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Sip, shop and scoff: A day at fabulous Five Valleys

A year of pent-up retail therapy yearning to be sated? Whisk yourself off to the newest and most fabulous retail-meets-dining destination in the Cotswolds.

If we told you could eat like you’re in Borough Market and shop like you’re in Harvey Nicks in the middle of the Cotswolds would you believe us? Enter Five Valleys in Stroud!

This brand new wine, dine and shop destination is pretty much the coolest place in the shires right now (and Muddy’s favourite hang-out) and to top it all off Sandersons – an indie boutique department store – is opening there this month too.

Opening just over a year ago the centre is modelled on New York’s meatpacking district (think laidback industrial street food stalls and cool indie brands), with 20 market stall holders and growing every month, it has a brilliant line-up of seductive street food, fashion, wine, flowers, deli goods and more.

Want to know what you can do? Come with us as we whisk you off to spend a fantasy day there … (plus scroll down to win a designer beauty and accessories hamper from Sandersons worth £570!)

9am: Get a delicious breakfast

Head to Muddy’s favourite bakery, the Artisan Baker. Expert baker Ori Hellerstein is a master of the carbs. It’s 100% organic and everything is freshly baked daily, with a huge range of handcrafted bread, pastries and cakes.

The organic apple danishes and pecan & oatmeal cookies are to die for, and I highly recommend the Organic Green Olive Sourdough.

Want a flat white to go with it all? Head to The Warren – a converted horsebox that serves up the best coffee, teas and snacks. Or head straight for the hard stuff at the cake stand where you can pick a delicious blondie or carrot cake with your Black Forest Hot Chocolate. Look out too for Rough Hands Coffee Shop which is opening soon.

10am: Go shopping

At the eagerly-anticipated Sandersons! This indie boutique department store opens on 14 April (can you tell we’re counting down the days) and we’re limbering up our Muddy credit card in readiness. The third nationwide store of it’s kind for Sandersons, browse rails of Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Holland Cooper, Michael Kors, Part Two, Levis, Calvin Klein, Izipizi, Ugg, Barbour, Valentino and more. Or head for the handbags and accessories, or to the perfume counters of Initio, House of Oud and Histoires de Parfum.

There will be beauty bars to visit at Clarins and Voya, a pooch-fabulous dog accessories area and an interiors section from sensational upcycled Notting Hill furniture and homewares brand Bellas Gone Home.

11am: Time for elevenses

After all that shopping you’ll probably (definitely) need a refuel. Head to Nova’s Waffle and Icre cream Parlour serving up Belgian crepes with amazing toppings (think crushed Oreos and Caramac combos!) and 15 different flavours of Winstone’s Ice Cream.

12pm: Get a blowdry

Head for some long-awaited self-care at Medulla Hairdressing to sort out those unruly lockdown locks. This all-organic salon led by friendly hair expert Harriet will zhush you up in no time, or why not have that restyle you’ve wanted for the past year!

1pm: Let’s do lunch

Ahh but where to start? You’ll be utterly spoilt for choice, there’s a street food dish here for every mood.

Head to Non Solo Pasta (above) if you are a fan of Italian dishes. Run by the super-friendly Matteo and Clara from Rome, the menu is just incredible from Penne Bolognese to the best Arancini and desserts this side of Italy. Plus, from April onwards there will be a fantastic eat-in bar area where you can sip a glass of Chianti with your pasta (with Peroni on tap too we hear – take us there now).

Like pies? Then Pieminister is very popular, or head to Thai 2 Go which serves up authentic Thai street food (they do the best Green curry and Pad Thai we’ve had).

If you love vegan food go to Falafel Mama for delicious, fresh falafel wraps made to order. Or try Brody’s, headed up by mother-daughter team Tracey and Paige if you’re in the mood for great burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries and hot pork and stuffing rolls.

2pm: Time for more shopping …

One of our favourite go-to boutiques to restock the Muddy wardrobe is Sub Couture. Fresh from Notting Hill where owner Louise (and ex Betty Boo backing singer and DJ) has had a boutique for more than 20 years with a celeb clientele. Expect a hip-couture collection of designer clothes, shoes and accessories with some fabulous one-off vintage furniture finds.

If you’ve got little ones go to Jojo Maman Bebe which has a brand new store, or pick up a gorgeous bunch of Spring peonies or a lovely indoor plant from the Lily Pad florist.

4pm: Tea-time Treat

Finish off the day with a milkshake made with real ice cream or vegan-friendly smoothie from Callaghin’s Kitchen – with a range of soya and oat milk options too.

5pm: Before you go …

Head to Xocolatl the most heavenly of chocolate shops to lay your hands on a bespoke box of Belgian chocs handmade by the husband and wife team from Gloucester, and bottle of whatever you fancy from Phoenix Wines, a brilliantly-priced, indie wine seller with great personal recommendations on tap.

5pm: Dinner time

Top off the day with a delicious dinner from any of the marketeers, including the brand new Bao Ma which opens this month (April). Inspired by the famous Hawker Centres of Singapore where the owner Ting Ting Mokume grew up. Tasty treats such as satay chicken and locally sourced free range pork belly are served up in fluffy steamed buns, with vegan options too. Or, hold out for a Quesadilla (my new guilty pleasure, someone save me) or Burrito from La Cantina – an amazing Tex-Mex stall.

For the full list of what’s open head to Stroud’s Five Valleys here. The centre is open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm & Saturday’s 10am-5pm. Market customers who spend a minimum of £5 with any market traders can enjoy free parking every weekday from 5-7pm.

***** WIN! *****

Want to win the goodie hamper of dreams from Sandersons?! We are giving one away worth a whopping £570, full of designer and beauty goodies from Clarins and Initio to Michael Kors. All you have to do to win is enter here – good luck!

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