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Well hello dear reader! Thank you for taking the time to visit Muddy Stilettos, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy making it.

I’m Anna-Lou, a journalist for over 20 years (age spoiler alert) writing for magazines, websites and major brands. In 2016, after spending many a cold and wet morning on train platforms commuting to London, I finally took the plunge and decided to do a job closer to home. What’s the point in living in such a beautiful county if I don’t get to enjoy all the amazing things on my doorstop (and what better county for a Muddy Stiletto, than Northamptonshire the shoe making capital of the world)!

Muddy Stilettos first tottered into the world in Summer 2011 as a bit of fun for the founder, Hero Brown. The idea was a simple one: to write a witty but indispensable local guide to the very best restaurants, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events (whilst also perking up her social life). So as you can imagine, when the chance arose to be Editor of Northants, I almost bit her hand off! As well as being an indispensable local guide, it’s also a platform for local businesses to get their message across and for us to see what an amazing and creative county we live in. Muddy Stilettos can now be found in 24 counties, with editions in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, the Isle of White, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Kent, Northants, Northamptonshire (me!), Norfolk, Somerset,  Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire and Wiltshire, with more counties to follow later this year.

This is the Muddy Mantra, so you know what to expect from the site:

  1. I try everything out myself so that you can fully trust my opinions. On the occasions that I haven’t been somewhere myself, I let you know that’s the case.
  2. I don’t write advertorial. This means I will never accept payment to write about something I don’t believe in.
  3. Muddy Stilettos is a commercial site and accepts advertising and payment to feature products and brands. However, we believe passionately in only working with brands that share our ethos and are relevant to our readers. We retain editorial control and independence at all times.
  4. I won’t write nasty reviews. I’m not into trashing people, brands or companies, but if the experience wasn’t good enough, I won’t write about it in Muddy Stilettos, regardless of whether I have paid for the experience or not. This gives me the editorial control I need for a successful site and the trust that my readers require.
  5. I accept tickets to free shows, festivals, restaurants, events etc. with the purpose of reviewing or publicising them on Muddy Stilettos (as I’m sure you appreciate it’s pretty expensive zipping around trying stuff out all of the time). Hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars – if you would like me to try you out, please get in touch at or on Twitter @muddynorthants.

I really do hope you love the site; please tell your friends about it, and sign up for my marvellardo newsletter, delivered to your inbox!

Anna-Lou x

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire