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THINGS TO DO. ARTS. EAT. TRAVEL. FASHION. BEAUTY. KIDS. HOME

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Well, hello!

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I'm Rachel, editor of Muddy Berkshire, here to bring you the quirky, cool and downright unmissable in the area.

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Gotta Have It

Bake-Off is back, baby (C4, 21 Sep at 8pm to be exact)! Get in the GBBO zone by throwing a few of these fab baking accessories in the mix for show-stopping cakes and bakes.

Gotta have it

The results are in! Meet your Muddy Awards 2021 winners

Muddy Awards logo

Thanks to everyone who took part this year, and helped celebrate the most awesome indie businesses across 25 counties.

View Our Winners

Eat

  • Bakeries we love in honour of GBBO

    Bakeries we love in honour of GBBO

    Bake Off is back on TV so time to drag out the food mixer. Can’t be bothered? No, quite right. Here are some brilliant bakeries instead.

    • 23 perfect pub late summer lounging

      23 perfect pub late summer lounging

      Summer ain’t over yet! Here’s to alfresco basking and plenty of booze. These are the best pub gardens in Berkshire from snazzy pods to our favourite local beer gardens. Cheers!

    • Muddy eats: Pán, Wokingham

      Muddy eats: Pán, Wokingham

      Fun, foodie and on fire! Or so we’ve heard. Pán in Wokingham serves Asian tapas – but would this stylish, under the radar restaurant spice up our life?

Culture

  • Feet up! What to watch on TV this week

    Feet up! What to watch on TV this week

    Don’t miss our weekly round-up of the best things on the box. Iconic panel show reboots, big-budget sci-fi, and a cheeky little baking competition… here’s what to watch this week.

    • New TV alert! 6 shiny things dropping this week

      New TV alert! 6 shiny things dropping this week

      We’re getting into prime autumn telly season, with three — count them, three! — hotly-awaited series returns this week. Read all about them (as well as the other shiny new releases) here…

    • 5 things you won’t want to miss on TV this week

      5 things you won’t want to miss on TV this week

      Channel 4’s making history, Colin Farrell stars in the BBC’s bleak new period drama, Anya Taylor-Joy comes of age in Ireland, and more. Muddy’s got the inside-line on unmissable telly this week.

Little Black Book

Want to support local? Our curated pick of the most creative, unique and brilliant businesses near you.

Travel

  • Italy, Mr Bond? 24 hours in Matera

    Italy, Mr Bond? 24 hours in Matera

    Make mine a martini, shaken not stirred while we tell you our insider tips on how to best experience the coolest city you’ve probably never heard of.

    • Muddy reviews: The Swan at Streatley

      Muddy reviews: The Swan at Streatley

      This boutique hotel in the village of Streatley, West Berkshire, with its slick styling and stunning riverside location is the ultimate weekend escape.

    • 65 paw-fect dog-friendly stays

      65 paw-fect dog-friendly stays

      Have pooch, will travel? Here are 65 stays across the Muddy counties that are all Fido-friendly from stunning stately homes to rural cottage staycations.

Home

  • Get set! 10 brilliant Baking buys

    Get set! 10 brilliant Baking buys

    Bake-Off is back, baby (Tue 21 Sep at 8pm to be exact)! Get in the GBBO zone by throwing a few of these fab baking accessories in the mix for show-stopping cakes and bakes.

    • 10 knockout farmhouses that are up for sale now

      10 knockout farmhouses that are up for sale now

      Fell in love with rural life on your staycay? Us too. Quick, before the market turns: check out these absolutely stunning farms to snap up across the Muddy counties (and beyond).

    • Is this the UK’s best interiors fair?

      Is this the UK’s best interiors fair?

      You decide! Mood boards at the ready, there are 180+ top dealers taking part in the Henley Decor Fair next month. Here are eight of our favourites to whet your appetite.

    • 10 super spa days in Berkshire

      10 super spa days in Berkshire

      A little pampering goes a long way especially as we head into the colder darker months. Here’s the best spa days in Berkshire. And relaaax.

    • The boutique fitness boom reaches Berks

      The boutique fitness boom reaches Berks

      Lost your fitness mojo? Slip into your Lycra, were off to try boutique gym The Movement Barn. No intimidating machines, just small, friendly classes who tolerate my wheezing.

Most Read

Life

  • Back in the office? We’re here to help!

    Back in the office? We’re here to help!

    Feeling unprepared to head back to the office after a year WFH? Muddy to the rescue with eight essential Do’s and Don’ts (and yes, you will have to change out of sweatpants).

    • The Abbey School, Reading

      The Abbey School, Reading

      One of the UK’s best girls’ day schools, The Abbey is producing globally-minded young women with a ‘can-do-anything’ attitude who consistently achieve top marks on results day.

    • How to supercharge your kids learning

      How to supercharge your kids learning

      Are there educational bumps in the road ahead? Why a roadmap of schools advice, academic support and mentoring could supercharge your child’s success.

    • Will the local love affair last? The word on the street
    • Will the local love affair last? The word on the street

Instamuddy

  • Pub beams held up by books and a stuffed squirrel… what could I possibly go wrong? 

My first visit to @thepheasant_highclere and it’s a cosier than a pair of sheepskin slippers. A proper country pub with a splash of eccentricity. Loved the food, service and taxidermy. 

#foodie #berkshire #newbury #westberkshire #countrypubs #pubsofinstagram #pubs #taxidermy #stuffedsquirrel #publife #gastropub
  • Ain't no party like a Muddy party… especially when you can win a @blooming_fabulous_flowers luxury igloo dining experience for your next bash. It comes fully styled – the tablescaping games is strong – all you have to do is win and whittle down the guest list to your favourite eight people. Hit the link in bio to enter. Ends 5 Oct. Igloo to be delivered to a #Berkshire address only. 

#win #competition #competitiontime #berkshire #igloohire #igloo #igloopod #outdoorliving #outdoorparty #outdoordining #partypod #windsor #wokingham #bracknell #newbury #readinguk #twyford #maidenhead #hungerford #ascot
  • Lost your #fitness mojo? Slip into your Lycra, because the new boutique #gym boom has reached Berkshire. I tootled down to @the_movementbarn in Englefield to see what all the fuss was about. 

Owned by @harry_halls_pt this is small friendly gym with three principles - Build, Breathe and Move. No intimidating machines, just a programme of classes designed to build strength, improve mobility and fitness levels. I’m just grateful my Breathe & Move buddies tolerated my wheezing. 

Hit the link in the bio to read the full review. Have a nose yourself at TMB’s Open Day tomorrow (18 Sep). There’s six free 30min classes, free coffee and smoothies and the chance to win a 12 class pass. It’s also next door to @cobbsfarmshops. Grab a sneaky cake, just don’t let Harry see. 

#berkshire #theale #rdguk #wellbeing #gym #gymmotivation #boutiquegym #englefield #fitness #kettlebellworkout #build #move #breathe #gymworkouts #openday
  • Looking for stylish nursery essentials? Yes, they do exist thanks to a gorge Berkshire based business. @thegilded_bird is on a mission to turn the functional into the fabulous. 

When I had my boys, the choice was shockingly bad - and that’s why Jeanie started her business. Having kids doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of style. Tell that to the nursing bra 😵. 

She has the most incredible range of changing mats and kids bedding made right here in the UK. Her collection includes five different changing mats, a splash mat, organic cotton baby and toddler bedding, with blankets, curtains and ‘next to me’ crib covers coming soon.  There are 24 unique designs to choose from, painted by a talented watercolour artist. The quality of the products is second to none.

If you’re having a baby, or know someone who is, this is the place to shop. Go check them out and give this brilliant biz a follow. You’ll find them in our Little Black Book of best businesses (link in bio). 

#smallbusiness #smallbiz #berkshire #berkshirebusiness #baby #berkshiremums #berkshiremummies #mumsofinstagram #nurserydecor #nurseryinspo #nurserydesign #nurseryessentials #babystyle #babyroomdecor #babyshop #babybedding #berkshire #nesting #babybuys
  • Possibly the best week for new TV ever. There are three - count them, THREE - hotly awaited series returns this week. Plus a film adaptation of a knockout West End show and more. If you need me, you’ll find me stretched out on the sofa with a box of Maltesers, glued to the small screen. 

The key date is 17 Sep when the utterly brilliant Sex Education returns for season 3 on @netflixuk . On the same night @jenniferaniston and @reesewitherspoon slug it out on camera in season 2 of The Morning Show. The claws will be out and you can expect Covid to be a storyline. It is the news after all. 

On the same day we see the release of @primevideouk Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. So whack on your false eyelashes and dust the mud off your stilettos for that one. 

People of the world spice up your life TONIGHT because @channel4 is spreading liberal amounts of zig-a-zig-ah courtesy of its new docu-series on the Spice Girls and the rise of Girl Power. 

For all of this week’s Muddy recommended top telly, hit the link in bio. 

#tvguide #whatsontv #tv #sexeducation #themorningshow #toptv #everbodystalkingaboutjamie #netflix #amazonprime #c4 #channel4 #newseries #film #recommended
  • 👑COMPETITION TIME 👑Raise your off duty fashion game ! Introducing super cool #Berkshire and Beds-based fashion brand @anotherepicday . If you haven't come across them, check out their awesome collection of tees, sweatshirts and bags. The best bit, you can #win £150 to spend on their entire collection, simply hit the link in the bio to enter. Competition ends 13 Sep. UK only.

#comp #competition #graphictees #queenofeverything #style #fashion #schoolrunstyle #tshirt #tshirtdesign #offdutystyle #casualstyle #coolgirl

Fashion

  • There’s a lion in the linen department…

    There’s a lion in the linen department…

    … and other bonkers tales from the history books of Camp Hopson – a department store celebrating 100 years and have pretty much seen it all.

    • A new leaf: your 10 autumn wardrobe essentials

      A new leaf: your 10 autumn wardrobe essentials

      Bright knits, checks, big handbags, even bigger boots. We’ve got your autumn/winter 2021 fashion fix sorted, including our picks from two fab local boutiques

    • All that glitters! Bonkers sequin tote bags

      All that glitters! Bonkers sequin tote bags

      Don’t know about you but our jogging bottoms/tatty jumper combo that has seen us through lockdown is now losing its appeal. Time to get some sparkle back in our lives. First step: this Anya Hindmarch bag.

    • Can Haringtons tame the Muddy mane?

      Can Haringtons tame the Muddy mane?

      Fly-away hair with lots of grey? Not just me then… The challenge for award-winning hairdresser and colourist Barry was to create a style that will still look good a week later

    • How to get that perfect sun-kissed glow

      How to get that perfect sun-kissed glow

      Forget pale and interesting… we’re channelling the St Tropez vibe, minus the orange tint. Here are some lotions and potions for a natural-looking tan without the UV damage

People

School Reviews

Our honest reviews of the UK’s best schools

Read the reviews

Weekend Escapes

Making plans? Find your perfect Pub, Inn, Hotel, Café, Restaurant or Bar across the Muddy counties.

Find your escape
Best Places to Live 2020

The insider’s guide to the Top 200 places to live outside London

View our picks
Muddy Stiletto Awards 2021

Be part of the UK’s most prestigious local lifestyle Awards in 2021

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For the ultimate Muddy experience, see what we're up to on social!

Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Reader Treats Just For You!