The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Cambridgeshire Edition

Category: Eat Out

Foodie Flash – new openings that you need to know about

27 Mar 2017
SmokeWorrks, Cambridge

We’re pounding away at Muddy Cambs as there’s so much brilliant stuff coming up in the next weeks and months and, as you know, if it’s cool, chic or stylish we’re all over it. Grub is on the up in Cambridgeshire this spring and summer – there are roof gardens growing, new hotels opening and pubs that have been given so much plastic surgery they’re lost years, changed their shape and sound different. Some have opened in the last day or two whilst others are still a work in progress so as ever keep your eyes on the blog and I’ll wave a flag when you need to get your skates on


This popular all day coffee-cum-brunch-cum-cocktail bar is raising the roof this summer quite literally.

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Stay here: Poets House Hotel and Restaurant, Ely

20 Mar 2017
Poets House, Ely

If you’re looking for a cracking escape that’s not too far but enough to feel like you’ve run-away – then I’ve got just the thing for you.

Poets House Hotel and Restaurant let me introduce the Muddy readers.

With escape on our minds Mr Muddy and I deposited the kids into the arms of their grandmother and skidded off up the A14 in search of sanity, a good sleep and a bit of, um, ‘grown up time’.

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Mother’s Day – need a hand?

9 Mar 2017
The Tumberlain Hotel, Cambridge Garden Room

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if you haven’t arranged anything yet you better get a shift on. Everything gets booked up so flipping early and who wants to be in the doghouse for the next month (mini mudders are you listening?). Whether it’s Sunday lunch or afternoon tea I’ve pulled together a delicious bundle of ideas, across the whole of the county, that will get you back into your mother’s good books.

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Muddy eats: the Black Horse at Elton

21 Feb 2017
The Black Horse at Elton, Cambridgeshire


I’m writing this feature with a huge grin on my face because, truly, it was such a delight to find The Black Horse in the beautiful village of Elton, close to the Northants border a few miles from Oundle. We’re not drowning in good gastropubs towards the west of the county – if you’re a regular Muddy reader, you’ll know already that the lifeblood of the blog is to find things in Cambridegshire that have something that lifts them from the ordinary, and here’s one delicious nugget for you.

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Holy Crepe – it’s Pancake Day next week

21 Feb 2017
Pancake Day Shrove Tuesday


Not sure you want reminding but Pancake Day has crept up on us – it’s next week, Tue 28 Feb – the one day of the year when it’s totally acceptable to throw food round the kitchen. For 24 hours us amateur chefs will be stocking up on eggs, flour, Nutella, bananas and lemons to entertain our friends and family. I’m no masterchef – don’t take my advice for gawd’s sake unless you’re after a gloopy mess – I’ve enlisted the help of crepe chef connoisseur John Fenton from Cambridge Crepes to share his flippin’ good recipe plus a few tips on how and when…


  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 mls semi-skimmed milk
  • 230 mls water
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 4 tbsp of melted butter


Whisk together the eggs and plain flour.

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Check out the Shelford Delicatessen

8 Feb 2017
Shelford Delikatessen, Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire

I’ve known about the Shelford Delicatessen in Great Shelford for some time now, but despite careering past on my way to various important meetings (*cough* with girlfriends) I haven’t stuck my nose in. A friend mentioned it again to me recently and it reminded me to slam the breaks on next time I was nearby – and I’m sooo glad I did.

Great Shelford is a large village a few miles south of Cambridge.

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Fromage-free outings for Valentine’s Day

31 Jan 2017
Valentine's Day

Is there any other night more goddamn pressurised than Valentine’s Day. Loaded with hope if you’re in a new relationship and for the old timers it’s a reflection of how well you know and love that person – the whole thing is fraught with potential disaster. So if you’re a bit like me, and looking for something a bit less traditional and er, a little more fun, here are some alternative, non-cheesy Valentine’s ideas that will help you feel the love.

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Muddy Walks: Houghton Mill and meadows walk

11 Jan 2017

You know how you have to exercise but as January moves on you can’t quite force yourself into lycra? A brisk walk along the banks of the Great River Ouse at Houghton Meadows could be exactly what you and yours need to blow away the cobwebs without having to put on your sweat bands. It’s an easy flat circular route and although much is over grass if you’ve got an off-roader buggy it will handle the ground easily.

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Muddy Eats: The Mermaid at Ellington

2 Jan 2017
The Mermaid Inn, Ellington, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

You know those pubs where you’ve driven past a hundred times but somehow they never entice you to try them out? That’s how I’d always felt about the unassuming The Mermaid Inn, in the quiet village of Ellington just off the A14 a few miles west of Huntingdon, but the other day I tried some of their delicious canapés at a party and couldn’t stop scoffing them. So I did what any self-respecting glutton would do – grabbed my husband and dragged him along to try out the pub.

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Famous Buns at Fitzbillies

1 Jan 2017
Fitzbillies Cafe, Cambridge Chelsea Buns

Pubs and restaurants often steal the limelight in Muddy reviews, but sometimes you need to know the best place for a coffee and a bun and a good old goss with your mates. Then Fitzbillies, and its legendary buns, could hit the spot. I’ve been putting off visiting this café as sweet dough covered in a sticky currant and cinnamon mixture, finished off with a sugar syrup glaze just doesn’t do it for me (*cough*).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Cambridgeshire Edition