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I’m Mary, a journalist with over a decade in the industry covering travel and lifestyle for The Guardian, Wanderlust, Waitrose Food Illustrated and more — if it moves, I’ll write about it.

Although a Hampshire farmer’s daughter born-and-bred, I spent most of my twenties tramping around Southern Africa and New Zealand before returning with a Kiwi husband in tow.

Six years on, I live with Marc and our two girls, Lily and Bbell, in the North Wessex Downs’ rolling farmland. I’m still re-discovering the county of my birth and am blown-away by its burgeoning food and café scene.

The original Muddy Stilettos (Oxon/Bucks) has been running in its present form since Nov 2012 and has become so successful that it has moved into fourteen further counties – Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Northants, Surrey, Kent, Norfolk, Sussex, Somerset, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Devon, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and, of course, Hampshire. Phew!

Did I mention the awards? *Ahem* Muddy Stilettos was a finalist as Best Art & Culture Blog in the UK, 2017, won Most Innovative Blog at the UK National Blog Awards 2015, and was also awarded Top 3 Lifestyle Blogs in the country in 2014 and 2015.

This is the Muddy Mantra, so you know what to expect from the blog:

  1. I try everything out myself so that you can fully trust my opinions. On the occasions that I haven’t been somewhere myself, I let you know that’s the case.
  2. I don’t write advertorial. This means I will never accept payment to write about something I don’t believe in.
  3. I accept tickets to free shows, festivals, restaurants, events etc with the purpose of reviewing or publicising them on Muddy Stilettos, as I’m sure you appreciate it’s pretty expensive zipping around trying stuff out all the time. Hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars – if you want me to try you out, please get in touch at: or via Instagram and Twitter @muddyhants
  4. I’ll never write a nasty review. I’m not into trashing people, brands or companies. But if you’re not good enough, I won’t write about you in Muddy Stilettos, regardless of whether I have paid for the experience or not. This gives me the editorial control I need and the trust that my readers demand.

I hope you love the blog. Please tell your friends about it, and sign up for my splendiferous free posts delivered to your inbox!

Mary x

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire