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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

Fancy a sparkling little number to style out your summer drinking? We've found an alternative to wine that makes a gorgeous gift for a friend... or save it just for you!

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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.

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  • EatView more

  • Autumn walks in Essex

    Autumn walks in Essex

    Love the great outdoors? Us too – especially if there’s a cosy inn serving up a crisp Pinot/pale ale along the way. Step forward our pick of the prettiest regional routes in all their autumn glory.

    • 12 gorgeous pubs with gardens in Essex

      12 gorgeous pubs with gardens in Essex

      Here comes the sun – get thee to a gorgeous pub garden pronto, I say! Here are 12 of the county’s loveliest locals to enjoy an alfresco quaff in. Cheers!

    • The loveliest local afternoon teas

      The loveliest local afternoon teas

      Yay, it’s Afternoon Tea Week (9–15 Aug)! Not that we need any encouragement to scoff our weight in diddy cakes. Do we know of any nice places? Step this way, Madam.

Little Black Book

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

  • TravelView more

  • Italy, Mr Bond? 24 hours in Matera

    Italy, Mr Bond? 24 hours in Matera

    Make mine a martini, shaken not stirred while we tell you our insider tips on how to best experience the coolest city you’ve probably never heard of.

    • 65 paw-fect dog-friendly stays

      65 paw-fect dog-friendly stays

      Have pooch, will travel? Here are 65 stays across the Muddy counties that are all Fido-friendly from stunning stately homes to rural cottage staycations.

    • The Muddy insider guide to Norfolk

      The Muddy insider guide to Norfolk

      Stunning beaches, beautiful broads and bijou boltholes plus a vibrant capital city – Norfolk is one of our favourite year-round staycation destinations. Ready to 'Do Different'?

  • HomeView more

  • 10 knockout farmhouses that are up for sale now

    10 knockout farmhouses that are up for sale now

    Fell in love with rural life on your staycay? Us too. Quick, before the market turns: check out these absolutely stunning farms to snap up across the Muddy counties (and beyond).

    • 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).

    • Glug! New wines to buy and try

      Glug! New wines to buy and try

      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.

    • 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.

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  • LifeView more

  • Back in the office? We’re here to help!

    Back in the office? We’re here to help!

    Feeling unprepared to head back to the office after a year WFH? Muddy to the rescue with eight essential Do’s and Don’ts (and yes, you will have to change out of sweatpants).

  • Kids

    • New Hall School, Chelmsford

      New Hall School, Chelmsford

      Enjoy the best of both worlds at this impressive Essex school with a hugely successful Diamond Model of education, and equal emphasis on academics, sports, pastoral care and performing arts.

    • Saint Nicholas School, Harlow

      Saint Nicholas School, Harlow

      Impossible to find fault with this small but facility-packed co-ed through school – from its fun family vibe and outstanding pastoral care to its strong academic results and Famous Five grounds

  • Clink! It’s the Muddy Awards drinks…
  • Clink! It’s the Muddy Awards drinks…

Instamuddy

  • 🥂It’s a wrap! Want to see what happened at the #MuddyAwards2021? Just click the link in bio to see the amazing people behind your fave Essex businesses. Huge congrats again to all our winners (and finalists and nominees!) and a big fat thank you to @wivenhoehouse  for hosting us. Here’s to the next ones in 2022 – hope to see you there! 🏆

@scentleighonsea  @hartsbooks  @square1restaurant  @thewildharecolourspecialists  @amyjofit 
@saffronicecreamco  @thehoop  @vintagestyleliving  @oliviaandgray @mercurytheatrecolchester @dainty_london_jewellery @haylettsgallery @lemonpeellondon @charlesandmike @moozebooze12 @raluchasephotography @maisontalbooth @mr_wolf_kids @thaxtedyoga @lifehousespa @giftedthaxted @rockthefrockprelovedessex @abigailsdeliandco @beautyatthebay @cornerclublos @cafe_coucou  @colchesterzoo
  • Is that a ring on your finger? You’ll be wanting a stylish dose of wedding inspo then, so head on over to @creekseaplacebarns (one of our gorgeous Little Black Books) this Sat 19 Sept for It’s a Total Shed Show wedding fair by @thecanaryshed. Expect gorgeous gowns, gin sampling (ooh, go on then) and much more! See more of Creeksea Place Barns below 👇 
https://essex.muddystilettos.co.uk/little-black-book/directory/creeksea-place-barns/

#essexweddingvenues #supportinglocalbusinessesevents
  • We’re huge fans of  @moozebooze12 – the holy grail of gins in that it tastes delish but is also low in cals and units, so great if you're trying to be good but still fancy a cheeky tipple (as many of our lovely winners did at the Muddy Awards bash last Thurs). Oh, and did we mention Muddy peeps get 10% off with this code MS21?
  • 🤩A huge thank you to everyone who came to the Muddy Essex Awards last night! We had so much fun celebrating with our amazing local winners – a thoroughly lovely, friendly, awesome bunch! And another big thanks to the guys at our venue @wivenhoehouse  who pulled out all the stops to make the bash go with a swing (the gin cocktails, courtesy of @charlesandmike and @moozebooze12, were particularly fine!) 🍸 ps More pics and fun from the night coming soon! 🏆
  • The sun’s come back in style this week and I for one am going to celebrate with a long, cool G & T or three. But I’m rather particular about what I mix with my lime and tonic, thank you very much – cue the tipples from @charlesandmike. Lovingly made in teeny-weeny batches in the heart of Essex, their Big Seven Range (containing no less than seven botanicals – see what they did there?) delivers what it says on the bottle: BIG flavour, but soft and rich too. And lucky me will be trying out their latest creation, an opulent Blackberry Gin, at the Muddy Awards party this Thursday – all in the name of research, of course… 🍸

#essexgindistillery #essexgin
  • @thaxtedyoga Open Day 🧘🏽‍♀️There's a good reason (well a few of them, actually) this gem of a yoga and wellness studio, nestled close to the gorgeous town of Thaxted, scooped Essex’s best Yoga Studio in this year’s Muddy Awards. From the top team of teachers to the beautiful countryside views, you can’t fail to destress as you down dog. But don’t just take my word for it – book in to the Open Day this Sat 11 Sept, and you can join in a taster class, meditate in their Tent Shala, and experience a Gong Bath (don’t know what it is either but sounds too good to miss). Ahh, I’m feeling more relaxed already…

#yogaessexstudio #meditationessex #yogaessex

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 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

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Reader Treats Just For You!