The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Food

NEW SERIES! Muddy’s speedy suppers for frazzled cooks

20 Mar 2017

Having one of those days when ‘make dinner’ is just one of 8 million things on your to-do list? Totally run out of ideas? Yup, us too. So with frazzled, time-poor cooks in mind, here’s the first recipe in our new series of speedy weekday suppers.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking our favourite cooks to inspire us with an nifty new dish. Because there’s only so much pasta and pesto a girl can eat.

First up wearing the Muddy (not literally, don’t worry) apron? Emma Collen from the brilliant The Jericho Kitchen Cookery School in Oxford…

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Holy crêpe! Bonjour to Pancake Day

28 Feb 2017

Bored of making stodgy old British pancakes, slathered in sugar, lemon or treacle (or if you’re my children, all three)? Try this cheeky little number for size then – an elegant crêpe with Juliette sauce, artfully created and demonstrated by the stupendously beautiful chef Camille of equally beautiful French restaurant The Swan at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire.

Not sure with all the booze that it’s really for children, but having tasted this recipe, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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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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Recipe: Poached salmon in rice wine and soy sauce with sprout stir fry

20 Nov 2016

This the lovely Pamela, one of a growing band of dedicated foodies I meet who has turned her passion into a business and is found a rather tidy niche. ChenMoore Chopsticks is all about demystifying oriental food (Pamela is from Taiwan originally, but cooks across the Far Eastern regions) and showing that it’s not all about chop sueys and sticky sweet and sour pork.

She’s based in Cheltenham, holding courses from her home but also getting out and about at events like the Didcot Food Festival (26 Nov) and demonstrating at the Waitrose Cookery Studio (Cheltenham, 5 Dec) and teaches everything from the total basics and how to make the perfect dimsum to one pot meals and bespoke courses, with them coming in around £85-95 for the day.

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9 brilliant local pop up supper clubs

15 Nov 2016

If you didn’t manage to get tickets for Native Feast’s pop up supper club return to LASSCO in December (*sob*) you’re not the only one. The tickets lasted a nano-second before selling out, indicative not only of chef Chris Godfrey’s Michelin-starre credentials but also our increasing collective appetite for trying something a bit different.

I’ve done a bit of digging around and lo! – turns out there are quite a few cool foodie nights coming up.

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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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Recipe: Crayfish salad

9 Aug 2016

I’m just back from my summer holibobs where I was totally shamed – shamed I tell you! – by my French friend Pauline who cooked with both eyes closed, an arm behind her back, two kids hanging off her apron (no, she wasn’t really wearing one, it’s artistic licence) and no cookbook to take the tiniest credit for her awesome gastronomic creations.

Well a big *thwuuuuup* raspberry to Pauline (in the nicest way, I do really love her) –  I for one am incapable of doing any cooking without a recipe-for-idiots to follow, so praise be to The Quince Tree at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, creators of this delicious crayfish and cous cous salad, who have kindly donated it to the Muddy cause.

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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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EAT HERE: the superb Swan restaurant (Tetsworth)

27 Apr 2016

When I first moved up this way from London in the early Noughties, I ate at The Swan in Tetsworth restaurant quite a bit. Then it went off the boil, closed altogether, opened up for lunches, couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be, to whom, when, and that was it, I went off it altogether.

Over the last year the whisperings have been getting louder that The Swan is on the up again, and my interest was re-piqued.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition