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Friday, 26 December 2014

Don't Miss Johnson Beharry VC

Have you got your tickets yet to Meet the remarkable Johnson Beharry VC in Milford on Sea?

Come along to meet the man, and to hear the remarkable life story of Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in more than 30 years.

Johnson is inspiring, charismatic and humorous. His talk will tell you about his inspirational life experiences; including his tough childhood, his determination to make something of his life, and ultimately how he faced unimaginable challenges in battle and life.

This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet an extraordinary man who has been awarded a VC, and to see the medal he won so valiantly.

*All profits to 'Every Man Remembered' campaign run by the Royal British Legion. | Ticket prices include a charitable donation.

Buy tickets online here: www.ticketsource.co.uk/lovemilford
or from Community Centre Box Office, which reopens on Monday 5th January 2015.


Can You Help to Deliver LMW Programmes?

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After stuffing ourselves with turkey, chocolates and plenty of drink, a wander in the village may be just the tonic.

If you fancy delivering some Love Milford Week Programmes to a few shops on Friday 2nd January, please drop me a line at: david@milfordonsea.org 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

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If you are flying away for Christmas, make sure the pilot is careful - we all want our presents tonight! 

Enjoy Christmas, and may all your mince pies be mincey!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Got a Local Business, Club or Class?

Love Milford Week is going to provide a perfect opportunity for local businesses to find new customers, and for Clubs & Classes to find new members.

The Local Services Exhibition takes place from 3pm to 6pm on Thursday 19th February, and provides a perfect opportunity to meet Village Tradesmen and Other Useful Village Services for Your Home.

The village has numerous small and home based businesses who provide a wide variety of services; Interior Designers, Handymen, Builders, Electricians, Plumbers, Painters, Decorators, Beauty Care, Home Services, Home Cleaning, Transport, Child Care, Healthcare, Counselling, Pet Care, Architects, Marketing Services, Web Builders, Solicitors, Accountants, Consultants and more.

If you have a business you would like to come along, Free Table Tops are still available, so please contact: david@milfordonsea.org

It is great to support and use local village businesses, and everyone is invited to come along to discover the local service available, entry is free and the café will be open.

There is also a Clubs, Classes & Charities Morning taking place from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 17th February. 

It is amazing to believe, but Milford on Sea has over 48 Clubs for adults, youth and kids, numerous Charities & Support Groups, and over 40 Classes.

Table Tops are Free for any village Club, Class, Charity or Support Group that would like to come along, just drop a line to david@milfordonsea.org 

Everyone in the village are invited to come and discover all that is happening in the village, - and if anything takes your fancy you can join!

Both events will be held in the Milford on Sea Community Centre, Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PG, we hope to see you there.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Carols with the Guides


As the guides continue their quest to raise money for a new roof on the Guide Hut, they will be singing Carols & Christmassy songs at Tesco in New Milton tomorrow between 12.30pm and 1.15pm.

Please pop along to support the 1st Milford on Sea Rainbows, Brownies & Guides if you can, and of course enjoy the fun.

PS: Don't forget to buy what shopping you can in the village, - and give our shops a Christmas treat!

Hearty Lunch for £5

It is not often you get the chance for a Hearty Lunch for £5, together with the opportunity to meet new people.

The First Friday Lunch funnily enough happens on the first Friday of every month. It is held in the Community Centre and everyone in the village is invited. Why not give the next one try?

Starting at 1pm, the next First Friday Charity Lunch is on Friday 2nd January and will be in aid of the Ebola Crisis Appeal and all proceeds will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

This lunch is a joint effort by the usual First Friday Lunch helpers and volunteers. They be serving a hearty soup and fruit crumble. If anyone wants to donate a raffle prizes on the day it would be appreciated by the organisers.

So for a homely lunch, simply go along, pay £5 entry on the door and have a great time.

Friday, 19 December 2014

5 Stars for Britannia Thai

In May this year Britannia Thai restaurant had a completely new team, - and from that day they have simply gone from strength to strength.

Word has spread around the village that if you enjoy authentic Thai food, you will love the great food and service at the Britannia Thai.

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The Head Chef, Songkiat Surin is bringing his passion for traditional Thai food and combining it with fresh organic ingredients Fusion style. 

Songkiat has an impressive CV, having worked in 4 and 5 star hotels in Pattaya and Bangkok before going to work in Israel for three years. He arrived in the UK in 2007 and helped set up the Bann Thai restaurant in Worcester. Due to his passion to work with fresh organic ingredients he then went to work in Daylesford Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire, before returning to work in the highly regarded Zen Garden in Carey's Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst.

Songkiat Surin was Born Pattaya in Thailand and is married with a 6 year old daughter.  

Some of Songkiat's signature dishes are the Thai Scallops, Salt and Pepper Squid, Tamarind Duck, Honey Duck with Orange Salad, Lamb Shank and Pepper Beef (which is Sirloin Steak sizzling on a platter.) He also does tasty Thai classics such as the green and red curry.

The Britannia Thai's most recent success is in being awarded a 5 Star Hygiene Rating by the Food Standards Agency, the highest award available.

In additional to a full Thai menu, Britannia Thai are also now offering a Thai Tapas for lunch and early evening, where you can choose a set menu or just pick a lot of different dishes to taste.

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To ensure the authenticity of the dishes, Songkiat orders fresh Thai ingredients directly from Thailand which are delivered to Bournemouth airport and then straight to the restaurant. The fresh meat and fish are from specialist companies in Bournemouth and the fresh vegetables are from Marjorie's in the village.

The Britannia Thai also has an excellent front of house team. The Manager is Kanoksak Siripongswalee, affectionately known as Tae, together with his wife Duangjai (known as Orr).

So, plenty of exciting changes over the past few months, and a great excuse to treat yourself to a Thai experience soon!

Britannia Thai 
1 High St, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 642212

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Calling All Exotic Car Owners

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Do you have, or do you know anyone in Milford on Sea with, an Exotic Car that they would be happy to bring along to the Exotic Car Show in Love Milford Week? (That's a Classic, Prestige, Exotic or Super Car) 

We have 22 excellent and interesting cars so far - all owned in the village, but we would love to see all of the special cars in the village.

We know that Milford on Sea has a wealth of interesting and exotic cars tucked away in garages across the village and they are all invited.

To included your car, please simply drop me an e-mail at :david@milfordonsea.org

The Exotic Car Show will be held in Milford on Sea Seafront Car Park (Next to the Bowls Club), at the end of Love Milford Week, on Sunday 22nd February 2015.

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OK, we know February is not a great month for car shows, but it will be fun if the weather is nice, and naturally, if the weather takes a turn for the worse we would have to rearrange.

Come along to enjoy the cars, it is free entry, and there will be plenty to see! 

Love Milford Week

Monday, 15 December 2014

Desperate Facebooker!

On the 21st November, exactly 24 days ago, I embarked on the long resisted challenge of Facebook.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, please don't give up and read on...

I still have little clue what I am doing when confronting 'social media', ...but I have been fortunate to somehow gather 514 Friends so far. (This does not of course include My Wife, as she refuses to have me as a friend on FB due to hearing far too much from me as it is!)

Now the thing is, - I need some more help please.

You may be on Facebook, you may not, but there is little doubt that your family, children, friends and neighbours are, indeed most of the younger generation are on it! (I know, I sort of don't qualify.)

From what I have worked out so far I need lots of pages, these then have to be liked. loved or licked or something.

Important Bit: If you are Not on Facebook, Can you please forward this article to anyone you know: 
A. Who may be young enough to know what this all means, 
B. Who may be interested in things to do with Milford on Sea, 
C. Who has nothing better to do...
or D. Anyone you would like to irritate!

Simply go to bottom of this article, and sent to anyone you know by clicking the 'envelope icon':


If you are a fellow Facebooker, (get me, I feel I am one of the chosen few now!), - or have received this article from someone you know, please help by:

Becoming a Friend: click here

Like 'Milford News': click here

Like 'Love Milford Week': click here

Like 'Food Week': click here

Like 'Great Dining Bus': click here

I know that all sounds a bit painful, ..but just imagine the pain I had setting it all up for no one to see!

For a bit of light relief, take a look at the 'Photo Albums' click here

I look forward to seeing you, or someone you know, on Facebook soon!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Milford Pavement Problems

It has been exciting to hear how many people are saying they are planning to take up the Shopping Challenge during Love Milford Week (click here

- Interestingly, it has also identified a problem that a number of young mum's with pushchairs, and some of our less mobile neighbours, have when shopping in the village.

Navigating the steps and aisles in Hollands and The Co-Op can also be a tricky experience for some.

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A discussion has developed on Facebook relating to various pavement/kerb/road conditions that make the village centre unfriendly for mothers with buggies and wheelchair users. (click here to read or join in the discussion)

I spoke to Paul at Hollands about his steps, (which are difficult to reconfigure another way), and he said that anyone who struggles with the steps (like the less mobile and push chair customers), are welcome to come up the level side roadway and into the shop through the back entrance. You can even park the push chair whilst you shop – and he will deliver what you buy. The rear entrance is open every day from 7am to 4pm for people to come in to shop.

