The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Surrey Edition


Wouldn't you though?

Design crush! Check out Tom Raffield's sexy urban lighting and furniture made using the traditional craft of steam-bending wood.

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Muddy books: ‘The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop’, by Clare Balding

26 Sep 2016

Children’s novels written by celebrities are nothing new. Darcey Bussell and ballet, Madonna’s morality tales, David Walliams’ bonkers stories about gangsta grannies and billionaire boys, even Paul McCartney has written for kids. And now it’s Clare Balding.

Clare’s new novel, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, was released last week, and for horse-mad children, it’s a wonderful story. My nine-year-old mudette, is nuts about horses. So this weekend was spent curled up with this book.

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Muddy best schools guide #2 – Cumnor House School for Boys, South Croydon

26 Sep 2016

What? Where? Cumnor House Boys’ School is an independent prep school for boys aged 2-13 in South Croydon. There is also a Cumnor House Girls’ School (see my review on that next week), and two nurseries on separate sites – one on the same road as the main school site in South Croydon, the other just down from the girls’ school in Purley. Both nurseries are co-ed.

The main school is divided into the Pre-Prep (for boys in Reception to Year 2), the Lower School (for Years 3-5) and the Upper School (Years 6-8). 

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Muddy reviews: Good Canary, Rose Theatre, Kingston

23 Sep 2016
Good Canary by Zach Helm at The Rose Theatre Kingston 


Director: John Malkovich
Designer: Pierre-Francois Limbosch
Lighting Designer: Malcolm Rippeth
Sound Designer: Jon Nicholls


Ilan Goodman
Harry Lloyd
Freya Mavor
Sally Rogers
Steve John Shepherd
Michael Simkins
Simon Wilson

I didn’t know much, anything about the story of Good Canary before I went along to the Rose Theatre in Kingston last night. Except that it was directed by the Hollywood legend John Malkovich.

And before I say anything at all about the play, I gotta tell you that last night for a few hours I was in the same room John Malkovich. OMG! The actual John Malkovich.

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Muddy gets fit and *ahem* fabulous

22 Sep 2016

Ok, so I’m not really one for gyms. I like exercise – I run fairly regularly and do yoga – but gyms and me don’t seem to get along. It’s a combination of things that puts me off: the posy posers, all that complicated equipment, the noise, the sweat, the testosterone, the monotony.

But a personal trainer? That’s a different matter. I’ve got friends who would walk over hot coals for their personal trainers.

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Muddy best schools guide #1 – Downsend School, Leatherhead

20 Sep 2016

What? Where? Downsend School is a selective independent prep school in Leatherhead for boys and girls aged 2-13. The main school – for years 2 to 8 – is on the Leatherhead Road. There are three pre-prep schools on three different sites – one just down the road from the main school in Leatherhead, the second in Ashtead and the third in Epsom.

The main school is divided into the Lower and Upper Schools, which are in separate buildings but connected. 

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Six hot holiday destinations to book now

19 Sep 2016

With kids now back at school, suntans fading and nights drawing in, we need something to look forward to. Fear not mudsters! Hero over at Muddy Bucks & Oxon is on the case, seeking out your next holiday hotspot. Whether you like to drop and flop or prefer something a bit more active, there are some great ideas here…

I made the mistake of going on my summer holidays at the end of July – I felt very smug at the time, but have now had a month of working with everyone else sunning around (grrrrrr) and am in dire need of something to look forward to.

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Muddy eats: The Green Rooms of Godstone

19 Sep 2016

I met a friend for a farewell brunch recently before she upped sticks and moved to the Dorset coast. The lucky thing timed that pretty well, didn’t she? It’s been all ice-cream and sandcastles at the beach since she got there – with possibly a little unpacking as well. Her life is now like one big holiday.

I’m not jealous. Not much! But I’m not here to flicker my green eyes at you.

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Hottie watch – the Muddy top five men!

14 Sep 2016

I so enjoyed this fun post by Muddy founder and editor at Muddy Bucks/Oxon – the wonderfully witty Hero Brown –  that I just had to share it. Our autumn weather has me sizzling, and now the autumn telly does too. I love it! Over to you Hero…

How can women maintain the high ground in their complaints about the many instances of male sexism? Well they can stop me lowering the tone for starters.

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Wonder boys: the Oasis film trailer

13 Sep 2016
OASIS Wonderwall video 1995

Remember the Nineties? Go on, send your mind wayyy back to the time when Oasis were heralded as the new Beatles, Britpop was rampant, and Union Jacks were flying around with a refreshing and rare lack of national irony.

On 2 October a documentary film, Supersonic, about the rise and fall of Oasis, hits cinemas, delivered by the same guys who brought the brilliant Senna and Amy documentaries to the world.

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Supercool pop up sale shop alert

11 Sep 2016

Oh glory be! So excited to tell you about this super fab pop up shop. If you love the designs in Courtyard in Guildford, you’ll be chuffed to hear about the sale pop up store, just a few doors down from the main shop in Angel Gate.

I came across Courtyard during the 2016 Muddy Stilettos Awards, and now I can’t make a trip to Guildford without calling in.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Surrey Edition