The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Northants Edition

Daddy Mountain – a short story about how we treat the world we live in…

21 Jan 2017

I don’t know a lot about the environment; well not as much as I should, but I am trying to find out more so that our kids have a decent world left to live in (Trump aside). I entered a short story competition a few years ago, and I managed to place this little ditty in the top three. The brief was a kind of fairytale about climate change. I must have missed the memo about happy endings, but then the state of our Earth is no joke.

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On my soapbox: Healthiness shouldn’t be a status symbol

20 Jan 2017

OK, it’s time to clamber back onto my soapbox. Actually, can you just bear with me while I do three sets of tricep dips off it first? As is the drill in January, I’m using this relatively quiet time of year, undistracted by mulled wine and stilton, to ramp up my health and fitness. Eating a bit less, moving a bit more, trying to jiggle into my lycra leggings that I’m sure didn’t feel like tighter than clingfilm this time last year.

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New films to see you with your gal pals (and choice guys too)

17 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.


Jackie (out 20 Jan)

A hotly tipped Oscar contender, this biopic stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and homes in on the bleak days following JFK’s assassination.

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The Golden Globes digested: Your catch up viewing

9 Jan 2017

Hollywood’s awards season kicked off last night with the Golden Globes, celebrating the best in TV and movies. I don’t know about you but when I scan the lists of nominees and winners for these things (after I’ve gawped at the red carpet frocks), I make a mental list of cultural catch-up viewing. Too much brilliant stuff to watch, not enough time, so I’ve made it easy for us all – here are my top Golden Globes picks and where to find them.

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Win a Heston dinner for two, and a snazzy overnight stay

8 Jan 2017

I think it’s only right and proper to begin 2017 with a Michelin nosh up and a night away, don’t you?

Hero over in Buck/Oxon reviewed The Crown in Bray last summer and absolutely loved it. A Heston eaterie (part of his Fat Duck group), The Crown is a gorgeously atmospheric 16th century building with all the requisite nooks, crannies, fireplaces and higgledy-piggledy spaces, with food that’s awesome, as you’d expect.

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5 Reasons to Visit The Men’s Room – Market Harborough 

5 Jan 2017

No, it’s not some public loo over the Leicestershire border, it’s a very cool barbers; modern, with a classic twist and a specialism in hot towels (great at this time of year I imagine). Now we have quite a few male readers on Muddy Stilettos Northants, and I don’t think it’s really authentic for me to go and sit in the barber’s chair for a review, so on this occasion, help was on hand in the form of one of our Muddy team, Lauren Lawless and her very own Mr Muddy!

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Muddy Eats: Cosy, Classy & Christmassy! The revamped Fox and Hounds

4 Jan 2017

As far as transformations go, The Fox and Hounds pub in Kingsthorpe is something to behold. Northamptonshire entrepreneurs, McManus Pubs, have added some real quality into what was always a busy pub. Aside from the fact that it is now very stylish, the team here are at pains to make everybody welcome, Drinkers, Diners, Dogs and “Dropper innerers”

If you’ve visited any other of the groups pubs then you’re already used to very good pub grub, focused on quality not quantity. 

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #6: Bosworth College

3 Jan 2017

What, Where?

Bosworth Independent College is an international day and boarding school for children aged 14 -19 years, based in Northampton on the road heading from town to Brixworth/Market Harborough (A508). Who knew? Well I didn’t, and I’ve driven past there a few times and had no idea it was there (*message to self, stop drive-dreaming)! The College is proud of its cosmopolitan community of British students working alongside both European and International students, and I have to say, I met a fair few of them on my visit, all looking like they were…well like they were having fun, now you mention it.

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Muddy Watches: Snow White on Ice

22 Dec 2016

I’ve always loved Wellingborough’s Castle Theatre. Yes it is only five minutes from my house and it does have a Frank’s Hamburger House, but aside from that, it has always put great shows on, that I often just ambled down to last minute and watched on me tod! That was until it closed earlier in the year, after its operator went into liquidation, and I mourned the loss of my cultural local! But then, surprisingly it reopened two months later in August, and like a Phoenix from the ashes it arose and is now flying with performances like Snow White on Ice.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Northants Edition