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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Back from Deauville

Having hung up my beret and whilst trying to get used to speaking English again, we returned to Milford on Sea. I am even ignoring the constant e-mails from the mayor of Deauville, asking me when we were coming back (apparently he wants to plan his holidays in advance) as I now have more important things in hand.

Of course the first thing we had to do when back in the village was go and eat. So we were off to Verveine for Saturday lunch. The hake was superb, homemade bread delicious, pudding very naughty and the complimentary petit fours with our coffee were weird and wonderful. My French brothers think they are good at cooking, but I challenge them to beat the exquisite & imaginative food created by Dave Wykes.

Naturally we next needed to have a great Sunday lunch, so the next day we went to Westover Hall. My first turkey meal of the forthcoming Christmas period was delicious, and my wife tucked into pork belly as if she had just returned from a desert island that only had fruit. Can’t remember the name of my pudding, but I do recall it was creamy, nutty and beauty on a plate. All was washed down with a bottle of smooth Beaujolais nouveau. As always, I was wearing shorts, the welcome was as warm as ever and the meal great value for money.

Tuesday night we were off to La Perle, pretending it was my birthday. We started the evening by enjoying a couple of finely served pints in The Red Lion. On arrival at La Perle we were greeted with a friendly smile and a champagne aperitif, I of course felt very special, until my wife & friends pointed out all of the other diners were given the same. I chose the ‘seven hour lamb’ for my main course. The dish melted in the mouth and the gravy, sauce, jus, or whatever it is called, was to die for. At the end of service Leo visits each table, we (I) told him about my birthday and he poured us each a glass of ‘Marc Du Champagne’ (a Champagne brandy), it really was my lucky day, Colin was driving, Trish doesn’t drink and my wife doesn’t like brandy. Two beers, a few glasses of wine, and four Marc du Champagne’s later, we (I) made our way home in a sort of giggly wobbly way.

Last Friday we dined for the first time at The Raft in Milford on Sea. Having only opened a few weeks ago, (and having missed the opening party as we were still in France) this was our first opportunity to visit. Having yet again press-ganged our friends to eat out, off we went. The quirky interior of the old ‘Belle Epoque’ was gone, and the restaurant had now been transformed into a fresh ‘shabby chic’ environment. It is clear that the new owners, Deny & Jan, have a great eye for design and detail. The restaurant is described as ‘Bistro Chic’, which felt right. It was great to see a real buzz as we arrived, all tables looked full and plenty of smiling faces. We had a table at the back near the open kitchen. Having all chosen different things from the extensive and unusual menu, I was soon tucking into chilli prawns, goats cheese, onion marmalade & fresh tomato pizza, followed by pistachio brownie. Hmmm, yummy. My wife and friends were all equally impressed by their own dishes and the generous portions. When our charming waitress bought the bill we all felt the value for money was great. We will certainly be back soon.

The Raft is open from 10am to 10pm Wednesday to Sunday, so it is easy to pop in for a snack, meal, or just a coffee, beer or just a nose around.

Disappointingly we had not found time this week to visit Zaika, The Marine, Britannia Thai, the pubs, or any of the caf├ęs for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, ….. fortunately there is always next week!

To see The Raft’s new website, please visit:
http://www.theraftmos.co.uk/

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