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Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Sneaky View of The Beach House

Over the past months I suspect that we have all spotted the colourful hoarding around The Beach House in Milford on Sea (Formerly Westover Hall) and wondered about the changes that were taking place inside.

The refurbished Beach House will re-open on the 30th April, but my curiosity could not wait that long.

Having already met the new friendly managers, Marina Schulz and Christos Constantinou, together with quite a few of the Hall & Woodhouse team at the Badger Beer MasterClass hosted by company Chairman, Mark Woodhouse during Food Week, it is clear that a warm welcome will be had by all when the doors open.

Having seen the building work progress & most recently a painting makeover take place, I decided it was time to find out exactly what was going on. 

I then had a brilliant idea, and decided that I would carry out a ninja operation in a ‘milk tray’ style. I had a black shirt & tight black trousers in the wardrobe, a black briefcase, a torch & gaffer tape, which I could use to stick the torch to my head. (I am not sure what I needed the briefcase for?!) I was now only missing a balaclava, but a few holes in a pair of my wife's tights soon sorted the final part of my attire.

To get over the hoarding I decided to take our two dogs, then when in position I would stand one on the other, to create a canine ladder to scale the wooden obstacle.

My wife had decided she wanted no part of this particular escapade, and just said she wouldn’t visit me in hospital (or prison) when it all went wrong.

Undaunted my plan remained intact, but I decided that I had better add some gloves ‘so I left no ‘dabs’. To complete the outfit for my undercover spying raid I decided the final component was to wear a pair of my wife’s shoes to leave confusing footprints. (Which should be fun as she is a size 6, & I am a size 12).

Once my mission was complete, I would then report back to you all without anyone knowing I had even been in there. 

I was proud of my meticulously thought out plan, but to carry out such an operation it was obviously necessary to ‘case the joint’ as soon as possible. Once over the fence, I could then quickly see the results of the building work & then quickly return the way I came. (That is as long as I didn’t break a heel).

As I made several scrambling attempts to get over the fence a certain amount of commotion ensued, with my dogs manically barking and a rather loud rip as the crutch of my trousers gave way.

Then, Marina appeared from the open gate, smiled, and asked if I would like to look around. (Damn, I hadn't thought of simply asking to have a tour.)

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Once inside, I cased the joint using the secret camera in my lapel. The new bar in the main hall looked ideal for enjoying a pint of Badger Beer in grand surroundings, and the 'Cluedo Library' felt a great place to relax as you traced the Hall & Woodhouse Cluedo characters on the wall, mixing history with a fun theme.

I spotted some new doors at the back, which now open onto a new terrace with central steps down into the garden. The dining rooms and front lounge have new furniture and the original decorative features gleam once again.

A new staircase now takes you downstairs to a very impressive toilet block. Everywhere you look there is fine detail and humorous additions.

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As we went upstairs to see the bedrooms, my feet were throbbing and the heel on my wife's shoe snapped, so I was walking with a rise and fall perfect for a Come Dancing waltz.

The very comfortable bedrooms were each individually themed, and the seaside feel in each room was delightful. Many of the bathrooms are mega impressive, and each have a mirror with lights that turn on with a swipe of the hand. In each room the wall mounted large screen TV's welcome you with a live webcam from the terrace to The Needles, so even in the road facing rooms you have a sea view. (Nice idea!)

Throughout, the special little touches are clear to see and the quality of the furnishings shine through loud and clear. 

There is no doubt a lot of thought and love have been put into restoring this wonderful building. I was particularly impressed to hear that the designers worked closely with the local team to ensure that their own ideas and little touches were incorporated in the final finish.

So ultimately, all of my 'ninja plan’ was for nothing, plus I had to find an explanation as to why the heel on my wife's shoe was broken.

When the Beach House opens at the end of this month it is going to be a great addition to the Foodie Heaven of Milford on Sea, and I can't wait to go back in more comfortable clothing!

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The Beach House
Park Lane, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PT
01590 643044