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Friday, 15 January 2021

Ray's Larder Kitchen: Deli, Cheese & More...

There are times when pictures just speak louder than words...

All now available at:

Ray’s Italian Kitchen & Larder Kitchen
11 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 645300

Ray's Larder Kitchen Ready-Meal Menu

Following the launch of Ray’s Larder Kitchen today (Friday), Stacey has published a taster from her new shop menu.

Here is a list of some of the products that are available to order now:

Ready-made Meals:
Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé ​​- £4.95.
Beef Wellington ​​​​- £11.95.
Salmon en Croute​​​​ - £9.95.
Beef Bourgingon​​​​ - £4.85.
Chicken Balti​​​​ - £4.85.
King Prawn Curry ​​​​- £5.95.
Lasagne​​​​​ - £4.75.
Soup - From ​​​​£1.95.

Fish Pie ​​​​​- £4.85.
Chicken, Leek and Ham Pie ​​- £4.85.
Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pie - ​£4.85.
Steak and Ale - ​​​​£4.85.
Steak and Kidney - ​​​​£5.90.

Peppercorn and Red Wine - ​​£1.95.

Dauphinoise potatoes - ​​​​£2.50.
Cauliflower cheese - ​​​£2.50. 
Yorkshire puddings​​​ - £1.85.
Frozen Portioned Fish - Market Price: Cod/Salmon/Sea Bass/Smoked Haddock

Healthy Snack:
Homemade Protein Balls made with almonds, coconut, date and chai.
6 for £2.50.

If you’d like to pre-order any of the products please email:

Also available: Top quality fresh meat, Home cured Charcuterie, Veg boxes, Local & Continental cheeses, Fluffet’s free range eggs, professional quality ready meals, sauces & desserts, homemade chutney’s, a variety of oils, vinegars, artisan bread, homemade cakes, homemade sausage rolls, homemade scotch eggs, Homemade pork pies, and many other larder ingredients.

Ray’s Italian Kitchen & Larder Kitchen
11 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 645300

Upper levels of The Marine to become flats

The Advertiser & Times have reported that The Marine on the seafront in Hurst road Milford on Sea is set to be remodelled and extended to create three self-contained flats above The Lighthouse bar café and restaurant.

To read the full article please click here.

Note: The Lighthouse will not be affected, you can see there current opening times by clicking here.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Leak at The Pickled Weasel

Alex at The Pickle Weasel has just let us know that they have sprung a leak...

Alex says: "The Sunday Roast lunches that are already booked will still go ahead, we will use bottled water for cooking the veg.

We had planned a weeks holiday, this will now be extended by a few days, reopening on Wednesday 27th January at 9.30am, apologies for any inconvenience this may cause."

Pickled Weasel
54 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 641155

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

NEW! Ray's Larder Kitchen opens this Friday

In these tough times Stacey at Ray's Italian Restaurant is adding an exciting new arm to the services she is to provide to the village.

Like all other eateries, she is only able to provide takeaways during this latest lockdown and her latest venture will offer something not currently available.

Stacey explains:

"Firstly I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your continued support throughout 2020. 

As most of you are aware since March 2020 and the first lockdown, I have been serving lunches to vulnerable and shielding people of our community. I continue to do so to this day. 

I realised very early on how vulnerable many of my customers and the wider community are. I like a lot of you reached out and offered to help wherever I could and did. 

I like many have had time to look at the world around me and listen to my customers, friends, family and of course the media and I have also built relationships with my suppliers and I feel that I have developed a concept which will bring something new to our community.

I am thrilled to announce that Ray’s is about to diversify in lockdown 3 and bring you Ray's Larder Kitchen which will open This Friday 15th January at 9am. 

Ray's Larder Kitchen will offer restaurant standard foods to cook and enjoy at home at affordable prices along with an exciting range of fantastic quality produce. We will be a one stop food shop which will help you to adhere to the government message of ‘stay at home’. 

I aim to offer more than just a shop and I am striving to create a food haven for food lovers like myself and also provide a service for my vulnerable & shielding customers at this time. 

Obviously I have thought about this and I am starting off with what I feel is a unique offering. We have had time to create, test and we are ready to deliver superb quality ready meals for you to enjoy at home, complete with ingredients, allergens and cooking instructions. We can also offer advice for you on how to cook cheaper cuts and so much more. 

Working with my butcher - Meadowbrook Produce & Professional in house chef’s/bakers, I will be offering top quality fresh meat, Home cured Charcuterie, Veg boxes, Local & Continental cheeses, Fluffet’s free range eggs, professional quality ready meals, sauces & desserts, homemade chutney’s, a variety of oils, vinegars, artisan bread, homemade cakes, homemade sausage rolls, homemade scotch eggs, Homemade pork pies, and many other larder ingredients.
Due to the Lockdown we are unable to hold a big launch, however we are very excited and looking forward to welcoming you. 

Ray's Larder Kitchen will be open:
  • Tuesday to Friday: 9am till 3pm
  • Saturday mornings: 9am until 1.30pm. 
  • Free Local deliveries available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Minimum order of £30 

Please ensure that you respect and follow the government guidelines whilst waiting to enter the shop. We will be allowing 2 people in the shop at a time. Whilst queueing, please remain 2 meters apart and wear a mask to protect yourselves, others and especially our NHS. 

I am very excited to be sharing this news with you and hope you will join me for the journey."

Ray’s Italian Kitchen & Larder Kitchen
11 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 645300


Feedback Survey on Christmas Decorations

The volunteer organisers of this year's Milford on Sea Christmas Decorations would like to find out whether Milford was more Magical this Christmas? 

Now that all of the Christmas decorations have been removed from the village, both Diana Brushwood and Tracy Haupt would very much like to hear your thoughts and comments on what worked well, what wasn’t so good and what you’d like to see this coming Christmas. 

The feedback is very important to this year’s planning, so please spend a few minutes completing the survey (just 3 questions) by clicking here or if you prefer, email your comments and ideas to: and

Planning for Christmas 2021 decorations will commence soon. For those who feel it’s too early for us to be having these discussions, please understand it all takes a lot of time, planning and discussion with many organisations, to get such an event organised. 

Thank you in advance for completing the survey – Diana and Tracy hope this year will be very different to last year and that we’ll all be able to enjoy a normal life very soon.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Washing Bombs dropped on Keyhaven

The St Barbe Museum have made an interesting post on Facebook about a local 'bombing' on Keyhaven:

Did you know that on Tuesday 8 November 1938 four bombs were dropped on Keyhaven … by mistake? 

Robert MacWhirter was a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm, flying aircraft for the Royal Navy. Whenever he flew over Keyhaven he would drop off a parcel of washing for his Mum, who lived in a cottage at Iley Point!! If he missed her garden she would row out to sea to collect it - that’s mothers for you!
But on that Tuesday, instead of dropping his laundry he released four smoke bombs! One fell on the front lawn of Keyhaven House, two at Salt Grass and one in the garden of Salt Grass Cottage… the weekend home of an Air Marshall! Fortunately, the pins were still in the bombs so none of them exploded. 

The incident made five national newspapers, but Robert wasn’t mentioned so we’re not sure if he was ever found out!

Image: One of the planes flown by
Robert MacWhirter from St Barbe Collection
*click image to enlarge

St Barbe Museum

Half price sale at Pickled Weasel

Pickled Weasel are offering their Cartwright and Butler stock at half price (give or take a penny)!

Pickled Weasel
54 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 641155

Sunday, 10 January 2021

A Tardis of Art at Tradewinds Gallery

Like other non-essential shops in Milford on Sea, Tradewinds Gallery are unable to let people in to browse. However, thanks to their Facebook page they can still show items from their range and take orders. 

If you don't know this little artists gallery it is situated next door to Verveine in the High Street and offers painting, ceramics, fabrics and a wide variety of other handmade art pieces from the artist. For a small space the range is extensive and creative. 

There is likely to be something to tempt most people either for their own home or as a gift, so why not take a look.

To take a tour of the gallery please click here.

To visit their Facebook page to see items from their range please click here.

Tradewinds Gallery
96 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QE

Saturday, 9 January 2021

All Saints' Lockdown Update

The update below has been provided by All Saints’ Church
 following the new National Lockdown 

In response to the escalating infection rates of Covid-19 the Government announced the new National Lockdown on 4th January 2021. The Bishops of the Winchester Diocese wrote to all parishes on 5th January asking clergy and PCCs to consider suspending public worship and providing online worship in its place. 

The Milford Parish PCC met on 7 January and with great regret decided that we must suspend worship and close the church for private prayer with immediate effect in order to do our small part in relieving the increasing pressure on the NHS and to save lives. This decision will be kept under review as the national and local situations develop.

We were fully aware of the distress that this may cause to some and in our best attempts to alleviate that, we have put in place the following measures to allow people to continue to share safely in God’s grace and the good news of Jesus Christ for everyone. 

Prayer – in church or on the telephone 

1. If you wish to pray in church for any reason and you are free of Covid symptoms, we will unlock it at your request as soon as practicable. Please telephone the churchwardens, Olga Soper on 07835 821728 or 01590 642227, or Matt Allum on 01590 642310. Please allow us 24 hours’ notice if possible. 

2. If you have Covid symptoms and wish to pray with someone over the telephone, please call Mary Sergel of our Prayer Ministry Team on 01590 645544. 

Online Morning Worship and Coffee 

3. Our popular online service of 10am Morning Worship is released each Sunday morning via our website at Following this service, we are starting a coffee meeting via Zoom from 10 January as an opportunity for anyone to have an informal chat with some of our congregation over coffee in your own home. You do not need to be a member of our church to be welcomed, all are welcome to join us for coffee and/or to see the service. 

The links for the service and the Zoom coffee session are available from our weekly News Sheet which is circulated by email on Fridays. To be added to our mailing list, please email The coffee meet is from 11.15am to 11.45am each Sunday. The service remains available all week. If you need any help accessing these, please call Bill Darley on 07974 820940. 

Zoom tea-time on Thursdays 

4. We welcome those who wish to meet for an informal cup of tea in your own home on Thursday at 4pm for 40 mins. Tea at 4 will be hosted every Thursday on Zoom by Libby Gillespie-Smith from 14 January. To receive the link, please email Libby by clicking here or call on 01590 643964 or text on with your email address. Again, all are welcome, you do not need to be a member of our church

Practical Telephone Support 

5. Our Pastoral Care Team are available for any other practical concerns that you may have through Sue Forward on 07548 380004 or 01590 644533 or by clicking here, or Frances Daniel on 07881 826521 or 01590 642127 or by clicking here, Sue or Francis will aim to support you and/or point you in the right direction for help. 

Our volunteer Teams are there to support you through these difficult times and to share God’s love for all people. Please just call us. 

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

New Priest-in-Charge for All Saints'

The PCC and Churchwardens of All Saints’ Milford and St Mary’s Everton are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Priest-in-Charge for Milford and Everton. The Reverend Natasha Anderson, or Tasha, has accepted the invitation to lead our churches with effect from March 2021. 

Background Information 

Tasha comes to Milford from the Arle Valley Benefice which consists of 4 churches near Alresford. Before commencing ordination training at Wycliffe Hall, Tasha worked for Christ Church, Winchester overseeing the children's and families' ministry which involved a team of up to 125 volunteers. Prior to this, she worked for Peter Symonds College, Winchester as an adult education and family learning department manager and childcare foundation degree lecturer. Her previous experience has also included being a Pre-School Supervisor. So she comes with broad experience in the educational field as well as experience in both the traditional and evangelical streams of the Church of England. Tasha has two children in their twenties. 

Milford Parish has been without a vicar since July 2019, when Reverend Dominic Furness retired. The Parish has remained exceptionally active during Covid with one or other of the churches being available for private prayer whenever permitted, a pastoral care team which is always on standby to help those in need, and a telephone support network manned by some 60 volunteers to provide telephone support to the lonely. In addition, a popular online service has been released every week since April 2020. To find out more please click here.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Takeaway Kebabs from Verveine

Verveine are bringing back their delicious takeaway kebabs on Friday & Saturday evenings from Friday 8th January.

Kebab Menu
Lamb Adana ( like a kofte ) with pistachio dukkah
Tiger prawn with pomegranate molasses and sumac
Crispy fried haloumi cheese with panko breadcrumbs

All with come with homemade Greek yogurt flatbread, Pickles, salads, hummus and Cumin and chilli fries.

A kebab and fries £13.50
Extra portion of cumin and chilli fries £3
Homemade baklava £5

Order by calling the restaurant direct on 01590 642176. Payment taken over the telephone and a time arranged for pick up. Pick ups will be staggered to keep social distancing.

Pick up will be from 5.30-8pm

Verveine can only cater for nut allergies please let them know when you place your order. Due to the limited menu dietary requirements can not be catered for and it’s pick up only.

To find out more, please visit their Facebook page by clicking here.

The Verveine Fishmongers also offer:
  • Homemade bread and homemade pasta
  • Fish pies and nutritious meals
  • Fresh fish deliveries to Milford, Barton, New Milton, & Lymington
  • Vacuum pack fish to store in freezers
Local deliveries available.

Call: 01590 642176 

98 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QE 
01590 642176

Exchange Box on the Village Green returns

Milford on Sea WI are pleased to welcome back the 'Exchange Box' in the old telephone box on Milford on Sea village green.

Please help yourself to whatever is of interest to you whilst being mindful of Covid conditions. To be safe, it might be advisable to wear gloves and please hygienically clean all items when donating or removing.

If you would like to leave books, puzzles, games or other unwanted and useful items please make sure they are in good condition and left tidily on the shelves. 

Thanks go to the WI for organising this free village resource.

Enjoy a Takeaway during Lockdown

As we have now entered another Lockdown for another unknown period it is likely you may want some takeaway food, which of course is not just a pleasure, but it also helps to support our village eateries.

We have a list of what all the local eateries offered last Lockdown, and as we find out what people are doing we will update this list. 

To see what you can treat yourself to; please click here.

Note: It may be worth calling before visiting to check what they are doing this Lockdown.

Eatery Owners: If your offering has changed from what is listed, please let me know at

Thursday, 7 January 2021

La Perle launch 'Make Saturdays Special' Menu

La Perle have launched a 'Make Saturdays Special' Menu from this week. This will be a weekly changing restaurant quality meal, delivered chilled with easy to follow cooking instructions.

MENU for 9th January


~ Provençale Fish Soup with Croutons, Grated Cheese and Saffron Mayo 
~ Double Baked Smoked Haddock & Cheddar Soufflé, Spring Onion Cream 


~ Beef Bourguignon, Mousseline Potatoes, French Beans, Pancetta, Mushrooms, Baby Onions 
~ Baked Loch Duart Salmon wrapped in Parma Ham, Grilled Tenderstem Broccoli, Rosemary Sauté Potatoes, Basil & Hazelnut Pesto 


~ Pear Poached in Red Wine, Shortbread, Cinnamon Cream, Toasted Almonds, Dark Chocolate Sauce 
~ Caramelised Pineapple Tarte Tatin, 'Pina Colada' Cream, Roasted Coconut 


Optional Extra Course

~ Tunworth Cheese, Truffle Honey, Red Onion Marmalade, Fudges Crackers £4.95 

Delivered hot to your door

Plus of course: Fish & Chip Day and Sunday Lunches

La Perle
60 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 643557

Half priced seed sale at Otters

Mark at Otter Gardens Centre has reminded us that Garden Centres are still currently classed as essential retail and are able to open, the exception being eat in Coffee Shops which are closed during this current lockdown. 

During last year’s Spring Lockdown the nation was to see a huge resurgence in Grow Your Own, so many of Otter Gardens Centre's established and new to gardening customers dropped in to buy vegetable seeds compost and fertilizers.

So, to help out Mark is running a Half Priced Seed Sale throughout January with many special offers on Garden Sundries Compost and Fertilizers, and to help out our wildlife we have a wide range of Wild Bird Care products and offers.

To see more details please visit:

click image to enlarge

Otter Garden Centres 
Milford Road, Efford, Lymington, SO41 0JD
01590 678 679

'Counselling Together' offers support

We have been contacted by 'Counselling Together', who are a local Christian counselling service.

The service can provide counselling support on line and now has dedicated funding to help anyone who is affected by the pandemic but is unable to afford the full cost of counselling. 

The operation follows strict government guidelines for Covid-19. 

If you, or any one you know would like some support, please contact below for more information:

Counselling Together

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

No.64 closed, but still open!

Clare & Glenn at No64 Biscuit House may have been forced to close their doors due to the latest lockdown, but that does not mean you cannot still buy all they have to offer.

Clare has just published her December Blog and much of it is about how they are operating during lockdown 3 (a lot of local people utilised their offerings during lockdown 1), how people can shop with or contact them using free socially distanced deliveries or kerbside collections.

The No.64 website has lots of delights for the home, you can take a look by clicking here.

They are also happy to provide help for anyone needing it locally. So, if there is anything they could help with, please let them know.

To read Clare's Blog, please click here.

No64 Biscuit House
64 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 643765

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Milford Surgery: Coronavirus Vaccine Update

Coronavirus Vaccine Update from Milford Surgery - 4 January 2021

Thank you to our patients for all your messages of support whilst we set up this new service.
All appointments for your COVID vaccinations will at Milford War Memorial Hospital, Milford on Sea.

Please continue to view our website (, or Wistaria & Milford GP Surgeries Facebook and Twitter pages for all our latest news as we get it.

Currently the mandatory guidelines are changing day by day and we are in the process of cancelling patients who had their first injection on Tuesday & Wednesday 22nd & 23rd December. 

These patients will now NOT be called for their second jabs due on the 11th & 12th of January and we will be in contact with you regarding the scheduling of your second dose. 

Patients who have not been vaccinated yet will be called as soon as we have stock we will contact you.
Please do NOT contact us we WILL contact you.

Please be aware that we have 1800 patients who are over 80 and so far we have only had 390 vaccines to use so as you can imagine it will take a while to get to you all. 

Please be patient and do not call the surgery regarding your Covid vaccine appointment as our staff continue to work on through eligible patients.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Wild Parakeets in Milford on Sea

After a number of sighting of wild Parakeet's in Milford on Sea we have asked Keith Metcalf, Conservation Officer of Milford Conservation Volunteers (MCV) if he could tell us more.

Here's what he told us:
"Yes, they appear to have arrived a month or so back. One has been seen in several Milford gardens, including one in Carrington Close and in the MCV Rowan tree copse in Swallow Drive. I remember seeing my first up in Syon Park London in the early 1980's. Several hundred would gather in this tree at a water garden that used to be in my sales patch.

They first arrived in the 1970's and are likely to have been released caged birds. They roost communally in large flocks of several hundred birds and a few have recently been seen in Southampton and now down here in Milford.

The best give away that one (or more) is about is because they have a very load screechy call, which once learned will not be forgotten. The birds are about 44cm long and have a wing span of nearly two feet. There are thought to be about 50,000 pairs around the UK and can be seen throughout the year where they settle to breed. 

Many African birds that have been found in the wild in the UK do not last very long in our climate, but the Ring-necked Parakeet seems to do well and can spread rapidly, so look out Milford, if their are a pair around, we could see them moving into the parish in the next few years.

They will come to bird tables and feed on nuts, berries, grain and fruit."

So there you have it!


As pretty as they are, it is not all good news:

...Since establishing a base in London’s parks, the birds have spread to other UK cities including Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester and even Glasgow – the most northerly flock in the world. Experts are now concerned the so-called ‘posh pigeons’ will wipe out other bird species because they compete for the same nest holes and food. Click here to read more.

The Coastal Bakery open tomorrow!

After much planning The Coastal Bakery will be opening their doors to everyone at 9am on Tuesday 5th January.

It is great news to once again have a bakery in the village. Local resident, Amanda Maidment, is very excited to be starting her new venture, and she will be serving Fresh bread, rolls, cakes (including vegan and gluten free) and savouries - and even afternoon tea's, what's not to like!

The Coastal Bakery will be on the corner of the High Street in the shop occupied by Time & Tide Fashions, who are moving to where Moss on the Green were in Church Hill, Milford on Sea.

During the height of lockdown Amanda's, The Little Cake Company provided and delivered delicious homemade cakes from her home and she even offered a special cream tea for VE Day.

Fresh bread, rolls, cakes and savoury treats from a specialist bakery, - at least in these difficult times we all have something good to look forward to!

The Coastal Bakery 
25 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Pickled Weasel continue with takeaways

Now that we are all in Tier 4, Pickled Weasel are continuing to open their doors for all your usual favourites; takeaway coffees, teas and cakes, pasties, savoury slices and turnovers, plus a wide and varied chilled selection including Quiche, Homity Pie, Scotch and Kedgeree Eggs, Lyburn Cheeses, English Charcuterie and a wide choice of Pates.

Takeaway Sunday Roasts are starting again on the 10th January (Collection only). Please order by 4pm on a Friday.

Updated opening hours during the Lockdown: Wednesday to Sunday 9.30am until 3.00pm

Pickled Weasel
54 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD

01590 641155

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Rocket Man at Hurst Castle

 Not something you see every day, a rocket propelled man circling above Hurst Castle and Hurst Spit!

click image to view video

Village Quiz on 30th December

You are invited to join in with regular Milford comedy compere Stephen Grant as he hosts a Christmas online quiz beamed to your very living rooms!

Best enjoyed on a computer (desktop/laptop) and with a smartphone to answer questions - details will be given on the night!

Join via Zoom on Wednesday 30th December at 8pm 

The quiz is Free to Enter and open for up to 250 households. (Voluntary donations will be welcomed as you register.) 

Register in advance by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the quiz.

New Year's Eve deliveries from South Lawn

South Lawn Hotel and their volunteers delivered over 200 meals on Christmas Day.

They will also be delivering on New Years Eve up till 8pm and would encourage people to book orders in advance of the day so to avoid disappointment.

Tim and his team also continue to support the village with:

Dairy, Bakery and Meal Deliveries 
Fresh bakery deliveries and dairy products each morning along with an extensive menu for deliveries of lunch and dinner within 5 miles of South Lawn. Please click here to see menu

Lunch & Dinner delivered Monday to Saturday, with Sunday Lunch also available, as are celebration cakes if you need one! 

To see South Lawn Hotel's latest Delivery/Take Away Menu: please click here.

The South Lawn Hotel
Lymington Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0RF
01590 643911

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Carols on the Green 2009 Remembered

Sadly, Milford on Sea Carols on the Green could not take place this year, but I have come across an old article from Carols on the Green in 2009. 

These were strange times when people could actually meet up in large crowds and enjoy each others company!

Hopefully the story will evoke some memories and even provide a smile or two.

Here is the old article from 2009:

Not a great start to the day in Milford on Sea, torrential rain in the morning, followed by an afternoon of horizontal stair rods. Thankfully, the evening changed miraculously to a dry crisp winters night. So, around 6pm we set off for the Village Christmas Fayre & Carol Singing Concert. As we approached the village centre we could already hear the sound of merriment, with Christmas music & lively voices. To start our evening we made our way to Monk Fishmongers, soon to discover that they had a new name, ‘Verveine’, on the front window (Verveine is of course a citrus herb. Yes, OK, Stacey had to tell me what it meant!). The new name is part of the rebranding for the new restaurant which is due to open early next year. As soon as we went in we were offered mussels by Dave, followed by a taste of a chocolate & fig compote, which was excellent. Next we popped into Inger-Lise’s & were forced to try some traditional Norwegian biscuits, of course we did not refuse. 

Things were going well, so onto the opening night of the Landfall Gallery. Now we know the new art gallery contained mince pies, but the thronging crowd inside prevented us reaching Sally’s generous offering. I suppose I have to be honest at this point, & explain that when I say ‘we’ in respect of food, my wife is normally a spectator as her body is a temple, mines more of a waste bin. I nobly tasted everything on behalf of us both. (I know, she is so lucky to have someone so caring.) Now off to the centre of the High Street, on the way admiring the Christmas decorations in DJ Gregory’s Butchers & the impressive nativity scenes created in Ellis’s Hairdressers window. Feeling peckish we (I) spotted that Dave Gates was providing Hog Roast Baps & Sausages in Rolls for a charity donation. It just seemed my duty to help the charity. My wife opted for a bag of chips, & of course I would do anything to keep her happy, whatever the expense.

As we wandered with food in hand towards the now thronging High Street, I helped out by testing her chips, & I can confirm that Mr Pink’s had done a good job. ‘Um, those chips have made me really full up’(?!!) my wife exclaimed, just before bumping into someone she knew. I picked her startled friend up & they started chatting. Whilst I pretended to be interested in their conversation, (you know what I mean guys), I concocted a plan to get myself another Sausage in a Roll. Without a moment’s hesitation, I checked they weren’t looking & then made a quick turn, rushed up Church Hill, and I was back near Dave Gates Butchers Shop. However, I then thought it might appear strange to be back so soon for another one. So, I put on my glasses to act as an effective disguise. As I reached the front of the queue I spotted Dave now had a turkey on his head! I soon worked out that it was actually a turkey shaped hat & not a real one, but I was now perplexed as to whether not only had he seen through my clever disguise, but also whether he thought his disguise would make me think he had a twin brother? I am not sure how a simple evening becomes so complex, but for us it is normal. A second sausage in roll was soon devoured, so I now had to get back without being missed. Luckily, I am good at plans. 

So, I went to the cake stall outside of Boots. A moment later I was the proud owner of two slices of millionaire shortbread & a cup cake. To give me energy for the journey to rejoin my wife outside of Piccolo Mondo I ate the cup cake. Her conversation over, I rejoined my wife & explained how a large surge in the crowd has involuntarily dragged me off & I had laid unconscious for several minutes before being taken to the St. Johns Ambulance tent, where they revived me. To make the story more convincing, I then explained how on the way back, I had fought the pain to buy her two slices of her favourite millionaires shortbread. In her usual caring way she playfully hit me really hard around my head, clearly stating that there was no St. Johns Ambulance tent (whoops, should have checked), that I still had tomato sauce on my chin, and that millionaires shortbread was a favourite of mine, not hers.

To make peace, I offered to show her a penguin, Father Christmas & an elf. How could any girl resist. So, our next destination was Ashton Estate Agents with Santa’s Grotto. I thought it might be best not to stop for a crepe at Christina’s Bon Appetite, or at the mulled wine stall at this stage. At Ashtons, Sarah & Isobel were dressed as Santa’s little helpers & the elf looked very similar to Nick, the guy from the Co-op. For some reason there was an under 50 age limit for sitting on Santa’s knee, so I couldn’t have a go, so we left. Outside I was attacked by the penguin, & all I could hear was Lesley for Sullivan Mitchells muttering something intelligible from inside her fur costume. The Village Coffee Shop stood aglow across the road with its colourful Christmas display and the Red Lion seemed welcoming, full of happy diners & even happier drinkers. "Shall we...?" "No we won’t, the carols are starting now", my wife explained with grace & a punch in my rib cage. Wasn’t thirsty anyway, I said to her, carefully just out of earshot.

The Lymington Town Band then fired up against the backdrop of the giant lighted Christmas tree on the green, we (I) quickly grabbed a bag of roasted chestnuts from the barbeque manned by Rob from the Bay Trees. We then bought our carol song sheet from a man in a funny Christmas hat. Moments later we were in a happy crowd humming & miming. Unfortunately, so was everyone else, so the first carol just had a mumbled accompaniment to the band. Not for long though. As the carols progressed, the significant crowd found its voice & soon everyone was joining in without a care in the world. My wife was even impressed that I knew the third verse to ‘O come all ye faithful’ without the song sheet. It is nice to be her hero sometimes. The atmosphere was genuinely delightful, & to feel the community spirit was special. 

At the close of the carols Reverend Eric Parker was presented with a memento for his retirement by the organising committee. Eric has led the Carol Singing for the past nine years. To round off the evening Father Christmas arrived on his sleigh, (from the North Pole apparently, which I understand is connected to Lymington Rotary Club), he was soon swamped with local children as he handed out sweets to eager hands. Now, I am not one for all of the hysteria around Christmas time, but to see delight on children’s faces genuinely made our night. A big round of thanks goes to Ray Sales & his team of little helpers at the Village Community Committee, plus all of the local shopkeepers, who did a great job for us all. Thanks everybody!

To view the evenings photo album, please click here.

Happy Christmas everyone!

click image to view album

Monday, 21 December 2020

South Lawn continue meal deliveries over Christmas

South Lawn Hotel are gearing up for a busy period of festive meal and grocery deliveries.

This includes Christmas Day & Boxing Day Lunch Deliveries, they already have 200+ ordered, and are still taking orders for home deliveries. Number are limited, so it is likely that they may sell out, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Tim and his team wish everyone a happy Christmas and look forward to continuing to provide the great services they have this year into 2021.

To see South Lawn Hotel's Christmas Dinner Menu: please click here.

Tim and his team also continue to support the village with:

Dairy, Bakery and Meal Deliveries 
Fresh bakery deliveries and dairy products each morning along with an extensive menu for deliveries of lunch and dinner within 5 miles of South Lawn. Please click here to see menu

Lunch & Dinner delivered Monday to Saturday, with Sunday Lunch also available, as are celebration cakes if you need one! 

To see South Lawn Hotel's latest Take Away Menu: please click here.

The South Lawn Hotel
Lymington Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0RF
01590 643911

Thank You From Olivia Inspires

A message and thank you from Olivia Inspires 

We know what a difficult year 2020 has been for everyone and at this time of giving, it seems only right to say a huge “Thank You!” to all those who have selflessly fundraised, donated, supported and encouraged us throughout the year. 

Olivia's charity has been going little more than a year and the pandemic has made 2020 very different from what we expected. Let's hope that, in the words of Captain Tom, "tomorrow will be a good day". 

A Merry and safe Christmas to you all!

Find out more about: Olivia Inspires