The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Hampshire Edition

Category: Food and drink

Mother’s Ruin: 5 Artisan Gins from Hampshire

21 Mar 2017

“That woman’s got me drinking, look at the state I’m in/Give me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 bottles of….

Gin. What better subject for Mother’s Day? Pull up a bar stool and let’s talk spirits. Used as medicine in the Middle Ages (erm, for kidney complaints…), then imbibed with zeal by eighteenth-century Londoners crazy for the cheap-as-chips liquor — it was flavoured with turpentine, not that anyone seemed to mind.

Read more

6 Waterside Restaurants & Pubs

14 Mar 2017

I can always tell it’s Mothers Day. The daffodils are out, there’s warmth in the sun and my summer-long yearning to chiii-ll by water begins.

I’ve no preference over what kind of water. Riverside is heaven: a mellow stream, weeping willows and the occasional swan, but hum-huu… the sea is dreamy too, salty air blowing away those winter cobwebs, seagulls, yachts and platters of local seafood. And lucky me, because Hants is heaving with waterside eateries — be it river, estuary or crashing wave.

Read more

6 Courses for Creative Mammas

13 Mar 2017

Flowers? Choccies? Pah been there done that. With Mother’s Day looming why not book yourself and your mum onto one of the frankly ginormous selection of creative, crafty courses in this fine county. Forget the here-and-now and lose yourselves in paints, clay, charcuterie or the pure joy of flying. Read on for Muddy Hant’s favourites.


Felt Design… Rum’s Eg, Romsey, Weds 29 Mar, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Revel in felt’s joyous colour and texture focusing on the design and colour-mixing of the fibres plus cutting and layering techniques.

Read more

Free Coffee for Muddy Readers

8 Mar 2017

Are you keen on the bean? Would you fight for flat-white, give a beso for espresso? We’ve teamed up with our good friends at The Little Kitchen Company to offer a free coffee or hot drink with every brunch/lunch ordered for all Muddy Hants readers. On the outskirts of Winchester, this bistro has all the quirk and charm of a city-centre indy cafe but with easy out-of-town access and oodles of parking.

Read more

It’s International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2017

Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is all about forging a more inclusive, gender equal working world (#BeBoldForChange). To which we at Muddy say: hell yeah! To mark the occasion, we’ve picked our favourite trail-blazing, commotion-causing women from the creative industries. Ladies, we salute you and your wonderful work…


The artist: Loubaina Himid

Zanzibar born and British raised, Loubaina came to prominence in the ’80s as a pioneer of the Black British Arts Movement.

Read more

Easy-Breezy Brunch in the Countryside

28 Feb 2017

Stop Press: our friends at The Little Kitchen Company are offering a free coffee to all Muddy Readers when you order brunch or lunch. Just show this page when you visit!

To most of us — raised on Friends and Central Perk and Rachel-Ross’ will they won’t they-ing — brunch culture holds a special appeal: an easy amble to your neighbourhood cafe for flat-whites, poached eggs and papers.

All this disappears in a puff of petrol fumes, when you motor your life and worldly possessions from SW1 into deepest Hampshire.

Read more

Pimp My Pancake

25 Feb 2017

Saucepans at the ready — Shrove Tuesday beckons, time for one last hurrah before we behave ourselves during lent (*cough* except for my birthday, and my husband’s… not forgetting the dog). Pimp your pancakes with these naughty twists on the fillings we know and love.


1/ Lime with chilli-infused warm maple syrup and dark chocolate shavings

(To replace… lemon and sugar)

  • Infuse dried chilli flakes in maple syrup over a very low heat (taking care not to burn the syrup).
Read more

Chic Sleeps at Rathfinny Wine Estate

22 Feb 2017

It’s been a long winter so let’s be honest, a short-break would not go amiss.  The brilliant Debbie, aka. Ms Muddy Sussex, found this stunning winery across the Hants/Sussex borders in the sprawling South Downs. Have you popped over to Muddy Sussex yet? Oh, but you must! Over to you Debbie…


Ever keeled over on a settee hugging a bottle of Pinot Noir? No, me neither <cough>.

Read more

Wine with Guts: Caviste showcases Australia’s finest wines

14 Feb 2017

OK, time to dump the jammy Jacob’s Creek associations, turns out that Oz produces some mighty fine wine. Forgive the negativity — I’m married to a Kiwi so a touch of Antipodean rivalry goes with the territory, but my, my it seems that Caviste is about to turn my prejudices WAY down-under; sorry, but that was too easy.

If you haven’t come across this Overton-based wine merchant, then pop down (the Co op, a.k.a.

Read more

The Crown Inn, Upton

30 Jan 2017

Hidden away in a corner nook of The Crown Inn, I am nibbling crunchy scotch eggs with a glass of Pietas Red to hand. Life is sweet. The space wins an easy ‘dix points’ for atmosphere and decor; it is not loud, it is not kitsch — never segueing into rustic theme-park territory — but understated, modern and thoroughly British: all cow-print rugs, exposed flint, vintage maps of Hampshire and a delicious wood fire, much needed on this bone-cold Thursday lunchtime.

Read more
The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hampshire Edition