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Muddy has her ear to the ground and hears the distant rumble of lots of good things coming atcha! Clickety click for the latest goss.

Topsham is the tops

Muddy loves Topsham, aka Exeter-on-sea with its indie vibe, Dutch houses and riverside location so we weren’t surprised to hear it’s just been named best place to live in the South West by The Sunday Times. It’s packed with gorgeous eateries, boutiques and gift shops with some brilliant newbies making their mark. I love Lark for their gorgeous jewellery and quirky gifts, Pea & Mint for floaty boho clothes and accessories and don’t miss Sara’s Petite Cuisine for her French and Portugese inspired patisserie and cakes. Topsham’s newest ‘cafe by day, bar by night’ is No3. They do a very quaffable line in Devon gins and for £25 you can take a 1-hour mixology class and learn the art of cocktails. Zero-waste shop Nourish, just celebrated their first birthday by winning an Exeter Living award, and are opening a second shop in St Leonard’s indie shopping district any day now (of which more below).


Relax – two new spas incoming

Spa fans rejoice! Two new flashy spas are opening soon, one for north Devon’ers and one for the south. Northcote Manor in North Devon’s Taw Valley is unveiling treatment rooms for its 18th century manor next month, with a hot tub, sauna and steam room as well as a gym and decent-sized pool for a dip. Down south near Chudleigh, The Sirona Spa at the Finlake Holiday Resort is set to open this spring, promising natural Elemis products and a refreshed sense of mind, body and soul – and who wouldn’t want that? They’re offering discount membership for the first 200 members who sign up, and you can get a sneak peek of the delights in store here.


New zero-waste shop

Looking for more ways to cut own on your single-use plastic? Owner of zero-waste shop Nourish In Topsham, Sarah Martin, is opening a second shop this month on the site previously known as The Bran Tub, in St Leonard’s fashionable indie shopping area, Magdalen Street in St Leonard’s. It’ll have all her customers’ faves (that includes chocolate honeycomb) in gravity-fed dispensers and scoop tubs. Nourish joins Leela’s ethical homeware and gifts, The Grocer on the Green, plus a deli, fishmongers and a fabulous bakery. David Attenborough would approve and it beats a trip to the boring old supermarket hands down.

Bude have also announced a new zero-waste shop, The ReFill Shop a community-run venture started by a group of eight determined women who came up with an idea for a volunteer-run social enterprise stocked with local affordable food and skincare, free of plastic. Apparently the idea took shape over a fair amount of time and a fair amount of wine, gin and cider. Ladies, we like your style.


DJ Jo Whiley set to rock Pigstock 

Back for its seventh year, Pigstock returns on Saturday 18th May at its new location of The Big Sheep near Bideford and guess who’s headlining? Only Jo Whiley, Radio One DJ royalty, bringing her fave 90’s anthems and a rocking show finale. The family-friendly fest also hosts Dr & The Medics of ‘Spirit in the Sky’ fame, the Electric Swing Circus with its stomping electro beats plus CBeebies star Andy Day and free all-day entry for ticket holders to The Big Sheep.

And Devon songbird Joss Stone is the latest act to be confirmed for Powderham Castle’s Tunes in the Castle on 3rd August.


Fancy a stay at the world’s best B&B?

Finally, the world’s best B&B according to Trip Advisor is The 25 Boutique right here in little ol’ Devon, Torquay to be precise. Of course you knew all about it already, because Muddy reviewed it back in 2017 here. If you fancy booking in for a swish stay, they’re offering a complimentary bottle of Prosecco with every booking made at until the end of April to Muddy readers. Just write “MUDDY” in the “Comments” box when booking. Cheers, m’dears!


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