and the Irish, er potatoes, but what do English Northamptonshire types have to celebrate on our patron saint’s day? Dragon burgers?  Nope – sausages. I’d like to claim that the common sausage was English, and specifically – from Northants but it’s not, so bear with […]

  • Review: Seussical the Musical

    Join the Cat in the Hat for a Dr Seuss mash up that's bold, bonkers and utterly brilliant.

  • Don’t Miss Sussex Modernism

    You’ve just a couple of weeks to catch the free London exhibition Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion on at Two Temple Place until 23 April. I visited a few weeks ago and found it really tied together various bits and pieces I knew about the county’s cultural heritage. There were several items that were familiar to me […]

  • Muddy reviews: I Capture the castle

    Wonderful musical adaptation of Dodie Smith's first novel at Watford Palace Theatre.

  • Muddy reviews: The Glass Menagerie, London

    If you’ve ever had a relative nag you about settling down, or a friend who is an unsubtle matchmaker, you’ll get an extra layer of cringe from Tenneesse Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. There’s a great production of the play on at The Duke of York’s Theatre in  London until April 29, directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning John Tiffany and I […]

  • Cornwall Weekender: A Muddy Guide to Bude

    With its spectacular beaches, foodie haunts and contemporary holiday rentals, Bude is a Cornish destination on the up. Here are my highlights...

  • The Potager Garden & Café

    This idyllic cafe near Falmouth serves up delicious, organic, veggie food, fresh juices and gluten-free cakes - you can't help but feel good here.

  • REVIEW: THE RED SHOES

    A ballerina sacrifices everything for her art with tragic consequences (but a great night out for the rest of us)

  • The George Townhouse

    Officially Warwickshire's Best Pub (and who knows what will happen at the National Pub & Bar Awards grand final), this Shipston-on-Stour inn is a winner.

  • It’s Mother’s Day: Make for The Hills

    Forget the posh lunches and the spa breaks: no Siree, this year I'm bustin’ for the hills. Read on for my Mother's Day manifesto.

  • 5 Artisan Gins from Hants

    Read on for Hampshire's finest.

  • Two Outdoor Theatre Events You Won’t Want to Miss

    Pioneering Cornish companies Rogue Theatre and WildWorks deliver drama, myth and magic in the great outdoors. Find out about their upcoming productions and get yourself some tickets booked quick, because they won’t hang around.

  • Snoopers Bazaar Interiors: Cool, Quirky, Unmissable

    A clean, chic, airy space filled with glorious French, antique and industrial furniture and gifts — all warm wood, sheepskin and stars. Whether you want a quiet browse or the thrill of the chase, Snoopers Bazaar is for you. Two separate creative friends of mine, both with a great eye, told me I had to go. So, armed with my trusty […]

  • A Cornish Cookery Course for Seafood Lovers

    There is nowhere better to master the finer points of fish cookery (and eat like a queen) than at Rick Stein's Padstow school.

  • And The Winner Is…

    Happy days to one very lucky Muddy reader who is about to float off with a luxury weekend at Another Place, The Lake in Ullswater, The Lake District. Thousands of you entered this one – I guess everyone needs a holiday! – but the winner is (*drum roll*)… Michelle Tebbutt. Congratulations to you lady. I’m […]

  • Millfield Prep, Glastonbury

    Muddy says: this famously sporty school isn't only for future Olympians but if you have the potential, the opportunities are there for the taking. Whatever your talent, the school aims to winkle it out and help it flourish

  • Whistler at Mottisfont

    Youthful, at ease, dreaming, his athletic limbs lounging in the Mediterranean sun — the young man poses for society photographer, Cecil Beaton. His name is Rex Whistler. Born a humble builder’s son he is now an artist fêted from Broadway to British High Society and one of The Bright Young Things, a fast-living group from the roaring twenties much-like Radio One’s Grimmy […]

  • 12 cosy Northants Pubs

    I wrote this post just before Christmas 2016 but we have at least another month of freakin’ cold weather, so this is a reminder of some lovely welcoming pubs to try out. We asked you for your recommendations for the finest pubs to snuggle up in and you didnt let us down. I’m more of a chestnuts […]

  • Sundays At The Star & Garter

    An amazing slow-cooked Sunday roast and stunning waterside views await at this gastro pub on Falmouth's old high street.

  • Do the century mash-up

    Alongside bright green, natural materials, bronze, marble, and quirky lighting, one of the biggest trends for 2017 is mixing together different periods, vintage and contemporary, a sort of 'century mash-up'.

  • High Five Northants – Cocktail Bars

    Top Five Cocktail Bars It’s that time of year where it’s ok to apply as much sparkle as you want, get dolled up to the nines and head out to a fancy cocktail bar with your friends; and we’ve got a fair few goodies to choose from! Muddy Stilettos contributor Maddie Morgan, has rounded up her top […]

  • Muddy reviews: Around the World in 80 Days, The Brewhouse

    It was Around the Levels in 20 minutes to get to Around the World in 80 Days at The Brewhouse in Taunton on Saturday. We very nearly didn't make it but I'm so glad we did. The very first in-house Christmas production since the theatre re-opened under new management in 2014 is awesome: fast-paced, inventive, with standout performances, Victorian inspired sets and steam punk costumes. It's warmhearted, full of surprizes – and genuinely funny.

