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Design/Architecture

  • Fit for a queen

    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 […]

  • The light fantastic

    If you’re looking for something brilliant and thought-provoking to do this weekend, this has to be a real contender. Winter Light, the new light installations by Bruce Munro were unveiled just days ago, the third installment in his artistic residency at Waddesdon Manor. If you read Muddy regularly (and, if not, ahem, why not?!) you’ll […]

  • DAY OUT: Claydon House (mid Bucks)

    There’s no shortage of gorgeous estates out in Bucks & Oxon, but I have to admit I’m rather fond of Claydon House in mid Bucks. It doesn’t have the big adventure playground of Waddesdon and Cliveden, and no-one can accuse the cafe of being trendy unless you find orange pine sexy. But the house is […]

  • A random guide to West Wales

    Much as I appreciate the rugged beauty of Scotland and the romance of Ireland, in my humble opinion they don’t touch West Wales for the magical combination of pristine white beaches, beautiful castles and quirkily charming towns (cue angry comments – come on, let’s be having you!). Last week I returned from a fantastic short break here, and […]

  • Day tripper: Four go to Warwick Castle

    Ooh yes indeedy, I love castles and am always on the look out for a new one to visit. So when I found out (via the Muddy Guide in fact!) that Warwick Castle had a special Lego event on this month it sounded like heaven. My Lego-nut children would need no persuasion to leave the ipad […]

  • Reasons to go to Waddesdon Manor in August

    It being my closest National Trust property, I’m often up at Waddesdon and popped up again yesterday with the little Muddys and their cousin. This post is largely photos, because the Manor was looking so gorgeous I thought it might inspire you to go up yourself if you haven’t already tried it this summer.   […]

  • Children’s Tour of Waddesdon Manor

    I had a brilliant time this morning at Waddesdon taking my 4 & 5 year olds on the Children’s Tour of the Manor. I totally recommend it. It’s only 45 minutes long so even small children can cope with it, and a lot of thought has obviously gone into how to best captivate little people. […]

  • How to throw a brilliant dinner party

    Ever wondered how you could add a little excitement to your dinner parties? It’s too easy to do the same thing every time. I’m the worst offender for this. I start out with big ideas, and then through the week they shrivel along with my energy levels, cooking ability and bank balance. But I’m not one to […]

  • Wouldn’t you though?

    It's time to wean your kids off Star Wars Lego and onto something that will help them with their dinner party anecdotes.

  • X-Factor Furniture

    Had a great afternoon yesterday at Out of the Dark, a High Wycombe-based charity that helps young people learn a trade, find some self-respect and recycle some damn good furniture while they’re at it. They sell lots of their stuff at the trendy London design fairs as much of their stuff is mid-century, but they […]

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon