Very excited to tell you about The Dog & Badger pub in Medmenham, between Marlow and Henley. As you know if you read Muddy regularly, I’m forever on the trail of funky places that do things a little bit differently, and this pub has its cool credentails up in lights.
It opened at the end of July last year as a free house, with a massive, expensive refurb of a 13th century inn that’s created a stonking bar (just look at the wood finish on that baby!), a very good restaurant, a private dining area upstairs and from next month, 6 ensuite bedrooms housed in a separate Grade II listed former Ale House.
Last week I was asked by a reader where I’d suggest she went out for a buzzy night in Oxford with girlfriends. That was a no brainer for me as I’ve only just gone and done the same thing myself – cocktails at TVC roof terrace on Oxford High Street (Carfax end) followed by dinner at Gee’s restaurant about 5 minutes drive up the Banbury Road.
Just a quickie because Jeremy Kyle is about to come on telly (I’m not kidding). I did about twenty things in one day in Oxford a few weeks back and totally forgot to put this on the blog, which is a bit stupid as it was actually the highlight of the day!
I’d tweeted a few pics out to see if anyone could guess where I was (Jennifer Lamboll, you clever clogs), and it is of course TVC on the High St in Oxford, home to the furriest bottom warming seats (there are heaters in there there woollies) and the best cappuccino views of the city by a long shot.
Part 2 of my post about Mr Muddy’s thoughtfulness. But don’t worry, no need to feel queasy – I’m not going to tell you about the spark plugs and marabou mankini just now. No, no, I’m actually going to tell you some cool places to go…
As you may already know from my previous post, Mr Muddy had quite a turn on Valentine’s Day. Usually I can rely on him to buy me a tacky card from the local corner store or – worse still – hijack unused Christmas cards that the kids made at school.
Why have one Christmas work lunch when you can have two?! I admit I’d only popped into The Quince Tree in Stonor last week for drinkies because I’d had designs on its new wine bar (above) but then I was led astray by some amazing moules frites.
Eating at the wine bar – which only has seating for around 8 – was actually a lovely change to the formality of normal seating.
I went to see the English National Ballet dance Coppelia at the New Theatre, Oxford on Tuesday night with my mum, and just loved it. I’m no ballet expert – I was the original elephant who flunked out after Grade 1 – but I love the combination of music, costume, dance and theatre.
For this performance there was a full orchestra which makes a massive difference to me because I love peering into the orchestral pit, and it was made even better by the strange fluke I knew one of the violinists (hello Daniel!).
You kind of forget when you see chefs on telly that they actually still exist and cook in real places. Local to us, Tom Kerridge is in the kitchens at The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Raymond Blanc is very present at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Heston still does some time between Waitrose collaborations at The Fat Duck in Bray, and Anthony Worrall Thompson has his chef whites on most days at The Greyhound (above), a lovely pub in Rotherfield Peppard (above), near Henley, where I went last week.
Surely not another sunny day? I’m going to be reaching for my Borat swimsuit soon at this rate. In the meantime (was that a collective sigh of relief I heard there?), I have these divine cocktails to tempt you with, courtesy of current Muddy teacher’s pet The Varsity Club in Oxford and their stupendous roof terrace. Don’t believer me? Check this out!
The Varsity Club has created these cocktails purely for our delectation – because we’re soooo worth it!
I ran out of time to review The Varsity Club properly last week, so I put it in the Muddy Guide as a holding strategy, but with the weather so balmy I want to tell you about it asap so you can make the most of the brand new spanking roof terrace that only opened last Thursday.
These are the views though I have to say my camera doesn’t do it justice at all, as you can see panoramic views everywhere, with Magdalen Tower and the hills behind in the distance, a bit of Christchurch to the right, Wadham’s jagged spires to the left and bang in front of you, my favourite building of all, The Radcliffe Camera (the lovely round domed building you can see in the far right of the photo above).
I’m nothing if not your servant to pleasure. Why have one competition in February when you can have two?
You can still win a £1000 luxury stay at Danesfield House until the end of the month (enter here, tis easy), but just to jig things up a bit, here’s another gorgeous prize for your delectation.
Clayton’s Marlow is a fab bar in central Marlow that has the happy knack of getting cool DJs up this way to play in their Secret Bookshelf (it turns into a natty DJ booth – ask them to show you!) – recent visitors include Jazzie B and Craig Charles.