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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Delicious Pearl Opens

My wife & I were surprised and pleased to receive an invitation to attend last Saturday’s pre-opening night at our new village restaurant, La Perle.
On arrival we were greeted by a warm atmosphere & the friendly front of house team. The new decor is fresh & homely with a chic French feel. The background music subtly completes an atmosphere for convivial dining. Fortunately our fellow diners did not include any footballers, however I fear the local dignitaries may already have a super injunction in place, therefore I am unable to reveal any names here.

Being pretty peckish the ample homemade bread basket soon arrived as we enjoyed our welcome drink. (It was the bread that was homemade, not sure about the basket.) As we perused the menu
we soon spotted that it was awash with delicious sounding dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. Having mentally tasted each course in our heads, we finally settled on a meal choices.

We both ordered ‘Assiette of Parma ham served with celeriac remoulade and rustic bread’ as our starters. Having eaten in ‘Verveine’ the previous evening (Amazing, as always!) I resisted the temptation of the sea bass, and decide that I was going to become a vegetarian and went for the cream cheese based lasagne. My wife went for the tasty sounding 'Pan roasted tenderloin of pork served with salsa rossa, char-grilled asparagus and sauce vierge'.

As the meals arrived, the freshness of the ingredients was immediately apparent, and things got even better as the taste & flavours proved exquisite. The pork tenderloin just melted in the mouth and everything else had similar virtues. All of the La Perle team were very attentive as they learned the ropes on their first night of serving.

Feeling extremely content from the first two courses, I could not resist ordering the ‘Warm French apple tart'.  The classic French pastry delightfully complimented the sweet apples. As we enjoyed a coffee, and just before we were to leave Lionel the new chef/owner came from the kitchen for a chat. (Lionel is French born and has trained in renowned Michelin star restaurants across France.) As he spoke his passion to create great food was clear and he is so looking forward to people enjoying his creations. He mentioned that in addition to the menu of European cuisine made from the combination of fresh, tasty & locally sourced produce, there is also going to be daily ‘French Specials’.   It is clear that he has created a restaurant with a cosy, friendly environment, serving authentic dishes with quality seasonal ingredients at a reasonable price.

The evening had been a delight and there is no doubt La Perle is a great addition to the excellent choice of village restaurants we already have.
La Perle opens on Wednesday 1st June, why not book for your own experience today.

If you would like to see the menu & find out more about La Perle please visit:

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Milford Movies coming soon

We have heard that Milford Movies will soon be starting at the Milford on Sea Village Community Centre. Thanks to the monies raised by the team in the Village Charity Shop, and from the generously donated stock, we understand that there are now sufficient funds to complete the missing link in the technical installation in the new building - namely a cinema quality projector, screen and professional DVD player.

It is hoped that the Milford Movies Film Programme will commence after the summer holidays, on every first Thursday of the month. Two series have been talked about, firstly a blockbuster series showing recent films that people in the village might have missed, plus another series offering classic/art house cinema.

As with everything at the Community Centre, Milford Movies is reliant on a few dedicated volunteers, and a few more would be very welcome. Help is need to assist with the film programming, house managing the events, and technical expertise in projecting.

If anyone would like to lend a hand please contact James for a chat: James Flintoff at

Post Office banking support

Now that the closure of the Milford on Sea HSBC Bank branch is upon us, it is evident that the many efforts of local people & MP to save our village branch has failed. The ‘grey suits’ from HSBC have simply ignored everyone and insensitively closed the doors.

One of our readers has like everyone else expressed disappointment, and helpfully pointed out that our local village post office provides banking services as well. This facility is available from 9 am to 5.30 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Sue is doing all that she possibly can to provide customers with an alternative means of banking within the village, but she can only provide a service to those customers who bank with those banks which have a arrangement with the Post Office to provide this facility. Unfortunately HSBC and Nat West are two banks, which have never allowed the Post Office to provide this facility.

Any personal banking customer of Barclays or Lloyds can both withdraw cash and pay in cash or cheques at the post office. Also business customers of Alliance and Leicester can make cash deposits at post offices within the UK. We understand that cash withdrawals from the Halifax Building Society are now also available, but unfortunately it is seemingly not yet possible to make any deposits at the post office for the Halifax.

Final word is still awaited for the future of the HSBC ATM hole in the wall cash facilities in the village.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Memories from Australia

We received the memories below from Nicola Allen, who now lives in Australia with her Australian husband & family:

My Mother was born and raised in Milford on Sea. My grandfather helped look after Milford as part of the Home Guard during WW2.  He is in the book about Milford on Sea during the War, so to her absolute surprise, is my Mother - she is sitting at a table with other children celebrating VE Day.  My Granddad’s sister was in Milford on sea by 1911, working at Milford Laundry. She married one of the Hobby family. (Who have been in Milford on Sea for many generations).

I remember spending nearly every summer holiday with my grandparents in Milford on Sea. I was trotted off to Darby and Joan and Whilst Drives. We had a great time, although I confess to being more than a little uncomfortable sitting on the huge pebbles of Milford Beach. My brother and I used to pick blackberries all the time. Funny now I live in country where blackberries are considered a noxious weed.  My grandfather worked at Hurst Castle, and my uncle looked after The Needles Lighthouse. We used to be able to look across (with binoculars) the wheat fields and watch the boat racing at Cowes. I actually remember watching the Combine Harvesters at work harvesting the wheat. Dad once took our poor dog for a walk through a newly harvested field and unthinkingly wondered why he wouldn’t sit down.

I know from my family history research that my roots are very firmly in the New Forest area. My Dad’s family’s connection with the New Forest area goes back 100s of years. Dad was from Winton in Bournemouth, and one of my great grandfathers was born in the New Forest (Holdenhurst) in 1750.

Attached are some photos of my mum and grandparents taken at Milford on Sea. My Grandmother sitting on the gate at Sharvell's Lodge (Taken around 1928), also my mum with a friend on Milford on Sea Beach around the 1940s. Finally one of me with our two children standing outside my great grandmother’s house in Milford High Street in 2009.


Nicola Allen

*click image to enlarge

Smugglers tunnel in Milford on Sea

We recently received this interesting letter:

My name is David Mogg, a grandson of the Mogg family who lived in Milford on Sea from around 1900 to 1970. I now live in Australia.

My father was Ivan Mogg, one of the 12 children of Frank Mogg. My granddad, Frank, owned Milford Nurseries in Kivernall Road. He also had two shops in the village, the greengrocers, which was then opposite The Crown Inn pub (Now called the Smugglers Inn), and a second shop which was a flower shop opposite the newsagents. I was their paper boy in the 1950’s.

I have vivid memories of Milford Nurseries. I lived in the old house with my mum and Dad and played around there as a kid so knew it well. A point of interest which very few people know about, is the smuggling operations which went on historiclly in the village. It appears it was a very sophisticated set up. In the nursery garden near the house was a well. This well was very deep you could just see the water at the foot, and a stone dropped down it took some time to reach the bottom before we heard the splash. The most interesting thing about this well was that it had iron peg steps going down it. My uncles filled the well in in the late 1950’s. But before they did, uncle Howard climbed down to have a look. About 20 feet down there was a tunnel which went off to the East, it was all beautifully built in curved bricks as was the well itself. Uncle Gerald, the last of the brothers who died last year, tried to get some photos of it, but by the time he had gone home for his camera they had filled it all in. My brothers and I were never able to explore the end of the tunnel, but I'm convinced that it would come out in one of the older houses along the fence line.

The nurseries were sold in the late 1960’s to a building company. When the bulldozers started work digging foundations for the houses, they soon unearthed part of this tunnel. It ran right along the back fence of the houses on the eastern side of the property. This was quickly filled in, as if the historians had found out about it, work would have to stop due to the potential historical value. Near the corner of Kivernall Road and De La Warr Road, just off the road on the nature strip, you can still see the depression in the grass where the well was. At the sea end of De La Warr Road the cliff top was then a lot wider and a track went down to the beach wide enough for a horse and cart, this is still known as Paddys Gap. A local transporter known as Paddy used this to collect the smuggled goods being unloaded onto the beach and took them to our well to hide. It was then distributed around at their leisure. An excavation might still be rewarding.

David Mogg

Note from Editor: I wonder if the ‘Mole Men’ discovered the tunnel when excavating their subterranean city?

Have a crafty weekend

A new event in the local calendar takes place this Saturday 21st May at the Memorial Centre in New Milton.

New Milton Crafts will showcase the work of more than 50 local and regional crafts people, featuring contemporary and highly original makers and designers across all media. The event will feature jewellery, glass, silver, wood crafts, ceramics, textiles, clothing and the odd unusual pieces thrown into the mix.
Many of these items will be unique and cannot be purchased on the high street. Visitors can spend as much time as they like in a relaxed atmosphere, chat to the craft people and find out the story behind their work.
A Cafe area will provide a place for visitors to relax with a drink and a bite to eat and contemplate their purchases - or just to relax after visiting the Fair.
The Memorial Centre has full disabled access and there is considerable low cost parking around New Milton. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

New Parish Councillors for village

Following yesterday's Local Council Elections it looks as though we have three new Parish Councillors, Ewan Brown, Chris Willard and Tony Coleman.  A turn out of 54% seemed quite respectable, with our most popular Parish Councillor proving to be Sue Whitlock.  It was a close run race for the final two council spots, with just 15 votes separating three candidates.
*click above image to enlarge view

Kid's half term photography

If you are looking for a way to keep the kid's amused during the June school half term holidays, why not take them along to a 'Children's Photography Workshop' on 2nd June at Milford on Sea Community Centre.  The day will be ideal for kids from 7 to 12 years old.

This workshop is being held by Matthew and Gemma who run the local photographic business AltoBasso Photography.  The day will run from 11am to 3pm and all kids can bring their own packed lunches.

During the day the children will: Dress up and take fun portraits, Use a professional camera and studio lighting kit, Direct a portrait shoot, Learn to edit digital images and when it is all over they will take home a 9x6 mounted print.

Ticket Prices are £25 and for enquiries or to book your child a place please contact: ~ 0845 5087350 ~ 07863 598990

You can also find out about similar workshops and courses during the summer holidays.  There may even be classes coming up for grown ups!

A night of Avenues & Alleyways

The Milford on Sea Drama Club are currently putting together the finishing touches to their Spring production of 'Avenues & Alleyways'.  The show will take place at Milford on Sea Community Centre and will feature song, dance and a sketch or two.

If you would like to go along tickets are just £5 each, or £25 for a family or group of 6.

The shows take place on Friday 20th May at 7.30pm, then on Saturday 21st May there are two further performances at either 2.30pm or 7.30pm.

Tickets are available from: Gwen's in the High Street, or online from:

The show is directed by Barbara Evans and John James.  All proceeds will be going to support the Milford on Sea Community Centre.

Support our village library

As with many things at this moment in time, I suspect our local Library in the Village Hall is constantly under review & possibly at the threat of closure.

It is certainly a time to support our village library if we can.  It will come as no surprise that they have plenty of books to borrow, but did you also know that you can borrow books from Lymington library and return them to Milford on Sea.  Also, you can reserve books on the library internet and collect them from our own village library.

If you fancy taking a look at all they can offer, please click the link below:

All Saints' goes online

Our local parish church, All Saints', have launched their own website.

The new site is bright & colourful, plus packed with information.  They are certainly a busy bunch, with lots happening for all age groups.

If you would like to take a look please visit: