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The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

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Wouldn't you though?

I’m bouncing around to have discovered these gorgeous tops at Gallivant in Thame. Aren’t they gorgeous? Loving that flattering 'hide the Muddy gut' cut and summer lightness...

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The Muddy Summer Festival Guide: Oxon, Bucks & beyond

27 Jun 2016
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I’m a dedicated Glastonbury lover from the *ahem*  comfort of my sofa – I had an awesome front row of Chris Martin for starters, and let me tell you, the toilet facilities are way better. But whether you’re a namby-pamby glamper like me or a hardcore roll-in-mud and wet-wipes-at-dawn music-fan, here’s the Muddy Guide to the best festivals due to amp-it-up in Bucks, Oxon and beyond over the next few months.

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A Grand Designs Property Flirt

27 Jun 2016
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Well, well, well, what do we have here? Only a bona fide Grand Designs house to nose around!

Very tricky to guess the price on architecturally pioneeering houses like this one, but let’s have a stab. What to tell you first? This modern ’round house’ is in Deanshanger, a village close to MK that has schools for all age groups, village shops, a post office, doctor’s surgery, pub and all that jazzaroo.

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See this: new comedy at The Potters Arms

26 Jun 2016
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Just a quickie, because I’ve spotted two new comedy nights approaching at The Potter’s Arms in Winchmore Hill and wanted to let you know about them. We’re pretty well provided for in the big theatre venues for A-list comedians, but this little powerhouse of a pub near Amersham has all the big names wanting to play at it, and in April held a brilliant three day comedy festival headlined by Lee Hurst.

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All hail The Crown inn, Woodstock

25 Jun 2016
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Cool place to stay alert! Muddy Stilettos recently had the rather preeny pleasure of being the first journo to try out bedrooms in the 18th century former coaching inn of  The Crown in Woodstock (I know, where’s my trophy?). The Crown has given the other pubs and inns in the town a bit of a shake up since it launched in 2015, but the rooms have seen months of delay and were only completed in March.

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Book this: Rush are doing Kids Summer Camps!

25 Jun 2016
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It was with a feeling of slightly weepy gratitude that I received a newsletter from Rush Trampolining the other day. The independently owned trampolining park in High Wycombe recently won the Muddy Award for Best Family Attraction, but to that I can now add the accolade ‘Best Place to Dump Your Kids for the Day’.

If like me you live in fear of the summer holidays, the bob and weave of trying to work whilst your kids are under your feet, imploring you with limpid saucer eyes to ‘play’ rather than stuff them in front of the telly, this one’s for you.

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Try this: A Victoria Partridge signature facial

22 Jun 2016
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I’m a fan of the facial, which is lucky as I try out gazillions of them on Muddy. Some are a bit meh and don’t make it onto the blog, other treatments are definitely worth the trip out.

Either way though, the main thing I think with facials is to be realistic. Though I’d say I have a treatment once every three weeks, I haven’t noticed myself returning to the happy days when I could wink without the side of my face collapsing.

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Another champers? The Awards drinkies!

22 Jun 2016
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And so it came to pass that your faithful correspondent got absolutely splattered at the Muddy Awards drinks, watched by a stuffed hare with a gun and and 30 of the best businesses in Oxon & Bucks. As you do.

Getting ready on the day, my, er, incredible natural beauty meant that I needed hardly any assistance at all – just, you know, the four – FOUR! – make up holdalls that the lovely MUA Lauren Wheeler brought with her, below.

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Muddy Best Schools #2.2: Beachborough School, Nr Brackley

17 Jun 2016
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Beachborough was the second school I ever reviewed on the blog, back in the day.  I loved this rural prep school back then but a lot can happen in two years, so I revisited a few weeks back to give you more up-to-the-minute info. I know, I’m nice like that.

BEACHBOROUGH SCHOOL, WESTBURY, NR BRACKLEY

What? Where? Beachborough is a bucolic prep school at Westbury Manor, tickling the Northants, Bucks and Oxon borders, and perfectly positioned for those around Bicester, Buckingham, Banbury (or further if you don’t mind the drive).

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The Muddy Awards 2016 winners!

17 Jun 2016
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The Muddy Awards 16 are over and what a romp that was! Thank you so very much to all the many thousands of you who supported the brilliant indie businesses in the area, and thank you also to the Finalists, all of whom would have made worthy winners.

It’s been really interesting this year to see some new businesses popping up – Faringdon and Aylesbury are two areas that seem to have indie stirrings!

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Eat here: Caldesi in Campagna, Bray

15 Jun 2016
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I’ve been waiting to write about Caldesi in Campagna restaurant for the last week, but the weather has been so horrific that I decided to hold back. Now I’m looking at (sort of) blue skies so I’m taking my chance.

You’ll probably know the Caldesi name already – their elegant Italian restaurant in Bray is really well-regarded, they’ve brought out several books, plus Katie and Giancarlo have their own cookery schools in Gerrard’s Cross and Marylebone.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition