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Hi there, I’m Catherine!

I’ve been a regional and national journalist for 20 years, having written news and lifestyle features for publications including The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror, Sun Woman and MailOnline’s showbiz desk (yes, the sidebar of shame!).

Originally from a small market town close to the hills and sea in North Wales, I lived in Cardiff and London before moving to culturally-rich Shakespeare country 17 years ago. Now I’m dedicated to bringing the very best bits of Warwickshire & West Mids South to my discerning, fun-loving readers.

Muddy Stilettos first tottered into the world in Summer 2011 as a bit of fun for the founder, Hero Brown over in Bucks & Oxon. The idea was a simple one: to write a witty but indispensable local guide to the very best restaurants, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events (whilst also perking up her social life). Along with Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire there are now 24 Muddy counties, all with a focus on the quirky, unique, cool and interesting; so no advertorial, no PR guff and a genuine, upbeat honesty. As well as being an indispensable local guide, it’s also a platform for local businesses to get their message across and for us to see what an amazing and creative county we live in.

This is the Muddy Mantra, so you know what to expect from the site:

  1. I try everything out myself so that you can fully trust my opinions. On the occasions that I haven’t been somewhere myself, I let you know that’s the case.
  2. I will never accept payment to write about something I don’t believe in.
  3. I won’t write nasty reviews. I’m not into trashing people, brands or companies, but if the experience wasn’t good enough, I won’t write about it in Muddy Stilettos, regardless of whether I have paid for the experience or not. This gives me the editorial control I need for a successful site and the trust that my readers require.
  4. 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 of the time). Hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars – if you would like me to try you out, please get in touch at
  5. Muddy Stilettos is a commercial site and as such accepts advertising and utilises affiliate links. 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 really do hope you love the site – please tell your friends about it, and sign up for my marvellardo free posts, delivered to your inbox!

Catherine x

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