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

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Gotta Have It

Move over, chocolate. From gin to jewellery, and options for men and minis, here are the best alternative advent calendars to count down the festive season.

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Weekend Escapes

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It’s all about the staycay! Our handpicked selection of the hippest hotels, pubs, restaurants and cottages to help you book that well-deserved break

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    • Light it up! 42 cool indie candle brands

      Light it up! 42 cool indie candle brands

      The arrival of autumn means darker evenings snuggled indoors by candlelight. Looking for a new scent? Try one of these gorgeous indie candle brands from across the Muddy counties.

    • How to tackle stress and boost mental health

      How to tackle stress and boost mental health

      Stressed much? Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we explore how to navigate self-care and manage your emotional wellbeing by easing lockdown anxiety. Over to the experts...

    • Let’s get physical

      Let’s get physical

      If you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon during lockdown, don’t sweat it: plenty of cool new classes are springing up across the county to help you get back in shape – and stay motivated

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  • J’adore/ J’abhor: video calls

    J’adore/ J’abhor: video calls

    Are you a FaceTime fanatic or a Skype cynic? After months of video call catch-ups, two Muddy editors battle it out over the digital face-to-face. Who will you side with?

    • Back-to-school for grown-ups

      Back-to-school for grown-ups

      The kids may be going back to school but why should they get all the new gear? We all deserve shiny winter boots and bags too. Here's our pick for back-to-school style.

    • How to WFH (without going stir-crazy)

      How to WFH (without going stir-crazy)

      Working from your home office (or, er, the sofa) for the foreseeable? Don't panic! These top tips will help you stay calm, collected and productive - or at the very least, sane.

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  • Yes, people, this is Meg Mathews!

    Yes, people, this is Meg Mathews!

    Primrose Hill party queen turned wellness guru? Stranger things have happened! Muddy chats to the always glamorous Meg Mathews about her new book, the menopause and, er, vagina facials.

    • Meet the maker: Dantes Ceramics

      Meet the maker: Dantes Ceramics

      From potters and painters to stylists and chefs, Essex is awash with creative talent and in this new culture series, we meet the skilled artisans who deserve championing. First up: Isabelle Taylor-Jones of Dantes Ceramics in Wivenhoe

    • Let’s hear it for the girls! Meet WOW founder, Jude Kelly

      Let’s hear it for the girls! Meet WOW founder, Jude Kelly

      Muddy meets Jude Kelly CBE, founder of the WOW Foundation, and the annual Women of the World Festival which celebrates the lives of us bloody marvellous women and girls, and tackles our shared challenges.

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.

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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 2019

Be part of the UK’s most prestigious local lifestyle Awards in 2020

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For the ultimate Muddy experience, see what we're up to on social!

Little Black Book

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

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Essex

Reader Treats Just For You!