About Muddy Stilettos

Muddy Stilettos tottered into the world in Summer 2011, initially just as a bit of fun to amuse myself and my friends.  As an ex-Londoner struggling to find my kicks in rural Buckinghamshire, the idea was simple – to write a witty but indispensible guide to the very best restaurants, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events I came across in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (and spitting distance beyond) and in doing so, perk up my own social life.

I knew immediately how I wanted to write Muddy Stilettos. No random listings. No PR guff. Everything checked out by me personally, with the focus on the exceptional, the interesting, the quirky.

Happily, I do know what I’m doing!  I’m an ex magazine editor at the Independent on Sunday, former deputy editor at Red magazine, and freelancer for the likes of The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph and Marie Claire. I was fashion expert at handbag.com for 8 years. These days I’m also a copywriter for ad agencies and direct clients. (I’d also love to say I’m a novelist, but I’m not sure four chapters and a synopsis at the bottom of a drawer really counts…).

This is the Muddy Mantra, so you know what to expect…

1. I try everything out myself so that you can fully trust my opinions. On the occasions that I haven’t been somewhere myself (for example, an event that hasn’t happened yet – hey, I’m not a miracle worker!) I let you know about it.

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 for Muddy Stilettos, as I’m sure you appreciate it’s pretty expensive zipping around trying stuff out all the time. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars – if you want me to try you out, please get in touch at hero@muddystilettos.co.uk or via twitter @muddystiletto.

4. I’ll never write a bad 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 my blog. Please tell your friends about me, and sign up for my splendiferous free posts delivered to your inbox!

Hero x

PS Thank you to Paul Wilkinson (www.paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk) for the pic above. Not enough photoshopping for my liking though LOL!

25 Responses to “About Muddy Stilettos”

  1. Sarah Ainsleigh Jones January 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I moved out of London recently and frankly I need some help to cope with all this mud and the darkness, I never realised how much I loved street lights. Been wanting to check out that restaurant in Dinton and also keep thinking about getting chickens so thank you. Just a thought we went to a pub in Oxford a couple of times recently The Magdalen Arms on the Iffley Rd, fantastic food and great atmosphere may be worth a look. Keep blogging!

    • Muddy Stilettoes January 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Hi Sarah
      Thanks for the Iffley Road pub tip – I’ll definitely check it out. And glad you’ve found Muddy Stilettoes useful. More to come later this week. Where do you live now? Hero x

  2. Charlotte January 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    What a great blog Hero, well done on such a great start. I’ll definitely be following regularly. Sarah, you’ll get used to the darkness, I’m from London too, and wouldn’t live anywhere else now but the sticks!

  3. Sarah O January 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Hero – You might just be saving my sanity here! Like many other Sarahs (it would seem), I have just moved here from London. So after 20 years of knowing where to go and what to do with my life, I am certainly feeling in need of inspiration/salvation. Particularly as I wander the dark streets of Haddenham at night having got lost on the way back from the pub. So thank you and keep up the fantastic blog.

    • Muddy Stilettoes January 25, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      Hi Sarah
      Glad you think it may be of some use! I’m in Haddenham too as it goes (and an ex Londoner too). Where abouts are you? Hx

      • Sarah O January 28, 2011 at 8:16 am #

        I’m on Station Road, on the way out of the village – although not metaphorically.

  4. Megan February 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Hello. Wonderful, wonderful Hero. Congratulations and have signed up for more. Thanks for the info on the cinema – didn’t even know it existed. Keep at it. Meg x

  5. Sue Topp November 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Hi Sarah
    Loved your Well hellooooo, Amersham!
    Lots of lovely shops, eateries and pubs.
    Some great beauty places and hair dressers.
    We are new in the Old Town but well established
    Medical Aesthetics clinic under the care of
    Mr Coleridge Smith a world expert in the diagnosis
    and treatment of venous disease, mainly varicose veins.
    We now do all aesthetic treatments and ultra fast laser hair removal.
    As you did not visit on your last trip do pop in and see us on
    December 1st at the Turning on of the Lights in Old Amersham for
    mulled wine and minced pies.
    Adsum Aesthetics 24-28 The Broadway

    • Muddy Stilettos November 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

      Thank Sue. Pleased to meet you and thanks for taking the time to comment. Hero x

  6. Sara July 2, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Hi there, I’ve just stumbled across your brilliant site! I’ve moved out of London to outside Wendover, having worked in fashion and have just set up a travel wear collection with my old boss from The Cross in NottingHill. I’d love to be added to the Bucks/Oxon MS info!
    I also used to work at Red Magazine (set up Red Direct with Jo). Best wishes Sara x

  7. Jess garmon jones August 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Love to take home my prize of the velvet brown rug if you would contact me? Thanks..Jess.

    • Muddy Stilettos August 18, 2012 at 5:40 am #

      Hi Jess, I’ve passed your address onto Velvet Brown so you should receive your picnic blanket early next week. Happy picnicing! Hero x

  8. Charlotte August 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I love your site. We live in Great Missenden having moved out from London 4 years ago. We love getting out and doing things so will be reading your site for lots of great ideas. xx

    • Muddy Stilettos August 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      Thank you! Glad you’re finding it useful. Great Missenden is lovely. Are there any places you really recommend around where you live – great restaurants/bars/walks etc? x

  9. Sara August 27, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    A MUST try pub has opened in Butlers Cross (outside Wendover) called the Russell Arms. Excellent food and amazing wine list!

    • Muddy Stilettos August 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi Sara, yes I’ve seen that’s just opened. Will check it out deifintely. Thanks for the tip x

    • Muddy Stilettos September 5, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Hi Sara
      Would love to write about you guys for the blog (very slooooow in getting back to you, sorry). Would you be interested in doing a competition through it? That gold bangle would generate masses of interest. I get 30,000 hits in Bucks/Oxon now – all women who love to spend!
      Quite a lot of ways to collaborate actually. Email me at hero@herobrown.co.uk. Maybe we should meet for a coffee – at the Russell Arms?!
      Hero x

  10. Nasir September 2, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes it’s hard to know what interesting things are going on in Oxford and your blog is just the ticket. Thank you! Definitely check out St Giles’ Fair after dark.

    • Muddy Stilettos September 2, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Nasir, you’re welcome. I took a look on your site – cool photos, particularly the punting ones. If you can, please subscribe to my blog – it’s totally free and it helps me to grow. 🙂

  11. Janice Issitt September 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi from another ex londoner who has inappropriate footwear. I moved to Aston Abbotts 4 years ago and have become expert in finding fab vintage in and around Bucks for our new interior styling business. Nice to meet you on twitter from Janice at The Dandelion House

  12. The Table of Zekki October 3, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Excellent idea. A colleague, Clare Croft recommended your blog, as we’re looking to move out to Bucks – well, back out for me as I’m from Amersham/Beaconsfield area originally. I’m Linda, this message is through my bloke’s blog.

    • Muddy Stilettos October 3, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Hi Linda. Good to meet you. Clare Croft is a reprobate and an all-round guilty pleasure of mine! Where are you moving back to?

      • The Table of Zekki October 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

        Well, fingers crossed, it’s between Wendover and Princes Risborough – should hear back tomorrow. Handy for me from work, and closer to my mum, who’s 89 this week.

      • Muddy Stilettos October 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

        Fingers crossed this end too. If you’re like Clare you are probably lots of fun!

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