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.
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.
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).
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.
There’s nothing like planning a mini-break to ease the February blues. If quirky, vintage-chic is your thing, then can I recommend Devon’s Glazebrook House? Brand-new, buzzing and only a short motor down the A303. Thank you Sharon Ryan, aka Ms Muddy Devon, for this review.
I’m going to have to learn to get a grip when I blog about hotels. Seriously, what is it about going off-piste and being someone else’s guest for the night that sends me giddy?
While the world of health-food faddism plumbs new depths of mad — Amanda Chantal Bacon’s Moon Juice Dust with cordyceps, reishi and shilajit resin now retailing on net-a-porter for £50 a tin — us sensible mortals are embracing a different way of eating.
Books like Bee Wilson’s This Is Not A Diet Book: A User’s Guide to Eating Well, encourage us to reject the guilt and indulgence cycle and embrace food as joy: broccoli, for example, is moreish heaven when pan fried with the best olive oil, chilli and garlic.