The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Surrey Edition

Wouldn't you though?

Fancy some new spring arm candy? You can't add Ryan Gosling to the online basket, but you can get your mitts on this brilliant tote that comes with a clutch and a purse too. Taking you from daytime to playtime.

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Muddy Eats: The Fox Revived, Norwood Hill

16 Mar 2017

What’s that you say? Sorry I can’t hear you, my ear is still totally to the ground….

For yes, last week your intrepid guzzler sniffed the rumour, made the call and zipped on down to The Fox Revived in Norwood Hill, where the paint is barely dry on it’s newly renovated walls. I’m having a good run of beautifully-attired gastropubs at the mo, and The Fox Revived is another stunner.

You’re going to love what they’ve done with the place.

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Muddy reviews: My Brilliant Friend at the Rose Theatre

13 Mar 2017

Have you read Elena Ferrante’s novels? Oh but you must.

The Italian writer, who keeps her identity a mystery, is the author of several brilliant novels, all vivid and austerely honest accounts of the lives, relationships and inner conflicts of intelligent women. Her writing is intimate, immersive and intense. Last year the writer was named one of the 100 most influential people on the planet by Time magazine, and her most recent work – four novels that make up the Neapolitan series – has just been adapted for the stage by April de Angelis into two shows of two-and-half-hours.

It’s showing at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and my good friend and long-time Fleet Street journalist John Clarke (The Independent, The Times, the i paper – check out the iQuiz) was there to review it on Saturday.

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Book em up: the UK’s top quirky stays

10 Mar 2017

Love a luxe break? A sucker for heritage holiday rentals? Or is it all about the location? They all have their place but, for pure fun value, there’s little that can beat a really quirky stay. The Muddy editors in counties from Cornwall to Norfolk, Kent to Warwickshire, have each found two brilliant, alternative properties with which to whet your travel appetite. And if you know a fantastic quirky stay somewhere that you think should be included, please comment in the box below – let’s share the knowledge!

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Mother’s day sorted!

10 Mar 2017

Everywhere gets so darn booked up for Mothering Sunday – as you’ll know, if you’ve ever spent the week before desperately trying to nab a restaurant reservation only to find it’s Burger King or bust. So in the interests of being super-organised, we’ve decided to get in there early this year with our guide to what to do with your mother – or your children – on Sunday 26 March (I can think of a few suggestions that aren’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but let’s leave that there). Here are Muddy’s mega Mothering Sunday picks…

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International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2017

Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is all about forging a more inclusive, gender equal working world (#BeBoldForChange). To which we at Muddy say: hell yeah! To mark the occasion, we’ve picked our favourite trail-blazing, commotion-causing women from the creative industries. Ladies, we salute you and your wonderful work…

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How to take great pics on your phone

6 Mar 2017

Photographer Siân Tyrrell focuses her lens on the tiny details of everyday life, and the results are stunning. So when I got the chance to bombard her with some questions on picture-taking recently, I asked her to share some top tips to elevate me from random family snapper to smartphone goddess.

Could this actually be the time I get some good shots, rather than hacking people’s heads off? Smartphones at the ready, take aim… SHOOT!

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Need a beauty tune-up?

1 Mar 2017

It’s officially spring, so this is the ideal time of year to do some beauty pampering and maintenance. After months of plunging temperatures and fierce central heating coupled with my sheer abject laziness on everything beauty self-help related, I find it’s around now that my nails, hair and skin all need some serious TLC.

So where to start? I asked beauty professional Michelle Holland, from The Nail and Body Boutique in Reigate for some expert advice. And you’ll be pleased to hear that Michelle isn’t going to tell you to get lots of sleep and drink lots of water (tell us something we don’t know *yawn*) – instead, she has some properly useful tips on how to give yourself a winter beauty MOT.

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Muddy eats: The Retreat, Staines-upon-Thames

28 Feb 2017

We all need a little lift now and again – an eyebrow shape, a facial, that sparkly top we’re convinced won’t cling to our blobby bits. Pubs and restaurants are no different and The Retreat in Staines-upon-Thames has certainly had its vitamin infusion or possibly even a bit of Botox here and there. A makeover at the end of last year has given the pub a huge boost, and it was time for Muddy to check out its new curves.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Surrey Edition