Hi, I’m Sarah, a journalist with 20 years’ experience in national consumer magazines (Marie Claire, Wallpaper*, Porter), born in Canada but raised in Gloucestershire. During my twenties and thirties, I left the county to travel the world (Egypt, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Greece, Zimbabwe), build a career (London) and have a go at being a bountiful mother to three tiny people (Kent), before the magnetic pull of Gloucestershire brought me back to its bosom five years ago. With one foot in the metropolis and one in the countryside for the last few years, I’ve become adept at balancing the best of both, which makes taking on the editorship of Muddy Stilettos Gloucestershire: The Urban Guide to the Countryside feel like destiny.
Muddy Stilettos first tottered into the world in Summer 2011 as a bit of fun when its founder, Hero, a national journalist (Independent on Sunday, Observer, Red, Marie Claire, Elle, The Telegraph) moved out of London to the rural Bucks/Oxon borders and came up with a simple but great idea: to write a witty but indispensable guide to the very best restaurants, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events she came across in the local counties. No advertorial. No PR guff. Just upbeat honesty, everything checked out personally, with the focus on the exceptional, the interesting and the quirky.
Six years on, Muddy Bucks/Oxon has become so successful that it’s rapidly taking over the country – it’s already up-and-running in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Northants, Surrey, Kent, Norfolk, Sussex, Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire (that’s me), Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.
This is the Muddy Mantra, so you know what to expect from the site:
- 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 – um, I’m not a miracle worker) I let you know about it.
- I don’t write advertorial. This means I will never accept payment to write about something I don’t believe in.
- 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, cafes, bars – if you want me to try you out, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I’ll never write a nasty review. I’m not into trashing people, brands or companies. BUT if you’re not good enough, I will not 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.
- Muddy Stilettos is a commercial site and accepts advertising and payment to feature products and brands. However, we believe passionately in only working with brands that share our ethos and are relevant to our readers. We retain editorial control and independence at all times.
I hope you love the site. Please tell your friends about it, and sign up for my splendiferous free posts delivered to your inbox to be the first to know about all the cool stuff happening in your area!