The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Gloucestershire Edition

Category: Health & Fitness

New series: Muddy’s speedy suppers for frazzled cooks

23 Mar 2017

Having one of those days when ‘make dinner’ is just one of 8 million things on your to-do list? Totally run out of ideas? Yup, us too. So with frazzled, time-poor cooks in mind, here’s the first recipe in our new series of speedy weekday suppers.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking our favourite cooks to inspire us with a nifty new dish. Because there’s only so much pasta and pesto a girl can eat.

First up wearing the Muddy (not literally, don’t worry) apron, Emma Collen from the brilliant The Jericho Kitchen Cookery School in Oxford. Over to you, Emma.

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Let there be light! British Summer Time here we come!

22 Mar 2017

The clocks go forward on Sunday which means we’re finally coming out of the dark months and embracing the light. Hurrah! And while it might feel a bit harsh for a few days to have the alarm effectively going off an hour earlier, the extra hours of daylight more than make up for it. In fact, at this time of year you want to get up because the birds are singing, the sun is out (hopefully – please weather be kind this year) and you feel like you’ve got more juice in the tank. So how to make the most of the longer days? Read on, I’ve got a few ideas.

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How to wake up to spring

18 Mar 2017

Despite the odd biting wind (why am I always on a touchline when this happens?), it feels like we can pretty confidently say spring has now well and truly arrived. Transition dressing has become a thing – coat or no coat, tights or bare legs, boots or trainers – getting up in the morning is feeling slightly less tortuous (which is a good thing because it’s taking sooo long to decide what to wear) and sticky toffee pudding doesn’t feel like a daily need anymore. In fact, you might even be contemplating pulling on some Lycra. For, in seasonal terms, now is the new year. “Spring is the perfect time for new year’s resolutions,” says Chalford-based yoga teacher and life coach Claire Beeley (who in January provided pearls of wisdom about how to survive winter). “In many Eastern calendars this is the new year, not January.” So, what’s the best way to seize this moment and wring out what we can from the season? Over to you Claire.

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Lock down Mother’s Day now!

13 Mar 2017

It’s countdown to Mother’s Day on Sunday 26 March and that means, quick, there’s still time to organise something worth getting out of bed for (however tempting staying in bed sounds, but, alas, this is a family day). Here are a few ideas to ponder for you and your family, you and your mum, even you and your mother-in-law (yeah, you can polish that halo).

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Fancy a ride? Check out these great stables

7 Mar 2017

I’ve just read Jilly Cooper’s Mount and, E.L. James, pah!, but, as well as all the exciting between-the-sheets shenanigans (nice to see you again Rupert), the riding bit was pretty great too. Which got me thinking, we are in Gloucestershire, home of royal and Olympic riding supremo Zara Phillips (and Jilly too!), and Cheltenham Race Week is round the corner, so why not saddle up and go for a ride? Sounds a bit less exhausting than a run, but it’s still exercise you know (core, quads, hamstrings, glutes, all engaged). Here are a few of the county’s best stables.

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How to nail Shrove Tuesday

26 Feb 2017

I usually feel a bit unprepared for Shrove Tuesday, it’s not a day of the week when I feel switched on to culinary creations, but this year I’m going to wow the mudlets with something really special (which after last year’s tortilla wraps shouldn’t be hard). I recently had a drool at the menu at The Malthouse Bar & Kitchen in Stroud after visiting the antiques emporium next door (review to follow) and was loving the sound of buttermilk pancakes with smoky bacon and maple syrup, so I got in touch with head chef Ryan King, who kindly agreed to share this very scrumptious sounding recipe for red velvet (I know! I love the cake too!) pancakes.

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A veggie recipe kids will love

13 Feb 2017

Dave Fung of Bristol-based catering company Little Wild Catering is on something of a mission. Formerly an employee at The Soil Association and a chef at The Potted Pig in Cardiff, Fung’s passion is creating healthy, ethical and delicious food using responsibly sourced ingredients. He launched Little Wild Catering at the end of last year after spending seven months in Kenya running a sourdough bakery whose profits went to fund local access to eye care. His jerk tofu and salt beef sandwiches at Bristol’s pop-up market BS5 in December were a sell-out hit and now, as well as setting up stall at farmers’ markets, he delivers superior lunches – his signature sandwiches, as well as a seasonally changing menu of vegan and meaty dishes – to office workers by bike. And you’d be hard-pressed to leave Pret A Manger spending less. He also does special events and corporate dos and here, he’s very kindly donated a recipe in aid of the ‘how can I get some veg down my kids’ necks’ cause.

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Gorgeous Hair salon in Cheltenham

9 Feb 2017

This salon, which opened six years ago in Cheltenham’s Suffolks (jam full of great antique shops, boutiques, cafés, bars, restaurants and a cute independent bookshop), does what it says on the tin. I went in with a barnet that was, if I’m honest, Wurzel Gummidge on a bad day (well, any day), with a grey root stripe across the top of my head that no amount of ColorWow Root Cover Up (a lifesaver in normal circumstances and Gorgeous Hair sells it, yippee!) could disguise.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Gloucestershire Edition