The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition


Wouldn't you though?

You might have already heard of Tom Raffield if you’ve had time to laze in bed browsing the Sunday papers while your kids diligently do their homework (*cue hysterical laughter*)...

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Muddy eats: The Three Oaks, GX

26 Sep 2016

There are pubs that you clock every day as you drive by, and then there are pubs that you’d never find in a million trillion years without a bit of assistance from the likes of your intrepid superscoffer.

The Three Oaks falls into the second category, a fabulous country dining pub in Chalfont St Peter, just outside Gerrard’s Cross in the winding countryside that I’d certainly never seen before, despite regular zipping around that area.

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5 smart ways to boost your child’s self-esteem

26 Sep 2016

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 three mudlets myself, all school age, so the current reading in the newspapers is pretty depressing. The average onset age for depression was 45 in the 1960s; today it’s 14.

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Looking for a new job? Come this way…

25 Sep 2016
Woman sitting on couch working on laptop computer

I’m incredibly excited about the new jobs section that will be appearing next month on Muddy in a puff of smoke, a swirl of magic, and an effortless voila! (sort of).

I won’t bore you with too much detail now as you’ll be able to see it soon enough yourselves, but the idea of the jobs section came from me posting several job ads on the blog, only to discover that the employers were inundated with brilliant, smart candidates in contrast to the tepid response from local mags, newspapers and recruitment agencies.

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Let’s parrrrrrrrrrty!

22 Sep 2016

Is it too early to get excited about Christmas parties? Too late, party-poopers, I’m already in the zone! I’ve been on the sly look out for good party venues for a while actually – partly because I’m thinking of holding my Awards drinks somewhere other than my home in the summer (the Weetabix on the floor being a bit embarrassing when 30 of the best businesses in Oxon and Bucks descend en masse) and partly because I just like getting tipsy as cool places.

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Easy eating at No5 in Beaconsfield

22 Sep 2016

I’m noticing more and more that restaurants are gunning for the good quality/simple menu territory and No5 in Beaconsfield fits that category perfectly. Situated at the top of London End in the old part of town and opened quietly in mid summer (the website is still under construction) it’s ideally placed for working lunches, Friday sloper-offers, families on a weekend and probaby a whole lot more in between and is aimed squarel at those who want casual quality.

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What’s On: The Muddy Guide (Thurs 22 – Weds 28 Sept)

22 Sep 2016

Henley Literary Festival, Mon 26 Sept – 2 Oct 2016


Into its tenth year, the Henley Literary Festival is one of Oxfordshire’s most bijou literary festivals, with over 150 events this year including writers from comedy, cookery, politics and music. Catch the likes of Robert Harris, Fay Weldon and Victoria Hislop Ben Miller and Nadiya Hussain, plus over 50 events for kids and families from Julian Clary, Tiger Who Came to Tea creator Judith Kerr, plus special Harry Potter and Roald Dahl events in the lovely surroundings of Stonor Park.

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The Muddy Insider’s Guide to the Caribbean

21 Sep 2016

I’ve been to the Caribbean twice in my life – once to Grenada and once to Saint Lucia, both for travel features (I know, feel my pain). It’s daft that I haven’t returned with my family since then, but I think historically the Caribbean as a holiday destination has had its barriers – either people think it’s horrifically expensive and only for the superposh, or they imagine it’s too far (though Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbados are only 8 hours away).

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #11: The Abbey School (Reading)

20 Sep 2016

This review has been updated with the latest figures – and I revisited both Junior and Senior facilities in Sept 2016.

My second all girls’ secondary review on the Muddy Best Schools Guide, and this time we’re hopping over the border into Berkshire, as at this particular school there’s a healthy intake from Oxfordshire.



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See this: Dirty Dancing reviewed (Aylesbury Waterside)

20 Sep 2016

Watching the first night of the  Dirty Dancing musical at the Aylesbury Waterside last night was almost exactly like watching the movie (which is no bad thing, let’s face it), but with added hysteria and dangerously high oestrogen emissions. Put ten Dreamboys concerts back to back and raise the age of the audience by twenty years and you’re getting the idea.

The script, intonation, movements, dancing, even Baby’s hair for Chrissakes, were doppelgangers for the original which made the theatre experience a very comfortable, almost kitsch experience.

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Meet Gloria. She’ll super style you!

19 Sep 2016

It’s all too easy  look doe-eyed to London for fashion inspiration and expertise, but who has the time and dosh to traipse into the smoke for style assistance?

Lucky for us then, that Gloria Budd – preferred stylist for Matches London no less, and just-about-to-start lecturer at the London College of Style – lives out this way. Even more unusual that Gloria happens to have a a masters degree in NLP and further training in Clinical Hypnosis (are you feeling very sleepy?).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition