Hello and welcome!
I’m Sophie, Gloucestershire editor of award-winning lifestyle platform, Muddy Stilettos. Brace yourself for some fun! You’ve found the finest guide to what’s hot and unmissable in this brilliant county.
I’ve been a lifestyle journalist for The Telegraph, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Guardian, Grazia, Independent, Fabulous and more for the past 20 years, and I am the former Editor in Chief of a national parenting magazine. I’ve spent the night at Kate Moss’s house, hung-out with Fearne Cotton, and shared style tips with Stella McCartney, so I am proud to be bringing my A-game to Muddy Stilettos.
I swapped London for Gloucestershire nearly a decade ago and I am obsessed by this fabulous county and all it has to offer. I share a honey-stone Cotswold cottage with my husband Mike, our two energetic boys, Bowie the Japanese Spitz (90% fluff, 10% dog) and Honey, our moody Maine Coon cat. Passionate about the arts, fashion, interiors and all things foodie, if I’m not bringing you the best events, shows, news and hotel reviews I can be spotted cycling around on my beloved Pashley or running through the Cotswold hills (always to the nearest boutique pub, of course).
My aim is to put the gloss into Gloucestershire for you, so go on – sign up here to never miss a thing.
Muddy Stilettos is the ultimate ‘urban guide to the countryside’ and began life as a bit of fun for journalist Hero Brown (Independent on Sunday, Observer, Red, Marie Claire, The Telegraph) back in 2011. Having left London that summer with her husband and baby in tow, she wanted to perk up her social life. Nine years on, Muddy Bucks/Oxon has become so successful that it’s rapidly taking over the country – already up-and-running in 24 counties including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Northants, Surrey, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire (that’s me), Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.
It has grown into an indispensable guide to the best restaurants, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events. No PR guff or advertorial, just upbeat and personal reviews and the hottest edits, focusing on the exceptional, the interesting and the quirky – our Team Muddy promise.
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 always 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!