Wouldn't you though?
Hampshire's very own Summerdown Mint produces a gorgeous line of bath soaks, hand and body lotions, candles, reed diffusers, mint creams... and more (if you're tempted, read on for a cheeky Mother's Day Giveaway).
Fancy getting Muddy?
Sign up to my free newsletter to find the cool stuff happening near you
Welcome to this week’s Muddy Guide with the big V looming large. Wherever you stand, from refusenik to red heart obsessive, we’ve got just the thing.
The New Romantic Ball, Winchester Guildhall, 7.30 – 11.00pm Sat 11 Feb
Stand and Deliver! Yes Ladies and Gents it’s time dig out your flounciest breeches, laciest gloves and get to work with that hairspray for The New Romantic Ball.
Make-up, it’s powerful stuff: Cleopatra had her eyeliner, Monro her red lip. With Valentines Day looming what better time to embrace our inner Egyptian Queen/ Movie Goddess hybrid with a feline flick and some proper grown-up red lipstick?
Enter make-up artist extraordinaire, Faiza Hyder. Not only is she drop-dead stonkingly gorgeous (inside and out, of course), but she rocks the red lip and liner flick combo — a hard one to achieve Muddy Readers.
Another Place The Lake in Ullswater in the Lake District is the most ridiculously luxurious, stylish hotel that we’ve seen in a very long time so we nabbed a two night stay, worth nearly £800, for one lucky Muddy reader (and your plus one obvs).
The hotel, from the people behind the chic Watergate Bay in Cornwall, is brand spanking new for August 2017, so when you’re showing off to your friends about winning this bonkersly good prize, there’s absolutely zero chance of any of them stealing your thunder by announcing they’ve already been there.
Tweed begone, there’s a New Kid on the Stockbridge Block (yup me too, the first album I ever bought). Hero gives a fresh, urban edge to this tiny market town. It is true that Chelsea-by-the-Test has always had a buzz, but in a shooting, fishing, “pull on the red cords and jump in my Range Rover,” kind of way. Nothing wrong with that, but if all those draughty Country Houses — OK, hours in front of Downton — get too much then this independent boutique is the warm antidote; drenched in natural-light and not a stuffed antelope in sight.
Welcome to Muddy Hants’ very first guide to the week, your round-up on all that is quirky, cool and unmissable in this fine county.
Champagne Supper Club at Bel & The Dragon, Kingsclere, Wed 8 Feb
Champagne tasting? That sounds like my kind of evening. Warm up to Valentines day with a special sampling of Laurent-Perrier’s Ultra Brut, Brut & Cuva Rosa with nibbles followed by a three course meal paired with specifically chosen bubbles.
A trip to the flicks with girlfriends is one of life’s little pleasures: gossip, popcorn, a soupçon of culture, and a night out that doesn’t involve a hangover. What’s not to like? And right now is an excellent time to get a big screen jaunt booked in, given the slew of female-friendly movies coming up. So bench the man in your life, grab a girlfriend and go.
Jackie (out now)
A hotly tipped Oscar contender, this biopic stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and homes in on the bleak days following JFK’s assassination.
Oh Kingsclere, you do me proud. If you haven’t visited this North Hampshire spot-of-joy, then why not? London, you are so 2016. Free parking, great food and fashion, smiling faces, soaring walks and, oh look, a world-renowned art gallery just off the high street: if you haven’t heard about Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, then here’s your opportunity.
In a previous life, Jenna was Bonhams’ 20th Century British art expert and director at specialist London dealer, Offer Waterman, and it shows.
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.
Do you remember last year’s media kerfuffle over the Head Mistress who banned parents from jammie-wearing at drop-off? Clearly a slow news day. I do see her point though — no-one wants their mum parading her snoopy PJs at the school gate BUT, but… the idea of slipping into an easy, Pyjama-esque outfit during the morning rush is much more appealing than that staple since the early noughties: the badly-fitted, low slung skinny jean.