The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

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Wouldn't you though?

*Snort*. Whoa, sorry, you just woke me up from my Ibiza dream, where I was lying pert and lithe (hey, I said it was a dream) on this gorgeous towel.

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The May Half Term Muddy Guide, Fri 27 May – Sun 5 June

27 May 2016

It’s been, er, quite the experience bringing out a bumper half-term Muddy Guide whilst in the throes of holding the Muddy Stilettos Awards. Who’s the idiot in charge of diary co-ordination? Oh hang on, that’s me. Oh well, the pain is over and here’s your curated digital best buddy, here to help you find the coolest things to do (with or without children) over the next week.

Below are events that go on all week as they clog up the calendar to repeat them daily, but more detailed DAY TO DAY LISTINGS can be found HERE and I’d encourage you to use that as the one-off events worth knowing about are all on here.

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Property: How to add value and buy smart locally

25 May 2016

It feels like it’s getting ever harder to find a good deal on a property in this part of the world. Property develolopers snap up plots, the need to live near good schools creates a panic purchase mentality and prices are already sky high in some areas.

If you, like me, look back on the London property you sold before the housing market went bonkers and weep silently on an evening into your silk kerchief (oh, you don’t have one?) this feature may dry your eyes.

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See this: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

25 May 2016

Just a quickie review this, because I need to let you know before it ends on Saturday.  I went to the Wycombe Swan last night to see the opening night of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty and it was every bit as incredible as I’ve been banging on about in the Muddy Guide. This revived 2012 ballet is on its last few days in the UK before it disappears to South Korea, so I am flagwaving madly.

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You are feeling very, very sleeeepppppppy

24 May 2016

Have you ever tried hypnotherapy? When I was at  university I watched a magician ‘trance’ a six foot bloke in the audience so that he had a rigid body with his head on one chair and his feet resting on another. I was called out of the crowd to stand on his midriff and honestly, it was like standing on a plank of wood. It was amazing.

From that time on I’ve been a real believer in hypnotism, and its power.

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Happy birthday Mamma Mia!

23 May 2016
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When a restaurant has been around for 35 years, it has to be doing something right. Mamma Mia in Summertown is on one of my favourite little Oxford streets, South Parade, that also takes in the brilliant Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Vanilla fashion boutique and the Oxford Wine Cafe, not to mention one of my favourite Oxford theatres, The North Wall.

It’s one of two restaurants, the other more recent addition in 2000 being in Jericho.

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Top 10 things to do in Dorset

23 May 2016

I’m starting to do more travel on Muddy, figuring that though you love Oxon and Bucks you like to escape sometimes too (quick, dig the tunnels). I mentioned Perfect Stays a few days ago, a luxury self-catering company in Cornwall and Devon that looks *awesome* and is on my radar to try out over the summer, but if you’re into shorter traveling times and have your sights set on Dorset, I reckon Deans Court in Wimborne (above) will tick your boxes too.

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A lovely rural local: Home Sweet Home

19 May 2016

If you read Muddy regularly you’ll know that I spend a lot of time reviewing pubs and have the waistband to prove it (just watch that baby strrrrrrretch). There are some places that immediately blow my mind, and I know that people will travel for miles and miles to get there – maybe the pub has  a whopper garden, in a stunning position, or the food is vastly superior.

But not every pub wants to be shimmying its tassels at customers, and there are plenty of pubs worth mentioning that have a more gentle allure.

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The Muddy Guide – What’s On Thurs 19 – Weds 25 May

18 May 2016
Bourne Sleeping Beauty, Hannah Vassallo, c Simon_Annand

In the mood for fun? Well, well, well, I have just the thing…

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Wycombe Swan, 24 – 28 May

I’m seeing this next week and I can’t wait. Everything I’ve seen from Matthew Bourne – The Car Man, Swan Lake –  has been incredible. His gothic take on this classic tale takes in magic, fairies, vampires and romance, and you know, a whole lot of men in tights.

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OMG! Perfect Stays in Devon & Cornwall

12 May 2016
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Sometimes I come across stuff that’s so cool that I get a bit overexcited. Pour myself a large glass of wine, refill for politeness’ sake (look, it’s a ‘me’-date),  scoff some crisps, refill, stare out of the window for a while in soporific happiness…


… and then shout something like OMG CHECK THIS OUT!!! from the top of my fingertips (this being the computer and all).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition