You had me at ‘Georgian front door’. Vanbrugh House Hotel won the Muddy Stilettos Award 2016 for best boutique hotel and having stayed the night it’s easy to see why. This honey-stoned beauty, bang in central Oxford, offers something a bit different. Firstly, there’s no restaurant for dinner and no bar, and I loved that, because it feels very modern – why have one of those fusty hotel eateries when you’re on St Michael’s St with all the city delights within a 2 minute walk?Read more
Category: Short Breaks – UK
It’s proving very useful having lots of regional Muddies, as occasionally I’m reminded that there is actually life outside of Buck & Oxon! Debbie, who does a brilliant job of editing Muddy Sussex, recently went up the brand new i360 tower in Brighton. If you’re planning a trip that way, check out her blog. In the meantime, here’s her review of the i360, for those of you who have a head for heights.Read more
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.Read more
I’m a dedicated Glastonbury lover from the *ahem* comfort of my sofa – I had an awesome front row of Chris Martin for starters, and let me tell you, the toilet facilities are way better. But whether you’re a namby-pamby glamper like me or a hardcore roll-in-mud and wet-wipes-at-dawn music-fan, here’s the Muddy Guide to the best festivals due to amp-it-up in Bucks, Oxon and beyond over the next few months.Read more
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.Read more
I’m starting to do more travel on Muddy, figuring that though you love Oxon and Bucks you like to escape sometimes too (quick, dig the tunnels). I mentioned Perfect Stays a few days ago, a luxury self-catering company in Cornwall and Devon that looks *awesome* and is on my radar to try out over the summer, but if you’re into shorter traveling times and have your sights set on Dorset, I reckon Deans Court in Wimborne (above) will tick your boxes too.Read more
Sometimes I come across stuff that’s so cool that I get a bit overexcited. Pour myself a large glass of wine, refill for politeness’ sake (look, it’s a ‘me’-date), scoff some crisps, refill, stare out of the window for a while in soporific happiness…
… and then shout something like OMG CHECK THIS OUT!!! from the top of my fingertips (this being the computer and all).Read more
It’s been a while since I’ve written a feature for a glossy – I’m full-time Muddying these days – so it was a throw-back thrill to write a more magaziney piece for Stoke Park magazine.
Here’s the feature if you fancy reading it – a family stay at the hotel. Not something you’re going to be doing every weekend, it’s a five star gaff and is costed accordingly – but it’s a brilliant option for a special occasion.Read more
Whoo-hoo! I’m so excited to tell you about this because I know Cornwell Manor – I had a sneaky peaky around it last year (friend of a friend stuff) – and I’m not kidding, it’s one of the loveliest manor houses in the Cotswolds. It’s a total stonker.
Cornwell Manor is close to Chipping Norton in stunning rolling countryside, a 2000 acre estate with a Jacobean manor house (updated with a Georgian facade in the 18th century), a petite Norman church, lakes, wood, streams and gardens designed by Clough Williams-Ellis who created the brilliant Italianate gardens at Portmeirion in North Wales.Read more
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
Bucks & Oxon Edition