The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Massage

Deep tissue issue? Say hi to David Lucas

21 Mar 2017

Firstly, what a cute puppy! And no, he’s not totally extraneous to the feature (*tut*).

But let’s start at the beginning.

My body has been falling apart for the best part of 20 years, and now that I sit down at a desk/at a restaurant/in a theatre/in the car for 12 hours a day I’m seizing up in places I didn’t even know existed.

From time to time I decide I’m going to battle the problem head-on –  I’ll start exercising regularly, stretch my body, get in shape and generally – PING!

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Try this: A Victoria Partridge signature facial

22 Jun 2016

I’m a fan of the facial, which is lucky as I try out gazillions of them on Muddy. Some are a bit meh and don’t make it onto the blog, other treatments are definitely worth the trip out.

Either way though, the main thing I think with facials is to be realistic. Though I’d say I have a treatment once every three weeks, I haven’t noticed myself returning to the happy days when I could wink without the side of my face collapsing.

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Been to the Lapstone Spa? Oh but you should!

5 May 2016

I know, it sounds like a planet on Blake’s 7, but nope, it’s a rather lovely Swiss-created skincare regime, based on the 5 elements of traditional Chinese medicine – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – and designed to restore and maintain the body’s holistic balance of nature.

I am, as you know, a cynic (though not an athiest) of beauty brands. I’m a likely to use Oil of Olay as Environ.

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Sanctuary Blue: Neal’s Yard in Thame, people!

26 Apr 2016

Interesting happenings in the market town of Thame – *collective gasp* ooooooooh!

Nothing as scandalous as a burgeoning husband-swapping scene (to my knowledge!) but some moves and changes on the high street. A well-received new cafe has opened, attached to deli What’s Cooking;  there are murmurings of a Bill’s or Jamie’s going into the now vacant Cargo; and The Thatch pub has just won a local award. Now Neal’s Yard has popped up in the town – not in retail on the high street but in the private beauty room Sanctuary Blue, a little oasis of calm for massages and facials that also happens to sell the products.

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Muddy tries: Faceology at Nude Feet

1 Dec 2015

Like anchovies, bungee jumping, Marmite and cruises, reflexology is a treatment that  has the power to divide. There are more people than you think who don’t like their feet being touched, but holy crap, what a shame, because reflexology is one of those treatments where, done properly, you can really feel the benefits zinging through your body.

If you’re one of these people who absolutely, totally can’t bear to than have someone finding the meridian lines along their big toes, I may have the solution for you.

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Muddy tries: a lomi lomi massage

23 Nov 2015

Isn’t it funny how we settle into routines? The pubs we visit (and the food we eat there), the type of clothes we wear, our beauty routines, even the friends we hang out with. It’s always a punt to shake up the routine with something new, and actually one of the big things I try to do on Muddy is give a proper steer on some alternatives to the safe but sometimes all-too-familiar norm.

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A holistic facial in Buckingham

5 Oct 2015

Do you like your beauty treatments in a salon or a home environment? High tech or a holistic? Frankly I’ll take my kicks every which way I can get them, but I am partial to a good home-based treatment. It very much depends on trust, and liking your therapist (I regularly go to Mai Lee beauty based her home in Postcombe). Once you’re over the potential awkwardness of being in someone else’s house, it is actually very relaxing, and often it’s a bit kinder on your pocket too.

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Mum and Muddy spa day – and a new offer on!

2 Oct 2015


My mother and I have reached the stage in life where we buy each other events rather than things. Spa days, hotel breaks, theatre trips, all united by long thin glasses of bubbly stuff.

We’d taken advantage of the deal at Stoke Park that I wrote about on the blog last month – a rather stupendous 2 treatments, plus two course lunch and use of all the facilities for £125 each.

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Muddy tries: the Guinot salon (Gerrard’s Cross)

28 Sep 2015

Now here’s a sight for sore (and wrinkly) eyes. This Guinot salon in Gerrard’s Cross is only the second stand-alone Guinot salon outside London (the first being the Guinot training academy in Ascot). Bow down and kiss the pavement peeps!

I am a bit of a sitter-on-the-fence about expensive beauty treatments – no matter how much science they throw at it, I don’t think anything will really work long term unless you drink lots of water, get enough sleep and eat well.

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Cannelle does it again

8 Sep 2015

Jasmine. It’s the latest super-beauty ingredient doncha know, so brand-new-and-spanky that Decleor only launched its Aurabsolu range of moisturiser, eye cream and refreshing mist last week.

As is so often the case, Cannelle Beauty in Henley (just down from the gorgeous St Mary the Virgin church and tower) has been quick off the mark to get their hands on the products and the tired, wrinkly, god-can-I-make-it-through-September Muddy visage is all the better for it.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition