The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Surrey Edition

Wouldn't you though?

Stylish new Sussex candle brand SevenSeventeen gets its name from the heavenly time when the founders' kids are bundled into bed and the wine is poured. They cost much less than Diptyque and smell heavenly.

Read more

Muddy eats: The Running Horses, Mickleham

14 Feb 2017

Yup, it’s pretty chilly at the mo, but if anything can lure me outside it is a scenic stroll with the promise of a warming gourmet pub lunch with a girlfriend I haven’t seen in a while. And it was on one of those gloriously clear, yet crisp, days that I discovered this perfect combo at The Running Horses in the pretty village of Mickleham.

Read more

Eco fashion: Five easy ways to cut clothing waste

1 Feb 2017

With the SS17 fashion season almost upon us and frosty days forcing us inside, now is as good a time as any to look inside our wardrobes. Not an open-the-door-then-force-it-shut-quickly type of look. But a good honest look at what you wear, and what you don’t.

I found out recently that the average UK home owns about £4,000 worth of clothes, about a third of which goes unworn. And between us we have £30 billion worth – yes, 3-0 billion – of unused clothing sitting in our closets. That’s a lot of clothes. It’s quite shocking isn’t it?

Read more

Muddy eats: The Plough Inn, Coldharbour

1 Feb 2017

This week the Muddy Surrey team came down with a dreadful bout of lifestyle envy. It came about unexpectedly, but hit each of us with a powerful force. We had been to sample an out-of-the-way pub that had a long-standing reputation for being a lot less than brilliant.

That, of course, was before Becky and John Hopper took over and waved their magic wands. Okay, some heavy-duty building tools and a couple of paintbrushes may have also been waved around, but The Plough Inn, in the tiny village of Coldharbour, near Dorking, has been transformed and is now a glorious pub and B&B, with a barn for private venues and its own micro brewery. It’s gorgeous. And I wanna run it!

Read more

And the winner of the Always the Sun competition is…

30 Jan 2017

Wow! A hard-fought competition. Loads of you wanted to win the family ticket to the Always the Sun competition. And no wonder… four stages of live music from global, local and emerging artists and DJs, as well as five areas of workshops, demonstrations, theatre and comedy performances – you name it, it’ll be at Stoke Park in Guildford from Oct 8-10.

But alas, there can only be one winner, and the first round the final bend past the finishing line is…

Read more

Appeal: George and the Giant Pledge

29 Jan 2017

Sometimes people you’ve never met can have the most profound effect on you. It’s happened to me, and without doubt thousands of others who have heard the heartbreaking story of George Woodall from Reigate.

This is George.

He’s four years old, and on January 3 he was diagnosed with cancer. In those few short weeks, he’s already become well acquainted with the Royal Marsden Hospital. And during the next year he will continue to do so.

Read more

Muddy eats: The Rambler’s Rest, Coulsdon

25 Jan 2017

Tis true that Muddy has a terrible weakness for a cosy gastropub on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But I also have a my list of requirements. Good food and a wood-burning stove are at the top of my list. A rural location helps. And if the pub welcomes dogs, then even better.

The Rambler’s Rest, just outside Coulsdon, ticks all these boxes – and more. There’s also a stonking great garden which is a gorgeous sun trap in the summer, and the nearby Chipstead Valley and Banstead Woods for working up an appetite.

Read more

Five new films to see with your gal pals

23 Jan 2017

A trip to the flicks with girlfriends is one of life’s little pleasures: gossip, popcorn, a soupçon of culture, and a night out that doesn’t involve a hangover. What’s not to like? And right now is an excellent time to get a big screen jaunt booked in, given the slew of female-friendly movies coming up. So bench the man in your life, grab a girlfriend and go.

Read more
The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Surrey Edition