The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Berkshire Edition


Wouldn't you though?

Fortnum & Mason has totally cracked it this year with the Sensational Six Person Super Cracker – a sure fire way to make your dinner party go with a bang!

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Get your skates on!

23 Nov 2016
Historical Vassar Winter

© Vassar College/ Archives & Special Collections, Vassar College Libraries

Pop-up ice rinks are back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ like me, they’re great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party, and there are several in Berks and beyond. Check out my round-up of all the best ones and I’ll see you in A&E, I mean, on the ice.

Windsor on Ice, Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, 28 Nov – Jan 3

There are two rinks here.

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The John Lewis Christmas ad has landed!

10 Nov 2016

The countdown to Christmas is officially ON! Today’s release of the John Lewis advert (and several others last week including the super-stylish Burberry ad) means the Christmas train has officially left the station and woe betide you if you’re not on it by now!

Anyway, there are hundreds of Christmas adverts out there – some better than others – all designed to get us into the festive spirit, and part with some cash along the way, naturally.

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Tried & tested: Gilded Hair, Wokingham

7 Nov 2016

I’m full of admiration for this little pocket rocket of a hair salon tucked away in Wokingham’s delightfully quirky Holme Grange Craft Village. First off, Gilded Hair won Best Hair Salon in the recent Muddy Berkshire Awards. Secondly, there’s nothing around here quite like it. A little space of follicular perfection, set in a modest, cosy space – no glitzy high street slickness here – suggesting nothing of the brilliance that lies inside.

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Muddy best schools guide #3: Sunningdale School, Ascot

4 Nov 2016


What? Where? Sunningdale is an absolutely idyllic prep boarding school for boys from 7 – 13 hidden in 25 stonkingly lovely acres near leafy Ascot. It’s a tiny school of just 110 kids, nearly all of whom board, and it’s proudly non-selective. The main building is an attractive red brick Victorian villa and has the feel of a family home for the very good reason that it is!

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Gaynor Pengelly and Julia Thum: Our favourite places

1 Nov 2016

A love of the river led writing partnership Ginger Black to write their first novel Riverside Lane. The two friends – Gaynor Pengelly and Julia Thum – dreamed up the plot walking their dogs along the tow paths of the Thames Valley and the book is released today. A tautly paced page turner that gently satirizes English manners, Riverside Lane is set against the exquisite backdrop of an English Thames side village based on Bray where the two authors live.

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Eat here: The Milk Shed, nr Bicester Village

19 Oct 2016

You probably don’t need another excuse to break for the border and head to Bicester (Bicester Village for a bit of early Christmas present shopping anyone?!) but I’m feeling generous so I’ll give you one anyway.

I had a meeting at Bicester Village last week (by which I mean coffee with my friend Jude at Villandry) and we then zipped over to The Milk Shed at Weston-on-the-Green to meet another friend, Kirsty, for *cough* a meeting (ok, ok, lunch) as it’s only 10 mins from the Village.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Berkshire Edition