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Buckingham bites

Vibin's Cafe Bar & Grill reviewed

Yes, I *am* looking more radiant....

Check out the new Elemis Biotec facials

Conjuring up a little Muddy magic in Cuffley

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Highlight, camera, action! Anne Veck salon reviewed

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 …

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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 …

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My Fave Places: Suzy Hobbs

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 …

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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 …

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Pressies in one place – check out 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 …

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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… …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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….

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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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Fussy eaters? Here’s just the thing…

27th Aug 2015

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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?”)

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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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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 …

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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 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 …

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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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Saltmarsh rocks!

6th Jul 2015


Saltmarsh in Stow-on-the-Wold is a business I came across last year when I stayed at The Porch House in the town. I loved it then and I love it even more now. It’s moved to new, more roomy premises at …

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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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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…

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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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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…

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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

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….

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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

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 …

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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, …

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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

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…..

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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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