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  • Loft, St Albans

    Muddy says: new to the Cathedral Quarter in St Albans, Loft on George Street is beautifully stylish, and Nick Male's food is artistic, seasonal and delicious!

  • Taylor Benfield Candles

    Muddy says: Think you know candles? Think again. Taylor Benfield is a brand new boutique candle company based in St Albans. I'm not waxing lyrical, but it's quite something to be able to enjoy armchair travel as you are transported around the world, all your senses a-flicker, with Ligurian citrus, Mallorcan orange blossom and Cephalonian wild flowers. Evocative, luxurious and delicious!

  • The Cricketers, Weston, Hitchin

    Muddy says: Looking for a friendly village pub with great food, warm hospitality and hearty country walks? How about a pub with its very own pizza oven? The Cricketers in Weston, north Herts, has it all.

  • Broadway Studio + Gallery

    Muddy says: I absolutely love this Letchworth gallery. The space itself is uplifting: light and bright, the exhibitions continue to be different and interesting, and of course I have to mention the café for coffee, cake or a glass of wine. I love Broadway Gallery!

  • Flagship Wines, St Albans

    Muddy says: a wonderfully friendly and independent wine merchant, packed to the rafters with labels you're unlikely to find in a supermarket.

  • Urban Flower Farmer

    Muddy says: Emma's story is inspiring: she worked in retail as a fashion buyer, became a florist, then read a book called The 50 Mile Bouquet which completely changed her approach to floristry. She now grows all her own blooms on her flower farm in Barnet. Her business is organic, sustainable and seasonal, and her floral design is stunning and constantly evolving.

  • The Tilbury, Datchworth

    Muddy says: The Tilbury is the sister - or brother - pub to The White Hart in Welwyn. Both are run by brothers Tom and James Bainbridge. Tom is the chef at The Tilbury and his approach to food is impressive: creative and sustainable. The food and wine pairing events always sell out, so be quick!

  • The White Hart, Welwyn

    Muddy says: I have to admit that until I reviewed The White Hart for Muddy Stilettos, I hadn't eaten here, despite the fact that it's on my doorstep. Now I am recommending it to everyone I meet, and I have also become a regular during happy hour. Adam is the White Hart's award-winning mixologist, and he sure knows how to build a cocktail!

  • Courtyard with doors opening to courtyard garden and cafe with George Street Canteen sign painted doors and a warm welcome for families and children and dogs

    George Street Canteen, St Albans

    Muddy says: this hidden gem is no longer a secret, it won Best Cafe in the Muddy Awards 2017. It's family and also dog friendly, it's cosy inside and Mediterranean (on a good day) outside.

  • All In One Season

    Muddy says: All In One Season is a completely delightful and fully immersive floral and lifestyle experience. Alice is the creative genius behind All In One Season, and she will transform your wedding or any other celebration with her unique Dutch style. You can also learn from her: she is a gifted teacher who runs wonderful workshops in the magical courtyard of her Arts and Crafts home in Letchworth. I'll keep you posted about the Dutch Winter House in December. It's unmissable.

  • Sharon Cooper Photography

    Muddy says: Sharon Cooper is a hugely talented and much loved photographer based in Hitchin. She has a generous spirit, which I think comes across in her photography, and she also does a lot to support independent businesses in Herts. Read the comments below from some of her delighted clients - well deserved!

  • Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden

    Muddy says: This Grade I listed manor house in Harpenden is a complete stunner and each and every one of your guests will want to be the first on the dance floor. It's yours for weddings, significant birthdays and any other occasion where you want to pretend that this is your family home. Rothamsted Manor has parquet, big fireplaces, stained glass and oak panelled rooms inside and 12 acres of formal gardens, including a croquet lawn, outside.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire