Wouldn't you though?
Being a highly fragrant bunch here at Muddy, we're obsessed with scented candles. Here's our edit of the Muddy favourites, they're all blinkin' gorgeous...
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I grew up watching Josette Simon as Dayna in the BBC sci-fi TV series Blake 7. She’s returned to the RSC after 17 years to play the Queen of Egypt in Iqbal Khan’s production of Antony and Cleopatra. I couldn’t believe it when the Leicester-born actor appeared from under the bedsheets with Mark Antony. She doesn’t appear to have aged in the slightest (*sniff).
Still as beautiful, the lithe-limbed and energetic Josette glides seductively across the stage as the pair cavort passionately in their coordinating cream togas.
Park Life! returns for the third year this summer in the beautiful grounds of Compton Verney on Sun June 25, 10.30am-5pm. This one-day family-friendly festival condenses a smorgasbord of entertainment, contemporary crafts and artisan products, including delicious food and drink, all into one day. And folk music fans are in for a real treat as headliners on the music stage are the award-winning Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, supported by Folklore and Blondes with Beards.
Seeking literary inspiration? Muddy’s professional bookworm Kerry Potter is here to help with her March picks. That precarious tower of tomes on your bedside table is about to getting even taller…. And if you have any recommendations of your own, we’d love to hear from you – literary musings in the comment box below please!
How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
Now there’s a book title after my own heart.
Muddy Northants ed Anna-Lou travels to neighbouring Warwickshire for a mini-break. You can read all about about her adventures at this supposedly haunted four-star hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon…
Since Bridget Jones went on her mini break with Daniel Cleaver, I’ve always loved the allure of a naughty night away (even if nothing naughty happens, its just good to get a break from the old routine)! Not as easy as it once was BC (before children), but nontheless, I still try and make it happen a couple of times a year.
I’d heard lots of great things about the inventive world cuisine-inspired menu at Warwick’s first vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Fusca, and was curious as to whether it would live up to the hype. So, did it? Three of my girl pals and I went to try it out last Thursday evening.
Fusca’s not on the high street; and doesn’t have a frontage as such. It’s in the basement of a mews house.
No this isn’t the latest in pointless inventions. And why you may ask??
Any larger breasted woman who dreads the doorbell ringing when lounging in PJs – without an underwired bra on underneath – you’ll know what I mean!
Firstly, it’s sold by Leamington-Spa based Bravissimo, the British lingerie brand that is a friend to big-boobed women everywhere, whose sizes go all the way up to a J cup.
Cotton Striped T-Shirt, £59, & Cotton A-Line Skirt, £89; Cotton Textured Polo Shirt, £79, & Cotton Milano Pencil Skirt, £79
Bored to the back teeth of being cocooned in jeans and huge jumpers? Yup, us too. Which is why we’re thrilled to announce a brand new competition to reboot your wardrobe for Spring. Fancy a whopping £500 gift voucher to spend at chic, elegant womenswear brand Winser London?
Does a floating tiny wooden house, reached only by dinghy, float your boat? An idyllic glamping utopia in a Victorian walled garden or back-to-basics camping on a peaceful car-free site? What Warwickshire lack in seaside entertainment and clifftop views it makes up for bucket loads of culture, wildlife and stunning countryside. There’s rivers and lakes for a spot of wild swimming, spades full of historic sites and Shakespeare (his family homes, the RSC and Stratford-upon-Avon).
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 somewhere. 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!
DB could have been teleported straight from the streets of Shoreditch, Hoxton or Brighton to Regency Leamington Spa. With owner Sam Cornwall-Jones’ slick geek-chic design bringing together flashes of neon, his old collection of 70s and 80s annuals, framed vintage comic books and games consoles mixed in with squishy retro leather sofas, mismatched dining furniture and log burners. Looks very cool, no? There’s even a bike from Sam’s garage, a jet engine cowling mirror he made himself and don’t forget to check out the toilets.
Muddy Founder and Editor-in-Chief Hero Brown (Bucks & Oxon) wants to share something really exciting with you…
It’s been such a crazy year so far that I somehow forgot to tell you some really amazing news. Oops!
So it’s a massive and heartfelt thank you for those of you who suggested Muddy Stilettos as the UK’s Best Arts & Culture Blog before Christmas, because guess what? We’ve only gone and made the Finals, one of only eight companies in the whole of the UK.
Hot-off-the press here’s my review for Snow in Midsummer…
What’s the price you’ll pay for happiness? This is a key question in playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s riveting re-working of 13th Century Chinese play The Injustice Done to Dou E by Guan Hanqing.
Snow in Midsummer is a poignant mother-daughter drama, with a passionate gay love story thrown in, the supernatural, Buddhist rituals and Ruth Chan’s thumping techno.
Set in New Harmony, a remote factory town in modern-day China, it opens with 23-year-old widow Dou Yi – Harry Potter actor Katie Leung – selling lucky sculptural origami Lotus tree leaves to members of the audience, before she’s framed for murder.
Not to be cliched, but with its colourful giant floor to ceiling wall mural, reggae and laid back bamboo beach hut bar vibes, Leave It To Esmie’s instantly puts a smile on your face.
It just reminds you of summer holidays, beaches by the sea and sunshine – the bright yellow, greens and reds of the cushions and seat covers are straight out of La La Land.
Immediately it put us grown-ups in the mood for one of these…(Rum Punch with Appleton’s Rum).
I popped over to have a scout round Coventry’s Fargo Village over the weekend to bring you this little whistle-top tour and a snapshot of what’s to expect this spring…
Located in part of the city that’s still undergoing considerable regeneration, it’s off Far Gosford Street which used to be part of the red-light district when I first moved from Cardiff to neighbouring Stoke in Coventry with my husband many moons ago – pre-children.
One of the big benefits of Muddy tottering its way into so many counties (er, 17 since you asked!) is that we have a raft of on-the-ground experts, squirrelling out the coolest, most useful stuff for the rest of us to plunder. Case in point – beach cottages. Thought about renting one this summer? Yeah me too. So allow me to lay before you a sandy smorgasbord from the Muddy regional editors – 14 beautiful beach properties for the bucket and spade brigade.
Fancy a day trip, lunch out or long weekend at a boutique B&B and restaurant in the Cotswolds? My neighbour Muddy Gloucestershire has just reviewed a real Cotswold Stone beauty…
If you were holding auditions for a pub-cum-sophisticated-eaterie, the kind of place that walking boots or stilettos (muddy or otherwise) would be equally welcome, where you could casually grab lunch or fine dine for a special occasion, then The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold would definitely stand out in casting.
Beach holidays in Britain always come with that anxious niggle at the back of your head – will it tank down for the whole week? Well, how about an inland lake or river holiday as an alternative? The Muddy editors who happen go to be landlocked (*sob**) have scoured their counties for some stonking rental properties with their own little piece of liquid heaven to tempt you throughout spring and summer. Tempted?
STAY IN… BERKSHIRE
River Arts Club, Maidenhead
Who needs the coast when you can have the mighty Thames?
Glastonbury 2017 sold out within an hour last October and tickets for many of the other big ones are already selling like hotcakes. You must book super early these days if you don’t want to miss out. It may be depressingly chilly and damp now but before you know it the festival season will be upon us. Yay!
No longer about hedonism and staying up all night, now it’s about entertaining the kids and the option of a luxury tent.
Head over to Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park during Feb Half Term and you may wonder what this is…
How would you cope if you had no access to your hairdresser, power shower, Netflix, Nutri-Bullet, Facebook, Botox injections and all the other traits of modern society? This is what Brit artists Alex Hartley and Tom James are seeking to find out in new site-specific art project, The Clearing in the grounds of beautiful Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park.
My hairdresser in Leamington first tipped me off about Coffee Architects in Warwick Street, not long after it opened in the summer of 2014. A bit of a hipster, he enthused infectiously about the coffee, the cakes – “the best in Leamington” – and the amazing salads. As a coffee lover I couldn’t resist.
This small Scandi-style independent family-run cafe is always busy and the Flat White, served in a glass tumbler on a turquoise saucer, is just the best.
Muddy Stiletto’s Editor-in-Chief Hero Brown made a run for it into London with her new Mary Poppins travel bag…
I escaped into London last weekend – left my three children to fend for themselves (social services: this is a JOKE!) – and had a whale of a time with Mr Muddy. A couple of things to tell you. Firstly, if you’re looking for a good value place to rest your head in the smoke, the Z Hotel is almost indecently placed in the centre of things in Soho, one minute from Chinatown, a hop and a skip from Covent Garden and bang in the middle of all the fun.
Feel like exploring somewhere new? Muddy tenticles cover the South of England and who better to know the cool stuff that’s hard to unearth than our brilliant regional Muddy editors (all national journalists in their own right) who are constantly scouring their counties for the best arts and cultural highlights? Whether you’re day tripping or planning for longer, here are some of the treats in store for you.
Meet Louis Sidoli, Castle Fine Art Windsor, Sun 20 Mar
The countdown is on to Mother’s Day on Sunday March 26 and if you haven’t organised anything yet, allow me to me lend a hand — lest you end up in Burger King. I’ve pulled together a selection of 11 fab places across the county for a laid-back brunch or Sunday lunch guaranteed to keep you in her good books (no cooking or washing up required!).
The Bell in Alderminster
This award-wining gastropub in the centre of picturesque Alderminster, close to Stratford-upon-Avon, is part of the historic Alscot Estate.
If you like comics, photography, music, art and theatre there’s masses going on across Warwickshire this week…
Newsflash! Festival on the Close, Rugby School, Sat June 25-Thurs June 29
There’s an impressive line-up for this new arts and music festival celebrating the 450th Anniversary year of the founding of Rugby School. It includes Birmingham’s Mercury Music Award nominated singer-songwriter Laura Mvula, Leamington-based UK contemporary dance company Motionhouse, G4 & Lesley Garrett, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis De Bernieres performing with the Bookshop Band & Caribbean poet John Agard.
Towelling robes and slippers at the ready: it’s time to find a little oasis of calm and get pampered. Relax and unwind with your mum at one of Warwickshire’s best spa retreats.
Newsflash! Elan spa, Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa, Leamington Spa, opens April 14
You and your mum could be one of the first to visit the first new Elan spa to open in the UK for more than 10 years – and it’s in Warwickshire.
Treat your mum to a lavish spread at one of these top hotels or a quirky cuppa in a vintage Warwickshire tea room.
Hampton Manor, Hampton in Arden, near Solihull
Award-winning afternoon tea is served in the Manor’s pastel clad Parlour, a theatrical lounge where a tea sommelier explains specialist teas crafted in single-batch from various artisan family-run gardens. The Lailani & Co teas fuse the traditional with a modern twist and afternoon tea includes seasonal fresh produce with an innovative edge.