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#InLoveWithLocal the LATEST!

Who's open for business in Bucks & Oxon and how can you help to keep your local indies alive? Well, you can start here with my weekly business round up.

In this brave new world, where ‘furloughing’ has stormed into the English language, cupboard cooking is all the rage (which is great, as I have lentils in from 2004 to eat up), and your trusty correspondent is grounded from unearthing the fun stuff until further notice, what to do?

For me, in my line of work, it’s a no-brainer – shout it out. My passion is finding, encouraging and telling you about awesome indie businesses so. I’m trying to do my bit to help them survive this nightmare. But to do this I really need your help, so please keep telling me about any businesses you love that are still operating in some way, shape and form, and need some publicity.

Every Tuesday I will be publishing an #inlovewithlocal news roundup for these innovative, plucky local businesses, and this will also go out on social and in a Muddy video bulletin (coming this week, I’m just working on finding the nerve!). Please please share these feature and social posts, and let’s get word out as far and wide as possible. There are more than 30,000 readers every month on Muddy Bucks/Oxon – if you share this post with just three people that means we’re getting the message out to nearly 120,000. Not bad right?!

OK here goes for this week’s Latest #InLoveWithLocal.

The Story Museum in central Oxford, which was due to open in April after a massive refurb, has instead launched an innovative #ISpyYouFind challenge on twitter, Facebook and Instagram – showcasing some of its treasures and seeing if people can guess what they are/their story connection. The clue is out today (Monday) and the answer will be revealed on Wednesday. Get your kids to join in and show your support for this important regional museum.

Marlow Face and Beauty is a super-stylish, innovative beauty studio. Review to come (when you can visit!) but I’d recommend it now for its free video consultations. Owner Elizabeth tries everything out on herself which is always a good sign. She looks amazing, which is an even better one!

Nellie & Dove, the gorgeous women’s and mens fashion boutique in Deddington, North Oxfordshire (see my review when the shop opened), is now offering virtual personal clothes-rail tours (email, free deliver over £50 and also 25% new season clothes. Enter SURVIVE25 to claim the discount.

The much-loved Chipping Norton Theatre has lost 75% of its income gone overnight without performances so it’s started a Head Above Water campaign where you can donate to keep this regional gem going.

Prepare to bend! Wallingford’s Gravity & Grace studio have taken their Yoga & Wellbeing Studio online. There’s a £1 per month option for all NHS key workers – spread the word! – and a reasonable £15 per month for mere mortals for three classes a week (minimum) including Breathwork and Meditation, Children’s Yoga, Family Yoga, Pilates and Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative and Yin yoga, plus barre sessions and desk exercises.

Watlington, South Oxfordshire, is doing a great job of looking after the local community. A grateful Muddy reader has thanked The Undercroft fruit n veg, the ‘Fish lady’ (sorry fish lady, I’m sure that’s not your real name!), Calnan Brothers Butchers, The Granary, Orange Bakery and Britwell Salome Farm shop – all doing home deliveries to the isolated and by all accounts going well above and beyond.

In Great Missenden, the Peterley Manor Farm shop is open as usual (not Sundays), and has also set up an online shop with click and collect. The lovely Wild Strawberry Cafe yurt has been hit hard, but is offering “Pick Up Picnics”, Afternoon Teas and other packages via the online store.

Milton Keynes Community Foundation has launched an appeal in partnership with Milton Keynes Council to generate funds to support local community groups in Milton Keynes who are most affected and vulnerable at this time. Find out more about the appeal here.

The White Hart at Nettlebed has set up an online shop where you can order groceries or their meal of the day – they’ll also deliver to those in isolation and have a contact-free collection service each evening. Landlord Ted, I’m told you are amazing!

Zero waste shop Seed1 in Marlow has just re-opened its doors at 10 Liston Court – the new must-haves of toilet paper and dried foods (didn’t thought I’d ever write that sentence!) all here and all profits provide accommodation and support for the homeless in Bucks and surrounding area.

One of my favourite treasure-trove interiors stores, Life@Nettlebed in South Oxfordshire is offering a Farrow & Ball paint service with a contact-free pick up point and delivery service to the vulnerable, plus telephone design advice and mood boards via Pintrest. Call Sue on 07771 826331 or contact via social.

Local hero shout out goes to… Masons Stores and Windmill Pharmacy in Pitstone, both ‘selflessly providing essential services to our community’ according to a grateful Muddy reader.

Former Muddy Award-winning deli No2 Pound St in Wendover, South Bucks, is now offering Home Delivery service – cheese and wine coming at yer! Order before midday for next working day delivery.

Pre-loved designer dress Agency Vintage & Vogue works out of a lovely barn in Jordans, near Beaconsfield. With the barn closed, they’re selling stock through daily Instagram and Facebook posts and are offering free P&P for e sartorially deprived.


Bravo to Oxfordshire-based College & County ethical estate agents who are liaising with landlords to let out their properties for free for NHS staff, and are also trying to help with home deliveries.

Chipping Norton Physio is offering free online pilates classes, via YouTube, with many suitable for beginners and older people. They’re also treating patients remotely using phone or video conference for those who don’t want to bother their GPs at this critical time.

House of Wellbeing is a site full of targeted meditations (confidence, nail biting, fear of flying etc) and owner Sophie has created a free meditation on Anxiety around Covid-19 to help people. There’s no catch, it’s completely free, all you have to do is enter the code HouseofWellbeing at check out and then download it.  

Please share this feature – just forward using the top left icons next to the headline, and use the comment box to thank the businesses you love, or tell me the latest where you are. #inlovewithlocal #KOCorona

Find more ideas here

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7 comments on “#InLoveWithLocal the LATEST!”

  • Zoe April 8, 2020

    Hi Ladies,

    Just wanted to say you are doing a fab job!
    Love the content as per usual and all your hardworking. I have always enjoyed getting your newsletter and now the extra burst of positivity and inspiration is all the more welcome.

    Zoe Xx

    • muddystiletto April 13, 2020

      Hi Zoe

      Thank you! Just keeping on keeping on! X

  • Marie April 8, 2020

    Fantastic article – thank you for sharing muddy Stiletto team! Bringing smiles to peoples faces during this time of crisis, as well as spreading good words about the local businesses. Bravo to you!

    • muddystiletto April 13, 2020

      Thank you so much, really kind of you to comment x

  • Michelle Laxton April 9, 2020

    Fabulous article, thank you for keeping us informed and up to date love your hashtag too.

  • Abigail Langan April 9, 2020

    Love this article the FUll Moon in Cholesbury which you recently reviewed is keeping the village afloat with take home meals as well as take home beer and wine and firsh and chip suppers every Thursday. They even deliver to those who can’t pick up and offer fresh bread pasties adn cakes during the day to take home!

  • edinchief April 13, 2020

    Thanks for letting me know Abigail x


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