  • Get your eyelashes party ready!

    My eyelashes aren't my best feature, I have to be honest: they're short and there aren't that many of them. Mascara can only go so far and I always stick false eyelashes on wonky so with Christmas coming up, I booked myself in for some glam eyelash extensions at Frontlinestyle in Bath...

  • Muddy eats: The Garibaldi – Northampton

      Driving into a chilly Northampton today I was reminded of our first ever Pub review… In the Garibaldi blurb it says where the pub stands (on the corner of Ash Street and Bailiff Street) was a renowned meeting point for women of the night, blaggards and general wrongdoers of all persuasions. It seemed appropriate […]

  • Christmas Comes To Cotehele This Weekend

    Cotehele is my go to National Trust estate, because its right on my door step and there’s something for everyone, from the historic quay and river, miles of doggy walks, the water mill, vast well-kept grounds and the treasures of the house itself. For those of you who haven’t been to Cotehele before or haven’t visited for […]

  • New Beauty Salon In Bude To Make You Blush

    From the outside an industrial estate might not be the first place you’d expect to find a exclusive beauty salon (with its own training academy) is it muddies? But after successfully gaining a loyal client base operating out of her converted garage, demand for master lash technician Mel’s services required she get her own premises. Mel […]

  • Bishop’s Stortford College

    Muddy says: A top co-ed day and boarding school in East Herts with a dazzling array of facilities and a focus on the individual.

  • Muddy Review: Pride & Prejudice

    Who doesn’t love the story of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy? It’s a story that’s had a long life and numerous interpretations since Jane Austen’s novel was first published in 1813, both on screen and on stage. This Thursday, Regent’s Park Theatre bring their own production to Hall for Cornwall in Truro. Since I’m double […]

  • Lovely local pub — and great British dining

    I'm sorry to say that I've driven past The Bell in Stoke Mandeville loads of time over the years -- and it was only recently that I actually stopped in and checked it out. Safe to say, I'm definitely going to be stopping there again...

  • Quinton House School, Northampton

    A traditional, friendly, Northampton independent day school for boys and girls 2-18, in a beautiful 31 acre setting.

  • 5 smart ways to improve your child’s self-esteem

    If you’re a regular Muddy reader you’ll know that I love to scoot along having fun and looking for the best things in life (happily they’re free – just ask Janet). But even I can’t sugar coat some subjects. I have two mudlets myself, all school age, so the current reading in the newspapers is […]

  • A Man About the Garden: Joe Swift at Hertford Theatre

    Love a bit of Gardners' World on the telly? GQT on the radio? Have to admit, gardening shows are a bit of a guilty pleasure here at Muddy Towers -- although my predilection for gardening is more about voyeurism than actual doing of things. I like admiring other people's perfect plots -- and, occasionally, watching Mr C while he's doing a spot of weeding. (You've missed one, my muddy love...)

  • Muddy watches – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Well they came, they sang and they conquered and Muddy was lucky enough to be within spitting distance of Jason Manford who played the role of Caractacus Potts (rather ruddy well actually)! More well-known for appearances on TV shows such Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats and QI, the seemingly multi-talented Jason Manford took […]

  • Hertford Children’s Book Festival 2016

    Hertford Children's Book Festival -- organised by locals Freya North and Maureen Pegg -- is now in its 5th year and it's going from strength to strength. There's loads going on this year, based at Hertford Theatre, and if you've got a young bookworm in the house, they're going to LOVE it...

  • Muddying around in Toronto the Good

    Toronto might not be top of the list for North American city breaks – I mean, there’s New York just down the coast (well, quite a way down but, y’know), or DC with its museums a bit further down still. And there are West Coast cities like Seattle and Vancouver with the ocean and the mountains. There’s Montreal with its French vibe and nightlife. And then there’s Toronto, with its CN Tower – tallest freestanding structure in the world, doncha know – and … well, and… um…

  • Property Flirt: The Square, Much Hadham

    This cottage is a proper cutie, tucked away in a cluster of similar homes – The Square – off the High Street in Much Hadham. Prepare to be charmed…

  • Watch This: Spike Jonze’s Ground-Breaking Kenzo Ad

    Hero, over at Muddy Bucks and Oxon, has a great nose for a good ad -- and she's only gone and found another doozie. Let's take a peek together, shall we...?

  • Muddy Eats: The Alford Arms rises from the ashes

    The fire that closed The Alford Arms in Frithsden earlier this year left good food and beer lovers across this end of the county howling and bereft. And understandably so. But it's back -- and it's just as lovely, as welcoming, as comfortable, and as popular as it ever was...

  • My Favourite Places: Tricia Stewart

    You might not necessarily recognise the name Tricia Stewart straight away -- but, sure as jam is jam, you'll know about the whole Calendar Girls phenomenon. The original calendar featuring artfully-concealed ladies from the Women's Institute, the hit movie with Helen Mirren, the West End show, and so on...

  • 10 holiday reads you wont want to put down

    Pencilling in reading for pleasure time is tough isn’t it? Even on holiday. Thank crunchie for the beach then. No wifi = no worky which means I get to indulge in the simpler things – like a juicy novel. But I can spend an indecisive age choosing something worthy – too trashy, too highbrow, too chick-flicky, too […]

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