The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Restaurants

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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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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Fit for a queen

18 Jul 2016

Fancy something a bit different on the blogaroo today? No problem, may I offer you a stay in the Cotswolds castle where Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn spent 10 days of their honeymoon? Yes, seriously!

This gorgeous piece of stoneware is Thornbury Castle, a Tudor beauty built between 1512 – 1521 whose history includes the beheading of its owner Edward Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham on charges of treason.

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Found: *awesome* London girly lunch spot

15 Jul 2016

Whoo-hoo! Very super-duper-pooper excited to write about my new find because you’re going to love it. I went up to old Larn-din town last week to meet my lovely regional Muddy editors for lunch, but it’s pretty tough finding a venue to suit when one editor is coming from Norfolk, another from Sussex, and another again from Cornwall!

In the end I used my noddle and remembered that The Quince Tree (RIP Stonor, hello Henley!) also has a London cafe/restaurant in the beautiful Clifton Nurseries, in the lovely leafiness of Maida Vale.

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The Miller of Mansfield

5 Jul 2016

Even if you’ve never eaten at The Miller of Mansfield in the pretty riverside village of Goring, you may well have heard of it by now – this elegant 18th century country inn won Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Awards 2016, to add to the Waitrose Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year award it collected earlier this year.

I first reviewed the restaurant back in early 2015 when husband and wife team Mary and Nick Galer had recently taken over, having previously run the Fleur de Lys pub in Dorchester.

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All hail The Crown inn, Woodstock

25 Jun 2016

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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Eat here: Caldesi in Campagna, Bray

15 Jun 2016

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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Happy days at Portabello

2 Jun 2016

I’ve been spending a bit of time around Summertown recently as I’ve started contributing to an extra radio show, and the BBC Oxford studios happen to be on the corner of South Parade – happy days!  This is the street that holds a clutch of treasures, including Vanilla fashion boutique, The Oxford Wine Cafe, Sarah Wiseman Gallery (see the current exhibition with Athol Whitmore, below, it’s amazing)….


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Happy birthday Mamma Mia!

23 May 2016

When a restaurant has been around for 35 years, it has to be doing something right. Mamma Mia in Summertown is on one of my favourite little Oxford streets, South Parade, that also takes in the brilliant Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Vanilla fashion boutique and the Oxford Wine Cafe, not to mention one of my favourite Oxford theatres, The North Wall.

It’s one of two restaurants, the other more recent addition in 2000 being in Jericho.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition