The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Buckinghamshire

Early birds! Get your Mothering Sunday sorted

8 Mar 2017

Everywhere gets so darn booked up for Mothering Sunday – as you’ll know, if you’ve ever spent the week before desperately trying to nab a restaurant reservation only to find it’s Burger King or bust. So in the interests of being super-organized, we’ve decided to get in there early this year with our guide to what to do with your mother – or your children – on Sunday 26 March (I can think of a few suggestions that aren’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but let’s leave that there).

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Whoopeeeeee to 2017!

31 Dec 2016

Whoo-hoo! (*ouch, my head*)

So we’re into 2017, and a huge muddy hug for you to celelebrate. I absolutely love New Year. For me it’s an incredibly positive, optimistic moment, when I haven’t yet cocked anything up, and opportunities can be anything that I imagine – namely a commission to interview Rufus Sewell on a yacht in the Bahamas.

Anyway, I’m not going to blather on about resolutions this year, because you either do them or you don’t, and if you’re like me they’re pretty much the same every year, so, you know, best of luck to you either way.

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Muddy eats: The Russell Arms, Butler’s Cross

5 Dec 2016

I’ve wanted to re-review The Russell Arms in Butler’s Cross ever since it moved last year into the very safe hands of James Pennington. James also runs The Bell in Stoke Mandeville and knows how to hit the sweet spot between relaxed local and quality gastro.

The pub is in a very sweet position for a weekend walk/Sunday lunch as incredibly close to Ellesborough golf course, Coombe Hill and the Chequers estate, but it’s also ideal for meals with mates or even a more romantic outing with the other half.

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Muddy Herts eats: The Bell, Stoke Mandeville

23 Nov 2016

It’s been ages since I reviewed The Bell in Stoke Mandeville but it’s been on my mind recently as I drive past it on the way to my daughter’s swimming lessons twice a week and it twinkles at me with its candlight and cosy fires, whispering ‘Come in! Who cares about dolphin kicks anyway?’

Pippa in Muddy Herts has clearly had the same idea as she’s just gone and reviewed it!

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Top 12 cosy pubs for chilly days

7 Nov 2016

Snow’s coming, you say? Are you kidding me?! We’ve had a brilliant run of mild weather, but winter’s definitely getting ready to hit where it hurts.

Nothing for it, then, but to dig out the ski socks, slip a sneaky hipflask into your pocket, and choose one of these supercosy pubs (with great food of course) to take refuge in. My Top 12 cosy pubs is selected partly on area, to make sure that those of you who live up near Banbury and Buckingham are catered for as much as those in Wallingford and Gerrard’s Cross, and it’s a starter list really because I could have gone on and on! See how these ones fit for size and if you feel that I’ve made a horrific error in omitting your totally awesome local pop a comment on the bottom and I’ll go and review it pronto for you.

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Muddy eats: The Mash Inn, nr Radnage

26 Oct 2016

Tis true that Muddy Stilettos has a terrible weakness for a cool new foodie venue. The team from The Mash Inn had barely stepped across the threshold of the former Three Horse Shoes in the rural hamlet Bennett’s End (just outside Radnage, mid Bucks) before I was peering through the window, and apart from a rogue Daily Telegraph hack who sneaked in to review it a few weeks ago *humph*, yours truly is the first national journo/blogger to taste its charms.

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Local Bib Gourmands foodie winners 2017

6 Oct 2016

It’s a gourmet-fest on Muddy this week, with the local Michelin-starred eateries listed the other day and now, for those of us who are *yawn* a bit tired of eating four times a week at Le Manoir, the 2017 Bib Gourmand winners in Bucks, Oxon and beyond.

Oxfordshire trounced Bucks in the Michelin constellations this year, but it’s a bit of role reversal with the Bib Gourmands, the Michelin classification that rewards excellent cuisine at more affordable prices.

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Eat here: The Michelin star winners in Oxon & Bucks

5 Oct 2016

Not too many surprises in this year’s Michelin food lists but in case you’ve missed them, here’s a quick round up of where the stars are falling in Oxon, Bucks and beyond for 2017. Those Berkshire chefs over the border are cooking up the biggest storm, with Oxfordshire brandishing the frying pan behind them. I’ve put links on the ones I’ve previously reviewed to give you a steer, and I’ll be making my way down the list over the months to come.

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The Three Oaks, Gerrard’s Cross

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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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition