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The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Kent Edition

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Wouldn't you though?

I’m sorry people, I’ve tried, but I can’t hold off writing about it any more – Christmas is coming and if you want a wreath as lovely as this you need to goddam plan for it!

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The best way to spend a festive Sunday with the family!

5 Dec 2016
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I’ll admit it, most of our weekends are taken up with taxi-ing the mudlets to various clubs or birthday parties and dealing with housework, homework and hangovers. But every now and then I insist on a day trip that takes us away from the routine of the rat race. Which is how we ended up at Leeds Castle Christmas Market this Sunday with its chocolate box cute fun-fair rides for the minis, gorgeous, boutique shopping stalls for the adults – followed by a slap up Sunday lunch (with red wine) in one of my fave places to eat.

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Going to the Panto? Oh yes you are…

30 Nov 2016
Snow White Panto

The 2016 Tunbridge Wells Panto is Snow White, which will be performed at the Assembly Halls in Tunbridge Wells.

There was an official launch on Thursday held at Scotney Castle featuring the principal players

Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen and Millie Booth as Snow White

It’s Panto time. Oh yes it is. (Come on, get in the mood!). And where is your ultimate guide to the best pantos this Christmas? It’s behind you! Actually, no it isn’t. It’s in the list below.

This year in Panto-land, there’s the usual array of soap stars, TV C-listers and the occasional real celeb. So here’s my definitive guide to the season’s best pantos in Kent and beyond. Choose your poison, and make sure you go!

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The Muddy Guide

23 Nov 2016
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Christmas Lights & Night Food Market, Faversham, Sat 26 Nov

Wrap up warm for Faversham’s Christmas lights switch on with a difference! Following the town’s switch on by Father Christmas and friends, the town will host another of its famous night food markets. The night market will be offering plenty of delectable goodies from local food and drink producers and an assortment of musical entertainment that’ll keep you dancing into the night.

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Muddy tries: Ice Skating in the Park, Tunbridge Wells

19 Nov 2016
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Everyone present agreed, there was something unmistakably magical about the opening night of Ice Skating in the Park in Calverley Park, Tunbridge Wells, on Friday. The music, the twinkly lights, the laughter, the mulled wine…and, wait… is that Bambi, all awkward-limbed and wide-eyed, slip-sliding across the frozen water? No, came the reply. That’s Muddy Kent in a brown Parka. *Sigh*. Pah! What do I care? I haven’t had so much fun out with the Mini Muddies in ages.

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Top 12 cosy pubs to try

17 Nov 2016
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Snow’s coming, you say? Are you kidding me?! We’ve had a brilliant run of mild weather, but winter’s definitely getting ready to hit where it hurts.

Nothing for it, then, but to dig out the ski socks, choose one of these supercosy pubs to take refuge in (with great food of course) and order in a bottle of red. This is just a starter list really because I could have gone on and on!

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The Muddy Guide

17 Nov 2016
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Grayson Perry exhibition, Canterbury, Sat 8 Oct – Sun 4 Dec

The Vanity of Small Differences is a series of six large scale tapestries by acclaimed artist Grayson Perry, created alongside the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series,  All in the Best Possible Taste. Cue lots of thought provoking debate on class, taste and society.

From 9:30am daily, 10am Sundays. Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, High Street, Canterbury CT1 2BD, canterburymuseums.co.uk

Christmas Lights Switch On Party, The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 19 Nov

The Pantiles is kicking off the holiday season by throwing a cracker of a party celebrating its big Christmas lights switch on.

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Interview: Quick-fire questions with Su Pollard!

15 Nov 2016
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As panto fever starts to build I was lucky enough to grab 5 minutes with national treasure, comedienne, actress and TV presenter Su Pollard – soon to be starring as the Wicked Queen in the Assembly Hall Theatre (Tunbridge Wells) production of Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Fun, zany and very, very likeable – she did not disappoint. Come, join me and say Hi-de-Hi (sorrrrry…)

Goodie or Baddie?

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Property Flirt

15 Nov 2016
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Fancy a nose around this country idyll? There’s a barn and full equestrian facilities – paddocks, stables, stable boy… Okay, so I can’t be sure about the latter, but we won’t know unless we have a snoop around. So what are we waiting for?

Usual rules apply – look at the pics and description, guess the price and do a victory dance around the kitchen/office/dentist’s waiting room, when you get it spot on.

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FIRST LOOK: THE JOHN LEWIS CHRISTMAS AD!

11 Nov 2016
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It’s easy to feel manipulated with the glut of carefully packaged Christmas TV ads that come our way through November and December, and lordy knows my own cynical gene is horrifically overdeveloped. But hats off to John Lewis, early deliverers of the Christmas message of ‘gifts for everyone’ – the company has delivered a clever, lighthearted TV campaign that I’ve already watched twice with a smile on my face.

Yes it has the inevitable hashtags ready and waiting to exploit any social media buzz, and I don’t doubt for a second that John Lewis has its range of cuddly toy boxer dogs, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and rabbits primed and ready to roll nationwide.

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Get your skates on!

11 Nov 2016
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Pop-up ice rinks are back for the winter, adding a touch of romance to the cold. They’re a great spot for a date (remember Rocky?), a family day out, or a fun slip sliding Christmas party and there are several in Kent and nearby…

Tunbridge Wells, Calverley Grounds, 18 Nov – 2 Jan 

Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells will once again be transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland, pictured above.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Kent Edition