We have also written a letter to the Parish Council about the pavements, but whilst we await their thoughts, it is great to know Hollands are doing all they can for people to be able to shop with them.

I am confident that the Parish Council will agree that problems with the pavements is pretty disturbing, not just because of the difficulties for the people mentioned, but also because this prevents some people from shopping in the village centre, particularly as the shops need all the customers they can get.

Whilst this may not fall under the Parish Council's jurisdiction, it will be interesting to know the councils opinion, and whether Hampshire County Council have any plans to make improvements to the pavement/kerb/road conditions in Milford on Sea village centre. When we hear we will of course let you know the situation.

The core of Love Milford Week is the 'Shopping Challenge' (www.lovemilfordweek.org), - the idea is to challenge people to only shop in the village for that week, - ironically this has identified that for some people shopping in the village is a real challenge all year round!

Great to hear that Paul Holland is finding the best solution he can, and it would be nice if the highways authorities could make some improvements to make things easier.

Hollands of Milford
49 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG
01590 641882

The Keeping Family in Milford

Anyone interested in the history of Milford on Sea may have seen old pictures of Keeping & Son in the High Street.

What is less know, is the significant story of two members of the family.

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Frederick Keeping was born on the 11th August 1867. 

In 1896 he was employed at the British Embassy in Athens and he competed in the 1896 Athen Summer Olympics despite the wishes of some fellow British residents of the Greek capital, who believed that as a servant of the British ambassador he 'was not a gentleman and therefore could not be an amateur'. 

Keeping won an Olympic Second Place Medal at the first International Olympic Games held in the Modern era. He competed in the 12 Hour Cycle Race, which started at 5am.

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The Games attracted athletes from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Greece, Germany, France and Great Britain. Despite many obstacles and setbacks, the 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date.

Only two cyclists (out of the six who started the 12 Hour Race), finished the 900 laps of the the newly built velodrome, a distance of 314 km. The race was won by Adolf Schmal of Austria.

Early in the race, Adolf Schmal, who was better known as a fencer, jumped the field and gained an early lap. He then rode with the pack until one by one the riders dropped out. At 12pm, the two remaining riders, Schmal and Keeping, took a 10 minute break. Schmal rode directly behind Keeping's wheel throughout, never allowing himself to be dropped, and won by the one lap that he had gained early in the race. Keeping made occasional bursts to regain the lost lap, but to no avail.

First place winners were awarded a silver medal, an olive branch and a diploma. Finishing in second place, Frederick was presented with a copper medal, a branch of laurel and a diploma. 

In September 2012 a 'Second Medal' from the same Olympics sold at Christie's Auction House in London for £15,000.

After returning to England, Frederick opened Fred. Keeping cycle shop, which was later expanded and renamed: Keeping & Son - a Morris car garage, petrol station and cycle shop in Milford on Sea High Street.

Frederick died aged 82 on 21st February 1950 (Aged 82) 

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Michael Keeping

Frederick's son, Michael Keeping (Alexander Edwin Michael Keeping) was born in Milford on Sea on 22nd August 1902. 

Michael became a professional footballer with Southampton and Fulham in the English Leagues. 

He was initially spotted playing for Milford on Sea FC and was signed by Southampton, then still in the Southern League, in the summer of 1919 for a bargain fee of £25. Still only 16, Keeping was registered as an amateur but paid 10 shillings (50p) a week for travelling expenses.

He signed as a professional in December 1920 but only made his first-team debut on 25 October 1924, in a Football League Division 2 match at Hull City as a replacement for the long-serving Fred Titmuss who was injured. In his first season he made only seven league appearances. In the following season, he again started as an understudy to Titmuss but in October he took over at left-back and retained his position, with Titmuss leaving the club in February 1926. He soon blossomed into an outstanding left-back who oozed class and being fleet of foot could turn on the run to sweep the ball straight up the touchline to the waiting winger.

In February 1926 he was selected for an international trial and joined an F.A. party on a tour of Canada in the summer.

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He continued to display his skills in the Second Division and was an ever-present for the Saints in 1926–27 both in the league and in their run to the F.A. Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on 26 March 1927, which Southampton lost 1–2 to Arsenal. During this season manager Arthur Chadwick soon settled on his favoured line-up with eleven players featuring in at least 35 of the 42 league games; Keeping lined up in defence with Ted Hough behind the three centre-backs – Bert Shelley, George Harkus and Stan Woodhouse.

He missed the start of the 1927–28 season due to illness, but was otherwise a regular starter throughout the next four seasons as Saints regularly finished in mid-table. He made a good start to the 1931–32 season and won his only representative honours when he played for the Football League against the Irish League in September 1931. He was then struck down with appendicitis in January and was out for the rest of the season.

In February 1933 Southampton needed to raise cash and they sold Keeping and Johnny Arnold to Fulham for a combined fee of £5,000, with Arthur Tilford temporarily joining the Saints, and served them well until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Jimmy McIntyre, the former Saints manager now in charge at Fulham boasted that this was "the best deal I ever brought off". In his playing career at The Dell, Keeping made a total of 281 appearances for the Saints, scoring twelve goals.

In Holley and Chalk's "Alphabet of the Saints", Keeping is described as "a debonair man, contemporaries recall him as being equally stylish off the pitch and, much to the amusement of his team-mates, he would take hours over his appearance".

He continued to turn out occasionally for Fulham until 1941 when he returned to Milford to join the family motor business.

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From January 1948 to October 1950 Michael was the head coach/manager at Real Madrid FC, one of the biggest football clubs in the world.

Whilst managing Real Madrid he won the 1947-48 Copa Eva Duarte de Perón, beating Real Madrid 3 Valencia 1 on the 6th June 1948 in the famous Bernabeu Stadium.

To follow were spells as coach or manager in Denmark, the Netherlands with Heracles Almelo, France and North Africa. Later he took over as manager at Poole Town in the Southern League.

Michael Keeping passed away on 28th March 1984 (aged 81)

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Addendum: Following reading this article, Bob Braid of the Milford on Sea Historical Record Society got in touch and kindly sent the two further pictures below.

Fred Keeping-Courtesy of MoSHRS
Check out the numberplate!

Fred, Nell; Michael Keeping-Courtesy of MoSHRS

Monday, 8 December 2014

Fancy Being a Walk Guide?

We have heard from our friends at Lymington Town Tours, and they are looking for new Walk Guides.

Naturally I have considered this, but I am completely unsuitable on the basis that: A) Walking is not one of my favourite pastimes, B) I get a bit spooked with people following me around, and C) I can't help making stories up, so it would be a weird experience for anyone on a tour. 

Fortunately, you, or someone you know, may be ideal.

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If you have an interest in local history and fancy the opportunity to meet people who are like-minded, this sounds an excellent way to spend a few hours.

Lymington Town Tours is a group of volunteers who have been providing walking tours around Lymington and Milford on Sea for over 25 years. With demand for their walks increasing, so is their need for volunteer walk guides.

The walks run between May and October on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Training sessions are fully supported and they are not only informative but a great opportunity to make new friends as well.

If you feel that you would like to learn more about the local area and would be able to give a few hours a month to share this with others, then they would love to hear from you.

To join the team of volunteer guides, please visit: www.lymington-town-tours.co.uk and either use the on-line contact form, or telephone the main walks co-ordinator Helen Theobald on 01590 644438 for an informal chat.

Lymington Town Tours

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cave Pedalers Raise over £4k

After recovering from their bumps, bruises and chaffing, The Cave Bike and Hike Team will be presenting the sponsorship money raised at The Cave next Friday 12th December around 6.30 to 7pm.

The Bike and Hike event was held in October, and the sponsorship has now totalled to an impressive £4193.36. Mike Denny from Oakhaven Hospice will be the worthy recipient of this substantial sum.

Luckily, Jon and James' tandem
was provided with a repair kit. 
But only Emily knew how to use it!
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The fundraising was brilliantly organised by Sharon Parr, who has generated tens of thousands for charity over a number of years.

Congratulations to everyone involved, and a special pat on the back for Sharon!
Jon and James demonstrating
their cycling skills.
Two blokes on a tandem is asking for trouble really. 
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The Cave
Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
www.thecavemos.co.uk

50 B4 50-The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

This restaurant has been an ambition for many, many years and at last the day has come thanks to my wife's generous Birthday present.

As we got ready we thought it wise to check the Dress Code -which read; 'Come along however you feel comfortable'. I resisted wearing shorts and tee shirt. I say 'resisted', what I actually mean is my wife told me; 'you can do that over your dead body!'.

Looking lovely, we arrived in Bray, which now has 2 pubs owned by Heston Blumenthal, his 'Experimental Kitchen', a building for staff dining and down a small lane about 400 yards long, is Alain Roux's Waterside Inn, which is the best restaurant we have been fortunate enough to have dined in.

The Fat Duck itself is in an unpretentious converted cottage and simply decorated inside.

The greeting was warm, informal and friendly and when we arrived at the table the first thing we noticed was nothing. Usually you would expect expensive charger plates, fine crystal, gleaming cutlery and table decorations. All we had was a plain white linen table cloth with a small bowl of flowers, that was it.

The Fat Duck has one menu and everyone dining has the same - a tasting menu with 14 courses! 

When booking, you are told to 'Allow 4 1/2 hours for this menu'. I had suggested to my wife we could bring a book or iPod, but one look told me that was a bad idea, this was followed by a clear instruction; 'You can talk to me'. Not being an expert at chatting unnecessarily, I reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

The menu was described as "A sequence of dishes designed not only to capture a delicious and exciting range of flavours, textures and aromas, but also to bring multi-sensory appeal, some culinary history and a sense of theatre to the dining experience."

As we dined, none of that statement could be argued with. It would be too much to go blow by blow through each course, but the main highlights were the 'Beetroot & Horseradish' canapé which exploded with flavours and surprising textures in the mouth and was amazing on every level. The famous Snail Porridge was as tasty as weird, I had the best scallop I have ever tasted, The 'Mad Hatters Tea Party' was spectacular to look at and the theatrical staging from the dissolvable watch to the mad toast sandwiches pure theatre.

If I hadn't tasted it, I wouldn't have believed it, - but one course, the 'Hot & Iced Tea' could not be explained, - as you drunk, the liquid in your mouth was hot on one side, and on the other cold! - no idea how they did this one. I could go on through the menu, as there is so much, that is so good.

There was only one course my wife did not like as she is not keen on 'smoky' flavours, I, on the other hand love them, so with a stroke of luck I got two portions of the Jelly of Quail. Sadly, she liked all of the sweet courses so I was rationed to my own portions.

One extra nice touch was when one of our waitresses spotted my wife was left handed (yes, I know - weird), from then on she laid her cutlery the other way round for each course.

It was now clear why the table setting was so 'plain', it was to ensure that everything was totally focussed on each creation bought to the table.

As the fourteenth course arrived I had done OK on the 'talking thing', hadn't upset or offended anyone, nor had any of my wife's 'looks' - so things had turned out pretty well. As I sat, very contented and full, I was now hoping I could now have a rest from 'talking' for a few weeks.

We had heard the The Fat Duck was more about the 'theatre' than the food. Our experience differs - we were definitely blown away by the 'theatre', but it is more than that, the food was delicious, flavours as clever as they were unusual, and everything was a feast for the eyes, senses and mind.

This is not food you can eat everyday, but as a once in a lifetime experience it was one of our best.

Tasting Menu - 14 Courses

NITRO POACHED APERITIFS
Vodka and Lime Sour, Gin and Tonic, Tequila and Grapefruit

RED CABBAGE GAZPACHO
Pommery Grain Mustard Ice Cream

JELLY OF QUAIL, CRAYFISH CREAM
Chicken Liver Parfait, Oak Moss and Truffle Toast

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SNAIL PORRIDGE
Iberico Bellota Ham, Shaved Fennel

ROAST FOIE GRAS
Barberry, Confit Kombu and Crab Biscuit

MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY (c.1892)
Mock Turtle Soup, Pocket Watch and Toast Sandwich

"SOUND OF THE SEA"

SALMON POACHED IN A LIQUORICE GEL
Artichoke, Vanilla Mayonnaise and Golden Trout Roe

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UMBLE PIE

HOT AND ICED TEA

EGGS IN VERJUS (c.1726), VERJUS IN EGG (c.2013)

BOTRYTIS CINEREA

WHISK(E)Y WINE GUMS

"LIKE A KID IN A SWEET SHOP"


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Footnote: The Fat Duck Restaurant is moving to the Crown Towers Hotel in Melbourne, Australia for 6 months from January 2015. We chatted to our sommelier, and she excitedly told us that this meant everyone from the Fat Duck was going; that was the kitchen brigade of 20+, all of the front of house team of around 16 people, plus every pot, pan and plate from the kitchen!

Whilst they are all away, The Fat Duck in Bray is being fully refurbished. No doubt Heston will be launching something new and wonderful when he reopens. So, just as we took one of our biggest wishes off the list, it looks like a new one will be going on later next year!

In the meantime, back to reality and good home cooked food. All food is great, and often the company is more important than what is on the plate. (With a bit of luck that last comment will score me lots of brownie points to cash in for the stupid things I am bound to do over Christmas!)

The Fat Duck
High Street, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AQ

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50 B4 50-DINING CHALLENGE

Michelin Stars Collected So Far: 46


3 Michelin Star
London: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Berkshire-Bray: The Fat Duck

Berkshire-Bray: The Waterside Inn
Bruges, Belgium: De Karmeliet

2 Michelin Star
London: La Gavroche, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Hibiscus, Pied a Terre, Marcus.
Berkshire: Michael Wignall at The Latymer (Penny Hill Park Hotel) (*Twice)
Buckinghamshire: Hand & Flowers (*3 Times!)
France-Paris: Georges V Hotel

1 Michelin Star
London: Benares, L’Autre Pied, Quilon, Social Eating House (*Twice), Veeraswamy, The Savoy Grill, L’Escargot
Hampshire: Terrace Restaurant (Montague Arms), Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel), JSW.
Sussex: Ockenden Manor

*To read the review on any of the above restaurants, put 'restaurant name' in this blog's search box.

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No Michelin Stars, but restaurants visited since July 2013 that are worth a mention:

Milford on Sea | Verveine Fishmarket Restaurantwww.verveine.co.uk
London | Franco's www.francoslondon.com
Milford on Sea | La Perle - www.laperlemilford.co.uk
Mudeford | The Jetty - www.thejetty.co.uk
Yarmouth, IoW | The George - www.thegeorge.co.uk
London | Dishoom - www.dishoom.co.uk
London | J Sheeky Oyster Bar - www.jsheekeyoysterbar.co.uk
Lymington | The Elderflower - www.elderflowerrestaurant.co.uk
London | The Ivy - www.the-ivy.co.uk
Lymington | The Haven - www.havenrestaurant.co.uk
Devon | River Cottage HQ - www.rivercottage.net/hq 
Guildford | Brittens - www.brittensrestaurant.com

Ever Heard of Milford Mummers?

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Until a few days ago I had never heard of 'Mummers', and then was even more surprised to discover that there is a 'Milford Mummers' group.

If like me you don't know what ''Mumming' is, I have discovered from Caroline Ellis, that it is an ancient British street theatre tradition. 

Caroline explained; "In medieval times, most villages throughout Britain and Ireland would have had a Mummer's team, producing short plays throughout the year.

These plays may have originally been mimed (hence 'mum' - remaining silent) and were the for-runner of the Pantomime. Most were later performed in rhyming couplets. The teams (or "sides" as they are known in some places) toured round the village ale houses and large private homes - in much the same way that carol singers have done in more recent times.

All the plays have a theme of death and re-birth and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. (Hurrah !) There is generally a sword fight, with a 'baddie and a goodie' and much hissing, booing and cheering on both sides. A travelling doctor then arrives on the scene to revive the character who didn't survive the duel."

I was particularly please to hear that the scripts are not politically correct in any way at all.

Caroline also told us; "In the 1640s, the Puritans outlawed Mumming and many other Christmas traditions (including crib shaped mince pies!). Teams have re-formed and disbanded throughout the centuries ever since. We are lucky to have a writer on our Milford on Sea team. She provides tailor made scripts based on snippets from old writings, topped up with local and topical references."

A Mummers play is usually less than 10 minutes in length and generally ends with a seasonal song.

The Milford Mummers will be at the Christmas Folk Club at the Milford on Sea Community Centre in Sea Road on Thursday 11th December, along with the Sounds Like Fun Choir from Fordingbridge, Half of Murphy's and local floor singers.

There will also be Mumming around the village pubs on the evening of Friday 19th December. The Milford Mummers generally collect for a charity after they have done the play. Last year, they shook buckets for Shelterbox.

So there you have it, we all know what 'Mumming' is now - and you have plenty of chances to see and join in the fun over the next couple of weeks.

50 B4 50-The Latymer

This has been the most surreal week, with belated (and ridiculously generous) Birthday presents all coming together, - A Cookery Course in London, Dinner at The Latymer, Lily Allen in Concert and a much anticipated trip to the The Fat Duck.

Discovering food may be a weird hobby, but it's an enjoyable one. Not sure why I am so lucky, but I am certainly very grateful.
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Michael Wignall at The Latymer

Our good friends Dave & Jay, together with their fun wives Sam and Mel, surprised us with an invitation to experience Michael Wignall's two Michelin Starred cooking at The Latymer restaurant within the Pennyhill Park Hotel.

When we booked our taxi, we had no idea that Evel Knievel was now a cab driver! - it was a relief when he pulled into the long drive to this impressive country house hotel set with 123 acres of rolling Surrey parkland. Walking inside it takes you into another world of how the other half lives. Personally, I like being in the bottom half, as I don't think dining this way every day would be much fun, but as a one-off experience it is enjoyable to do.

Another very nice surprise came my way when Dave told us all we were having the 10 course taster menu.

The meal started with canapés, bread and the first tuna starter, all of which were extraordinary, and I thought I might possibly be heading towards the best meal I had ever had. However, we then had some courses which the others really liked, but they were simply not my favourite flavours (broccoli, butternut squash - vegetables of the devil!).

The fish and meat courses were all tasty, and it was clear we were eating the finest ingredients. Our accompanying Sancerre was also flowing copiously.

The sweets were a mixture, they were certainly clever and pretty, but not ‘sweet enough’ for me, although again others in our group really liked them. It is a shame to be critical when the hard work that had gone into every plate was so obvious, but personal taste buds rule!

The presentation of all dishes were superbly artistic and the service very good. 

As we dined, chatting and laughing a lot, there were groups of guys around the hotel that looked like they had been in a fight, (and they had) - it was the England Rugby team who had earlier that day beaten Australia 26-17 in a gruelling match at Twickenham.

As we left, the England Rugby team coach blocked our way, and our taxi driver was anxious to get his foot hard down on the accelerator pedal - again! After waiting several minutes the guys decided we should ask the driver if he could move. As we debated who should go, Dave's wife Sam simply got out, charmed the driver and we were on our way.

Often it takes a woman to get things done!  

Tasting Menu - 10 Course

Tuna
Seared Yellowfin tuna and tartare, kohlrabi, compressed watermelon, dehydrated yoghurt, avocado rocks, maitake

click image to enlarge
Broccoli
Charred sprouting broccoli, parsley root, pumpkin granola, sweet potato, trompettes, brillat savarin

Duck
Tea smoked Goosnargh duck, marinated liver, salt baked celeriac, alba truffle, celery

Halibut
Cornish halibut, roasted scallop, textures of cauliflower, Iberico lardo, scallop and charcoal emulsion

Cassoulet of Clams
Cassoulet of razor clams and cockles, cuttlefish gnocchi and wafer, poached quail egg

click image to enlarge
Beef
Belted Galloway fillet, salt and pepper veal sweetbread, juniper scented abalone, oyster root, soy and shitake

Savoury
Crispy choux pastry, warm mont d’or espuma, cumin and carrot ice cream with munster cheese

Chocolate and Sugar Snap
Steamed chocolate sponge, olive oil and white chocolate, sugar snap peas, freeze dried mandarin

Pumpkin
Textures of pumpkin and seeds, chocolate gel, crème fraiche

Salsify
Liquorice scented salsify, buckwheat puffed and creamed, liquorice meringue, polenta crumb

click image to enlarge
Petit Fours: Bitter Chocolate and Hazelnut, Salted Peanut Truffle, Bounty Cup, Salted Caramel Macaroon, Raisin Fudge, Dark Chocolate Fudge, Bubblegum Marshmallow, Apple Marshmallow, Sour Cola Marshmallow, Sesame and Poppy Seed Tuile, Blackcurrante Pate de Fruit, Pear and Allspice Pate de Fruit, Beetroot and Orange Pate de Fruit.


Michael Wignall at The Latymer | Pennyhill Park Hotel
London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Pupils Achieve Music Awards

Once again the pupils of Music Lessons in Milford on Sea have attained music exam passes for their Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the November exam period. 

Congratulations go to: Niall on his violin who has passed his grade 5 with merit and his theory grade 4 with merit. Andali got really nice comments on his prep test certificate. Freya passed her grade 1 piano exam with merit. George passed his grade 1 guitar, and Alex passed his grade 3 theory. 

Excellent work all of you!

If you would like to know more about music lessons in Milford on Sea please phone 07731852158 or email: jenanda@hotmail.com


Musical Muses


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Love Milford Week is coming!

Milford on Sea is a fabulous place to live. So, what better than to spend a week celebrating what makes the village so special!

If you would like to take a preview of what is happening, please take a look at the new website: www.lovemilfordweek.org

Love Milford Week will take place from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd February 2015 and then bi-annually between Food Week years.

To keep everyone entertained there will be lots of Free Events happening, plus some excellent shows - if you want to ensure that you get tickets it might be a good time to order them now! click here

This new community event is organised by the Food Week Team, has been timed to coincide with School Half Term, to be close to Valentine’s Day, and to boost trade for our village shops, artisan makers and home businesses.

We would love for people to take the time to shop and discover just what they can buy locally ...you may be very pleasantly surprised!

So, core to Love Milford Week is the 'SHOPPING CHALLENGE'. We are challenging everyone to only shop in the village during Love Milford Week- No visits to large chain stores or supermarkets, no cheating, just spending time showing the shops you love them.

Many of our village shops will be running promotions to entice you throughout the week, there we also be FREE Prize Draw tickets every time you visit any shop - with a chance to win one of Ten £50 Vouchers to spend locally.

Our local artisan makers and home businesses will also be involved in events where you can see and buy their goods.

Please join in - it will be fun!

PS: We also now have a Love Milford Week Facebook page - No idea what I am doing, but if you can please Like It, Love It, or Lick It, - and also do whatever Facebookers do like sharing or caring in order to let all of your friends know! - www.facebook.com/lovemilfordweek

PPS: If you want to chat about general stuff around the village, we now a 'Chat Room' on Facebook - simply click here to join. If any one has any idea why I am making these rods for my own back, - answers on a postcard please!


Love Milford Week
www.lovemilfordweek.org

Monday, 1 December 2014

Village Xmas Present Ideas


We all have an excellent opportunity to give great Christmas presents to our loved ones, and at the same time support our local Milford on Sea village businesses.

We will be celebrating everything that is great about the village at Love Milford Week in February (www.lovemilfordweek.org), but in the meantime, why not buy all your Christmas gifts and goodies locally, and at the same time show our village shops that you love them! 

ART, ANTIQUES & GIFTS
See the delights new and old in Jabulani Gallery, The Old Smithy, Brocante Antiques Shop, Carringtons Antiques, The Village Antiques or Village Charity Shop.

COOKERY CLASSES
Vouchers for cookery courses from Verveine or The Granary Kitchen Cookery School (01590 673040)

DINING WITH FRIENDS
Have you got friends or family who would love to enjoy the Great Dining Bus? - Go on... buy them a ticket as a Xmas present: click here

PAMPER VOUCHERS
Everyone loves to be pampered, how about a voucher for a beauty treatment from The Retreat Beauty Salon, Tu Sei Bella, JW Health & Holistics, or Acacia Beauty Academy (01590 645547)

SHOWTIME NIGHT OUT
If you would love to give any of your friends or family a great night out - this is definitely worth a look for one of the special shows coming to the village: www.ticketsource.co.uk/lovemilford

XMAS CARDS

Hurst Castle Shop have pretty Xmas cards with local scenes, and  Holland's have some charming Xmas cards of village pubs and shops - all are painted by village artists.

WALL CALENDARS
How about the Milford Conservation Volunteers calendar with local wildlife photography: £5 in selected village shops - or Friends of Hurst Castle calendar from the Hurst Castle Shop.

FLOWERS

Perfect as a present, or for that special decoration, all hand-made bouquets by Nicola at New Seasons.

A NEW XMAS OUTFIT

Moss on the Green has plenty of outfits and accessories to choose from. (Plus some original art.)

TURKEY & TRIMMINGS
The Butchers Shop and Lisa's Larder are great for your Christmas meat, Holland's (who will also deliver) and the Co-op have everything you will need, Fish from Verveine and Fruit & Veg from Marjories - who needs the big supermarkets?!

CHUTNEYS
Spice n' Easy Chutneys are all made by Claire in the village, get your selection for Boxing Day in Holland's.

WINE
Expert advice, wine gift packs, case deal and home delivery from The Cave.

DINE IN THE VILLAGE at XMAS
Check out the Village Restaurant and Pub Xmas Events & Deals: click here

XMAS TREE
Braxton Gardens are selling locally grown Norway & Nordman Christmas Trees in many sizes.

XMAS CAKES & CHOCOLATES
Check out our village home bakers for your delicious cake treats for Xmas: contact Nicola at Yum Cakes (www.loveyum.com) or Mandy at Elmsleigh Cakes (www.elmsleighcakes.co.uk) - For your chocolates, Fiona's are hand-made yumminess: Fiona Ann Chocolates (www.fionaannchocolates.co.uk), fnally, Mark in the Village News newsagent has plenty of good values choclates which would make excellent stocking fillers.

PS: Looking for a different type of present, then MAKE SOMEONE A FRIEND - click here


PPS: You can even get your pooch ready for Xmas, or buy them a present, at Short, Bark & Sides or Doggy Fashions.

PPPS: If I have unintentional missed out any shops, please still pop into your favourites to see what that can offer to brighten your Christmas! (...and theirs!)