The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Berkshire Edition

Category: EAT OUT

New series: Muddy’s speedy suppers for frazzled cooks

23 Mar 2017

Having one of those days when ‘make dinner’ is just one of 8 million things on your to-do list? Totally run out of ideas?  Yup, us too. So with frazzled, time-poor cooks in mind, here’s the first recipe in our new series of speedy weekday suppers.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking our favourite cooks to inspire us with an nifty new dish. Because there’s only so much pasta and pesto a girl can eat.

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7 stunning candles for Mother’s Day

23 Mar 2017

Being a highly fragrant bunch here at Muddy HQ, we’re obsessed with scented candles – and we think they make a brilliant Mother’s Day gift for this Sunday (you had remembered, right?) Here’s our edit of the Muddy favourites.

(Top, left) Loving by Bella Freud (£40) This tuberose, amber and sandalwood number has serious mantelpiece appeal thanks to its trademark Bella Freud slogan red glass jar. And Loving is very mum-appropriate, isn’t it?

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Polish your halo: Mother’s Day sorted!

19 Mar 2017

Ahhhhhh! Just one week to go until Mothering Sunday, and I’m screeching in (as usual) with arrangements for my own Mum (sorry Ma Muddy). Restaurants reservations can be a bit of challenge, but there’s always something you can do to make your mother feel a bit spesh on Sunday 26 March. Here are Muddy’s mega Mothering Sunday picks…

Family Sunday lunch – don’t worry, you don’t have to cook it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling of knowing you don’t have to cook a roast or tidy up.

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Muddy eats: Oxford Blue, Old Windsor

10 Mar 2017

I literally couldn’t contain my excitement when I finally made it to the Oxford Blue, Old Windsor. Why all the girlie hysteria? Having semi-stalked the pub on social media, after a two-year renovation, chef proprietor Steven Ellis finally flung open the doors to his fine dining pub-restaurant on the last day of 2016. Is that not enough?

You’re right. Let me make the introductions. Muddy readers meet Steven Ellis. He’s a top chef caked in stardust having worked at three-michelin-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Ian Pern’s Michelin starred Star Inn in North Yorkshire.

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Holy crêpe! It’s pancake wars

23 Feb 2017

Pancake Day’s fast approaching and there’s a battle royal brewing as big as Trump V the rest of the world. The French crêpe is getting some serious competition from the American stack. I’m no cook. I know, shocker. But I do try and flip a pancake from time to time (usually ending in me flipping out by 5.37pm). The result? A burnt, crumpled uncooked mess. The kids walk off hungry and bored by the time offer up a vaguely edible example onto their plate. 

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Muddy Eats: The Astor Grill, Cliveden

21 Feb 2017

While I was testing my waistband to the limit during my fine dining experience at the André Garrett restaurant, Cliveden House & Spa, my Muddy mucker Hero Brown was rolling around the old stables sampling the food and *ahem* fizz at the Astor Grill.

I’ve been a naughty blogger. I went on a lovely family walk around Cliveden a month or so ago that is really worth you knowing about, but *sob* haven’t yet posted it.

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Muddy eats: André Garrett at Cliveden

20 Feb 2017

There ‘s something about eating at a fancy schmancy restaurant that gives me the jitters. I get all Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (without the prostitution, obviously) – you want to dress the part, know what cutlery to use, have some idea what your ordering and feel like you don’t give off any ‘too poor to belong here’ vibes.

As I head down the gravel drive of Cliveden House Hotel & Spa in Taplow the panic sets in.

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Eat here: Berkshire’s best gastropubs revealed

18 Feb 2017

The Top 50 Gastropub Awards recently took place – celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of the great British pub that serves awesome grub. Organised by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser and voted for by industry insiders this is the shortlist that really matters in the gastropub world. Berkshire has four fantastic pubs in the Top 50 – The Beehive, White Waltham;  The Crown, Burchetts Green, The Royal Oak Paley Street; and The Pot Kiln, Frilsham. 

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9 cool things to do this week – 15-22 Feb

15 Feb 2017

Yippee! We’re over the hump of half term, so treat yourself to some time out – Muddy style. We’ve got theatrical trampolining and opera to a world-class exhibition in a greasy spoon and Michelin BBQ. Whatever floats your boat, the fun starts here.

Fisheye by Daniel Jamieson, South Street Arts Reading, Tues 21 Feb

Neighbourhood Watch stalwart Pam becomes a one-woman MI6 after someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard, so she ramps up her operation from curtain twitching to hiding cameras in hand-knitted novelties and discovers that everyone around her is a thief, pervert or a terrorist.

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Muddy eats: The Golden Ball Pinkneys Green

30 Jan 2017

Tis true that here on Muddy we go a little weak at the knees for a good gastropub in a pretty village surrounded by cracking walks. So when I stumbled across The Golden Ball in Pinkneys Green, an old 16th Century inn, I did it a little dance.

The village itself is a hidden gem. Situated near Maidenhead and Cookham, it is said to have been the old stomping ground of Dick Turpin and his band of dandy highwayman who would hide in the the wooded Maidenhead thicket preying on wealthy travellers.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Berkshire Edition