The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Oxfordshire

The Bull on Bell Street, Henley

31 Jan 2017

Is there anything more fun than an image overhaul? The Bull on Bell Street in Henley, above, has just had quite the facelift, and so who better than the wrinkle-free and fragrant Sarah Prior, ex Berkshire Muddy editor, Henley resident and all round oinking foodie to report on its shiny new look?

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The Maytime Inn

11 Dec 2016

This review is a bit of a departure for me because it includes some  of my (*cough*) highly professional vlogging. Tis true I’m no Scorcese, though I’ve improved slightly since my early car reviews when I managed to film upside down. No seriously, remember this?! Anyway, hopefully you’ll agree that my new vlog offers something immediate and helpful , so do take a look as it will give you a good flavour for The Maytime Inn, a stylish, quirky-round-the-edges Cotswold inn set in some glorious countryside in Asthall in the Windrush Valley, only six miles from Witney but somehow feeling very timeless and rural.

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Perfect family pizza pub in Cuxham

5 Dec 2016

Say hello to the Half Moon at Cuxham, a pizza specialising pub that’s so family friendly I’m tempted to ask the landlady to babysit. Vaska, originally from Macedonia, took over this rundown joint last year, and has clearly had a vision to create a welcoming, unpretentious, family-centric experience, and I have to say that she has totally nailed it.

It helps that there’s a steady stream of trampers going by her front door, thanks to Cuxham’s pretty brick and colour-washed timber-framed cottages and proximity to easy walks.

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Muddy eats: The Angel at Burford

30 Nov 2016

Burford is one of those gorgeous Cotswold towns where you can spend hours gawping at the beauty of every shop and house you pass. Historically and aesthetically it’s stunning, but the flipside is that, certainly on the high street, many of the eating options cater to the tourist trade. So let’s take you off that thoroughfare by a few minutes, pop you in the huge free carpark next to Burford’s beautiful church – an absolute corker as you can see….

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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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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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EAT HERE: The Chequers, Berrick Salome

5 Oct 2016

I reviewed this attractive flint and brick pub in the quiet rural village of Berrick Salome, near Watlington, about a year ago, when it just been bought by Mark and Sandra Duggan, ex Carluccio stalwarts who’d left to make a success of the small,  foodie The Three Tuns in Henley. At the time I enjoyed it, but it was early days for the reincarnation, particularly as The Chequers was still holding onto a less than stellar reputation from the previous owners, so it was fairly quiet when I visited and it had the vibe of potential rather than than polish.

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The Rickety Press reborn

31 Aug 2016

Last time I went into the Rickety Press in Oxford’s hip enclave of Jericho, it was a gastro-local pub with a Michelin Bib Gourmand to its name. It was good, but competition in the gastropub field is bonkers because everyone’s at it now aren’t they? Clearly the Rickety owners sensed a better opportunity offering a more limited menu delivered with greater aplomb because  lo! – they have become a pub specialising in superior burgers and pizzas.

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The best pizzas in North Oxfordshire?

12 Aug 2016

I’m writing this feature with a smile on my face because, truly, it was such a delight to find The Red Lion in the sleepy village of Steeple Aston (between Banbury and Bicester if you don’t know it). If you’re a regular Muddy reader, you’ll know already that the lifeblood of the blog is to find things in Bucks and Oxon that have something special that lifts them from the ordinary, and here’s a delicious nugget for you.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition