The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: spa

A beauty first with BIOEFFECT at Hartwell House Spa

17 Mar 2017

I’m as keen on a facial as the next wrinkly middle-aged woman (no botox ever having perked up the Muddy visage). Even keener when it’s a new brand. And now I’m adding mustard (metaphorically, becuase that’s how keen I am) because rather than trudging into London or off to the sticks to try it, it can be found mere miles from Muddy HQ at Hartwell House Spa, near Aylesbury.

I’ve written about Hartwell House in the past, the gorgeous National Trust heritage hotel where I held an extraordinarily boozy 40th birthday (btw, the Octagon Room is one of the most stunnning private spaces you’ll ever come across for a dinner if you’re on the search).

Read more

*Fab* new beauty spa just launched!

14 Sep 2016

I’m really excited to write about Red House Spa because I know you’re going to love it. This brand spinky spanky new beauty spa soft launched over the summer  and oh-my-G, it’s really impressive – I’ve been to enough beauty salons and read enough Orwell to know that, some beauty salons really are more equal than others.

Red House Spa has something unheard of in most regional beauty salons and that is a very cool style aesthetic.

Read more

Feel the Lapstone love

24 Mar 2016

Last year while I was on my way to review the Chef’s Dozen restaurant in Chipping Camden (such a fab place – here’s my review if you missed it first time around) I spotted a lovely old Cotswold stone building down a long path off the road, and promised myself I’d detour to it the next time I was in the area.

That time was last week, when I was over in Stow-on-the-Wold, and I’m mighty pleased I made the effort because the 18th century converted building I spied happens to be Lapstone, a lovely lifestyle store that offers one of the most relaxing shopping experiences I’ve had in a long while.

Read more

Win a luxury £1000 Spa Escape!

9 Mar 2016

In I float, a vision of loveliness, wearing my flounciest, bouffiest sparkly fairy dress, waving my magic wand – brrrrrrriiing! –  giving you the chance to win the kind of prize I’d sell Prince Charming for.

Stoke Park is the hotel where Bridget Jones romped on the four poster with Daniel Carver (and where I later snored my way through  in replica big pants); where Daniel Craig acted his ears off in Layercake; where James Bond played golf in Goldfinger.

Read more

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.

Read more

ALERT!! Stoke Park spa mega-deal

13 Jul 2015

Just a quickie. Word has reached my shell-like about a spa deal at Stoke Park hotel that I think you’ll want to know about.

I think a decent spa is worth a trip to, so even if you’re not around the corner from Stoke Poges (think Beaconsfield way) I’d definitely suggest making the effort to go to the five star spa at Stoke Park. Vanity Fair voted it in the Top Four spas to visit in the world (!) and this year Harper’s Bazaar voted it in the Top 8 Spa Hotels in the UK so it’s no slouch.

Read more

Stoke Park – the best spa in Buckinghamshire?

7 Nov 2014

While I was being Bridget Jones at Stoke Park hotel the other week (at least Bridget Jones before she went and changed her face forever – Renee, what have you done?!), I spent several deliriously happy hours in the Stoke Park spa.

There was just too much to write about Stoke Park generally to do the spa justice in my last post, so this missive is really to let spa-lovers have a sneaky peek into what’s on offer, because let me tell you, it’s gorrrrrrgeous.

Read more

New hotel crush: Stoke Park (Bucks)

20 Oct 2014

It’s not often I’m left short of words, but even my Muddy mouth was silenced by Stoke Park on the weekend. Because let me tell you, it’s flippin’ amazing. A red five star hotel (that means it’s five stars but with extra twinkles) with one of the best spas in the country, and a three rosette restaurant. Even better, it’s close with a leafy home in Stoke Poges only 10 minutes from Beaconsfield, 30 minutes from Oxford and an hour or so from West/North Oxon.

Read more

Fancy trying the new VIP spa at Danesfield House?

28 Sep 2014

It was with a heavy heart and extreme reluctance that I agreed to test out Danesfield House’s new VIP treatment room. I mean, *sigh*, what a drag!

‘Tis no secret that I heart Danesfield, and I’ve been for plenty of spa days there over the years, but the VIP room is aimed at couples or best friends who want to have their own private space for simultaneous treatments, plus their own sauna, steam room and sofa on which to quaff champers.

Read more
The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition