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Save your favourites with a single click and you’ll never forget a brilliant Muddy recommendation.

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I'm Ziggy, editor of Muddy Essex, here to bring you the quirky, cool and downright unmissable in the area.

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Gotta Have It

Booked a campsite, but no idea what you’re doing? Don’t worry, here’s the kit that will see you through – from enamelware for Pimms to the ultimate mattress.

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The results are in! Meet your Muddy Awards 2021 winners

Muddy Awards logo

Thanks to everyone who took part this year, and helped celebrate the most awesome indie businesses across 25 counties.

View Our Winners
  • EatView more

  • Best pick your own farms in Essex

    Best pick your own farms in Essex

    It’s peak PYO season, so grab your straw hat and wicker basket, and take your pick from this bunch of fruity farmsteads.

    • Shh… Essex’s secret picnic spots

      Shh… Essex’s secret picnic spots

      Summer's here, so pack your Scotch eggs and lashings of ginger beer, and head to one of these beauty spots for lunch al fresco without the crowds.

    • Artisan coffee houses

      Artisan coffee houses

      Can’t function without your morning brew? Try one of these delicious artisan blends from this trio of local indie coffee roasters to kickstart your day in buzzin’ style

  • Arts & CultureView more

  • Pop that corn! What’s on TV this week?

    Pop that corn! What’s on TV this week?

    What have the TV gods got for us this week? A big batch of goodies, that’s what. From indie dramedys to twisty teen mysteries to a BAFTA-nominated anthology, here’s what to watch this week.

    • Novels set in Essex: titles to add to your reading list

      Novels set in Essex: titles to add to your reading list

      Ahh, what better way to enjoy a lazy summer’s day than with a good book? Whether soaking up rays in your garden or sheltering from the rain snuggled up on your sofa, here are 9 brilliant titles, all set right here in Essex.

    • Top TV: what to watch this week

      Top TV: what to watch this week

      Looks like we're back to nonstop rain — but with telly this good, who cares? Catch a star-studded who-dunnit, a big-budget adventure film, and more out this week.

    • Escape the heat: this week’s best TV

      Escape the heat: this week’s best TV

      Sometimes, when the mercury is pushing 30 degrees, the only thing to do is open all the windows, shut the curtains, draw yourself a long, cool drink and shelter in-living room. Here’s what to watch while you do it.

    • No sport here! What’s on telly this week

      No sport here! What’s on telly this week

      The football is over so - finally - you can push your menfolk off the sofa and reclaim the television. Set them to work on the garden, pour yourself a glass and settle down for the evening.

Little Black Book

Want to support local? Our curated pick of the most creative, unique and brilliant businesses near you.

  • HomeView more

  • Buffalo Mozzarella with Clementine Salad

    Buffalo Mozzarella with Clementine Salad

    Need a new speedy lunch? Try this 15 minute fab mozzarella salad from Tart London – the super-cool caterers of choice for the fashion set (plus Naked Wines at 63% off).

    • New wines to try this summer

      New wines to try this summer

      Naked Wine sommelier and Gordon Ramsay alumnus Ray O'Connor spills the grapes on why he won't pay thousands for wine, what's in his cellar - and how to dodge hangovers.

    • Pan-fried sea trout with chilli and saffron broth

      Pan-fried sea trout with chilli and saffron broth

      Simple to make, yet a showstopper on the plate, this fragrant fish dish is a winner for impressing dinner party guests - especially when served with Naked Wines (at 63% off, natch).

    • Your health questions answered!

      Your health questions answered!

      Don’t understand why the weight won’t shift? Have a back that’s reminiscent of Quasimodo? Muddy puts your questions to Healthily’s chief medical officer, Professor Maureen Baker

    • 8 amazing coastal walks across the county

      8 amazing coastal walks across the county

      Fancy stretching your legs and filling your lungs with fresh sea air? Then stroll on over to Muddy’s definitive guide to the best coastal walks across Essex.

Most Read

  • The Muddy Insider Guide to Cornwall
  • The Muddy Insider Guide to Cornwall

Instamuddy

  • From cutting-edge art and inventive theatre to the beating heart of the high street – our lovely local bookshops – where would be without our amazing Muddy Awards 2021 winners who up the cultural creds of Essex and keep us entertained?
#MuddyAwards2021 #inlovewithlocal 

# Best Art Gallery: @haylettsgallery 
(Maldon)
Best Bookshop: @hartsbooks 
(Saffron Walden)
Best Theatre / Arts Venue: @mercurytheatrecolchester
 (Colchester)
  • Ready to shop ’til you drop? Always! Meet your gorgeous local Muddy Awards 2021 winners that are the places to go. We think you’ll love them (your bank balance maybe not so much…) #MuddyAwards2021 #InLoveWithLocal 

Best Women’s Store: @oliviaandgray 
(Chelmsford)
Best Gift Shop: @giftedthaxted 
 (Thaxted)
Best Interiors Store: @vintagestyleliving 
(Thaxted)
Best Jewellery Store: @dainty_london_jewellery 
(Chelmsford)
  • From breakfast, lunch and dinner, to drinks with friends or a cheeky weekend staycation, you’ve gotta love our amazing local hospitality scene. Here’s who you voted as the best of the best in Essex in this year’s Muddy Awards. Swipe to say hello! 
 #MuddyAwards2021 #InLoveWithLocal supported by @debenhamsottaway

Best Restaurant: @square1restaurant (Dunmow)
Best Destination Pub: @thehoop (Stock)
Best Café: @cafe_coucou (Saffron Walden)
Best Bar: @cornerclublos (Leigh on Sea)
Best Boutique Stay: @maisontalbooth (Dedham)
  • Three cheers to the brilliant Muddy Awards 2021 winners who keep us fit, healthy and gorgeous! Swipe to say hello. #MuddyAwards2021 #InLoveWithLocal

Best Hair Salon: @thewildharecolourspecialists (Westcliff on Sea)
Best Beauty Salon: @beautyatthebay (Colchester)
Best Day Spa: @lifehousespa (Thorpe Le Soken)
Best Yoga Studio: @thaxtedyoga (Thaxted)
Best Fitness Instructor: @amyjofit (Thaxted)
  • Well hello awesome August! The summer holidays are in full swing, and so is our fabulous What’s on Guide! From sunset theatre and street festivals to chilled vibes in the vines, click the link in bio for the lowdown on all the cool stuff going on in Essex this month 😎

#crownstreetfestival @hedinghamcastle #meadowcroftfoodfest 
@filmatthefarm 
@mercurytheatrecolchester 
@smokeandfirefestival 
@chelmsfordtheatres 
@tuffonhallwine 
@foxandbraces 
@wivenhoehouse 
@essexwildlifetrust
#haresabouttown
  • FashionView more

  • All that glitters! Bonkers sequin tote bags

    All that glitters! Bonkers sequin tote bags

    Lockdown uniform of jogging bottoms and tatty T losing its appeal? Time to get some sparkle back. First step: this bag from Maldon native Anya Hindmarch.

    • Rent your clothes like Carrie!

      Rent your clothes like Carrie!

      Ethical, eco and everywhere - with Carrie Symonds showing us how to work a sustainable wardrobe, here's where you can rewear, repair and renew your clothes in style.

    • Best swimwear for 2021

      Best swimwear for 2021

      Nothing says summer like new swimwear. Who cares if it's the Med or the back garden, it's time to splash out. Whether it's eco, floral, striped, shaping, nautical or sporty, we've found your perfect bikini or swimsuit.

School Reviews

Our honest reviews of the UK’s best schools

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Weekend Escapes

Making plans? Find your perfect Pub, Inn, Hotel, Café, Restaurant or Bar across the Muddy counties.

Find your escape
Best Places to Live 2020

The insider’s guide to the Top 200 places to live outside London

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Muddy Stiletto Awards 2021

Be part of the UK’s most prestigious local lifestyle Awards in 2021

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Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Reader Treats Just For You!