At last! The Chilterns Food and Drink Festival! What took them so long? As with all the best ideas, you wonder why nobody had the idea before. It’s an area that has rich pickings, so much so that back in the day, the Chilterns were known as the larder of London. So, where to start? The festival opens this Saturday and runs from 25 March until Sunday 2 April. You are invited to celebrate the bounty of Bucks, Herts and Beds in a series of deliciously greedy events.Read more
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and is it just me or is time suddenly going at a gallop? If you’re looking for something a little bit different to do with your mum this weekend, or if you feel the need to give others a steer with the planning and booking process, here are some ideas. Choose from talks about the history of Mother’s Day at the Museum of Brands in London, or go for the complete clotted cream and bubbly guilt-free overload afternoon tea in an old post office, or a newly restored vineyard.Read more
Love a luxe break? A sucker for heritage holiday rentals? Or is it all about the location? They all have their place but, for pure fun value, there’s little that can beat a really quirky stay. My fellow Muddy editors in counties from Cornwall to Norfolk, Kent to Warwickshire, have each found two brilliant, alternative properties with which to whet your travel appetite. And if you know a fantastic quirky stay somewhere that you think should be included, please comment in the box below – let’s share the knowledge!Read more
Hello March. This morning the sky was ribboned with rhubarb pink and my garden was spangled with frost. What better time to warm up for spring by getting out to embrace the wonders of our county. Helen Reeley, garden designer and lover of all things arboreal, has kindly shared some things to look out for, together with top tips about the best places to see them. Over to you, Helen!
Early spring and winter trees can be enjoyed for their natural form and bark once the leaves have dropped.Read more
Learn about the Krays in the East End, dodo doodles, feed pigs on a farm, and surf the Hemel waves. Collapse in a heap. Half term done.Read more
In relationship terms, whether you’re a lifer, a newbie, or something in between, 14 Feb can be excruciating. Even if you vow to ignore it, it’s impossible to ignore. The confection of romance can make you wince. Far better to grasp the nettle by doing something different that won’t make you feel like an extra in a rom com. Thanks to this Muddy guide, there’s no need to curl up inside – help yourself to some of these crackers – without cheese.Read more
Snowdrops spark hope. The mere sight of them can make the spirits soar. Here are the best places to see snowdrops in the county, and for those of you who don’t mind crossing borders, I’ve included Cambridgeshire and Essex and even – fasten your seatbelts – Suffolk. Get out and enjoy them while they’re here.
Benington Lordship Gardens, near Stevenage, Weds 8 Feb – Sun 5 March
The Big One.Read more
The music festival season feels a long, long way off right now (although we wouldn’t say no to a pear cider if you’re offering) but these days you’ve got to book mega early if you want to be happy campers come summer. Many of the biggies sell out in a flash – we haven’t managed to score Glastonbury tickets for years – but the good news is lots of the local events still have availability and most of them are family friendly.Read more
Andrei Lussmann grew up in West Africa where he first learned to drink strong espresso and fell in love with Italian food. His father worked for Impresit Bakolori, a construction company owned by Fiat, and the family lived in a version of Little Italy built by the car company in the middle of the desert, complete with a pizza oven. Andrei worked for Forte, Pizza Express and Corney and Barrow before opening his own business.Read more
It’s half term — hoorah! And there’s loads on around Herts to keep the smalls occupied and happy. And what do happy smalls mean? You’re doing a fabulous job. So, bask in your own brilliance as a parent — or aunt, or uncle, godparent, grandparent, whatever — and keep ’em smiling…Read more