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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Milford on Sea, Home to award winning chutney!

Anyone who has spotted & bought the chutneys made by Spice ‘n’ Easy on the shelves of Hollands of Milford, will already know how tasty they are.  To his credit, Paul works hard to support and promote products made near to home.  Indeed, the more you visit Hollands, the more you spot ranges of various local produce. 

Spice ‘n’ Easy’s range of chutneys, sauces, spicy cooking pastes & marinades are all made here in Milford on Sea by Claire Lee.  She uses locally grown raw ingredients where ever possible, combined with herbs and spices from around the world to create delicious unique exotic flavours fresh from the New Forest.

At the recent national ‘Great Taste Awards 2011’, Spice ‘n’ Easy won two Gold Great Taste Awards.  Claire’s ‘Spiced Carrot & Pumpkin Chutney’ won gold in the Mixed Vegetable Chutney Class, and ‘Sweet Onion Marmalade’ won gold in the Savoury Marmalade Class.

The Great Taste Awards are organised by the Guild of Fine Food.  The awards are now in their 18th year, and 7481 products were entered from 1600 companies this year. It took 350 experts, 34 days to blind taste all the entries and decide which entries would achieve the coveted one, two and three star gold awards.  (Now that’s a job I’d like to have!)  Bob Farrand, Chairman for The Great Taste Awards, said: “Winning Gold in the country’s largest and most respected independent food accreditation scheme is a massive pat on the back for any producer - independent proof their products are of the highest quality.“  I am guessing Claire is feeling pretty proud, and so she should be.  Yet again something else putting Milford on Sea on the map for food!

Claire founded Spice ‘n’ Easy in 2002 after returning to Milford on Sea from living and travelling in Malaysia and the Far East.  Claire said; “I am really delighted to have won these awards. Spiced Carrot & Pumpkin Chutney is my best selling product so I think all my customers should give themselves a pat on the back as they obviously have award winning taste!! Onion Marmalade is one of my firm favourites great in a sausage sandwich and delicious with a creamy goat’s cheese.”

The ‘Spiced Carrot & Pumpkin Chutney’ is one of the original Spice ‘n’ Easy products. The range now has grown to around 30 different lines including the ever popular fresh Curry and Chilli Pastes, with seasonal specialities such as Marinades for the summer, and unique Christmas goodies including Spiced Mulling Syrup and Christmas Mincemeat with Whiskey & Ginger.

The award winning chutney & marmalade are available for sale in Hollands.  Also, Simon and Sarah Relph (the extremely friendly new owners at Braxton Garden Tearooms) have also selected Carrot & Pumpkin Chutney to accompany their Ploughman’s lunch, and Christine at Inger-Lise's Coffee Shop serves the Onion Marmalade on her menu.  You will also be able to find Claire with her Spice ‘n’ Easy stall in the Local Food and Farming section at this year’s New Forest Show. Look for the Chilli Windsocks!  So, there are no shortages of places to go where you can get a literal ‘Taste of Milford on Sea’!

If anyone is interested in becoming a Spice ‘n’ Easy stockist please contact Claire Lee on 01590 645646 or

JW opens in village

You may have seen the refurbishment work going on at The Old Bank House in Milford on Sea High Street over the past few months.  Well, all is now revealed, and we now have a new hair, hair and holistic establishment.

A quick look at their new website and I discovered more.  It appears that Jane Watkins, the new owner and styling director, has been a hairdresser for many years, having trained under L’Oreal in many of London’s famous salons, including Fenwick’s of Bond Street, Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges and many more.   Jane made her home the Forest area 20 years ago, she has owned a number of salons locally, and is widely acknowledged to be the top specialist in Bridal hair in the New Forest and surrounding area.  She is also a Matrix / Biolage Training Consultant.

The new salon appears to cover a wide range of service including hairdressing, beauty treatments, refexology, reiki and jin shin jyutsu. (The last one sounds like a martial art to me!)  The list of other services is also extensive, and they include a spa capsule (which looks a bit like a space capsule, but doesn’t actually go anywhere)  and even a psychic clairvoyant medium.

If you fancy finding out more, here is JW’s new website:

Council become Friendly to Dog Club

If you are dog owner in Milford on Sea, and have been through the training process, there will be chance that you have visited The Friendly Dog Club in Barton.  The club does a great job of training puppies and older dogs for the surrounding area.

A few weeks ago New Milton Town Council decided, with no consultation, that they would not renew The Friendly Dog Club's lease when it runs out at the end of Jan 2012.  The club argued that if the building is demolished it will be the end of The Friendly Dog Club and a massive loss to the community.  After a significant protest from all corners of the community, the good news is that it now seems that common sense is to prevail.

At the meeting on 19 July the Finance & General Purposes Committee of New Milton Town Council agreed to recommend a new 5 year lease to the full council who will meet on 1 August. The exact make up of the new lease is yet to be decided.  Well done to all involved.

Our two dogs are a lost cause in terms of training, but if the club has the ability to work magic on the council, perhaps they might even be able to get our mutts to behave to a moderately acceptable level! 

The Friendly Dog Club in Barton have a great website, if you fancy taking a look here is the link:

Looking for Gillian and Janet Griffiths

We have been sent an article which appeared in the Daily Mail recently.  In their ‘Missing’ section was a story about Graham Thornton, who is looking to find two sisters with whom he spent a holiday at Sea Pines in Milford on Sea during the early fifties.  At the time, we understand that Sea Pines was a large Victorian House used as a holiday home.  Its remains now sit under the flats built in its place on the cliff top.  The Lymington Directory for 1955 notes that Sea Pines was a private school in Milford on Sea, however four years later, the school was no longer listed. 

This appeal may be longshot as it was over fifty years ago, but who knows, someone might remember something. 

The full story is below, and if have any information that might help him in his quest, please just let us know.

*click image to enlarge

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Rotary after your Handbags

The Rotary Club of New Milton, who have many members here in Milford on Sea, are looking for donations of handbags to put into a Charity Handbag Stall Sale at Highcliffe Village Fete on Saturday 30th July.

They are doing this to raise funds for a local charity.  Home-Start is a charity that supports almost 73,000 vulnerable children across the UK. They are working hard to open a centre locally which will serve Lymington, Pennington, Milford on Sea and New Milton. The help they provide focuses on families and children who may be suffering from  isolation, bereavement, disability, domestic violence, post-natal illness, and much more.

To support the opening of the new centre in this area, The Rotary Club are helping Home-Start by collecting unused or unwanted handbags.  If you have any unwanted handbags, please call Rotary Secretary Andy Joseph on 01590 644166 or e-mail him at and he will come round and pick them up.

Sounds like time to have a clear out and do a bit of good at the same time!!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Another great Music Festival!

The tenth anniversary Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival got underway under a clear sky with the Folk Night on Thursday evening.  My wife and I didn’t make that one.  I was tempted, as I have this vision of hundreds of vegetarians in sandals and kaftans humming along to weird instruments, my wife insists the crowd would actually have been a lot more varied and that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to listen to folk music.

Being too old for Youth Band Night on Friday, our festival weekend started on Saturday afternoon.  On arriving, the village’s own Windmill Swing Band were on stage and the green was awash with people enjoying the first sunny afternoon for many days.  We made our way around the variety of stalls serenaded by classic tunes, I tried to stop at each one selling food, but my wife pulled me past, sagely saying ‘you don’t need that’.  I thought I did, but apparently my wife knew I didn’t.  I did however manage to lose her when I said I was going to ask the band waiting in the wings what the difference was between an oboe and bassoon.  This gave me enough time to grab a lemon & sugar crepe from Bon Appetite.  On my return, her piercing look told me that she had realised I hadn’t gone to ask the band about the oboe and bassoon.  She confirmed her own suspicions when she asked me; ‘what was the difference?’, and all I could think of was that ‘oboe’s are black’.  I think the sugar around my mouth may also have been a slight giveaway.  Next on stage were ‘Strangeworld’, who were described as a ‘progressive folk band’.  The music was certainly an acquired taste, and when someone started playing the bagpipes, it confirmed to me that this was a taste I had yet to acquire.  I have to be honest and say, I have no idea why those things were invented.  I may have been a lone voice though, as the crowd really liked it, and gave a rapturous round of applause at the end.

Next we were off to the marquee, where Zumba were doing a demonstration.  I thought this was another band, but soon discovered it was a high energy keep fit dance class.  The South American & African vibes were accompanied by dozens of enthusiastic women doing routines that would have worn out the pretty one in Pans People.  Simply watching the input of effort made me tired.  As I could see no men in the group, I checked out the beer tent end of the marquee, and yes, it was full.  Returning to the main stage I had a go at guessing how many carrots ‘Wonky Donkey’ had in his basket, it wasn’t 1624 apparently. 

As we moved through the green I thought that there had been a breakout from Marwell Zoo, but soon discovered it was just scores of kids with their faces painted.  I also don’t think the guy dressed as a Genie was really eight feet tall.  He certainly seemed to be enjoying himself as he maneuvered his stilts though the packed throng, only hitting a few dozen people with his sword as he passed through.  Next on the stage were a smooth swing & jazz band called The Regular Joes, who soon took everyone back a few decades. Their quality and style was fully appreciated by the ever growing crowd.

We had a master plan for the evening, which was to enjoy the nights entertainment from the comfort of La Perle.  Being directly behind the main stage, it is perfectly positioned to hear everything, and it also had the benefit that my wife didn’t have to listen to me droning on about some irrelevant nonsense all night.  For once my plan went perfectly, the food was excellent and we had grandstand seats to hear the hot rock bands on stage.  The village green was not only full to capacity, but many more people had to listen from any space they could find nearby. It was great to see people of all ages really enjoying a great day. Just as the evening headline act; ‘Not The Rolling Stones’, took to the stage, and we were fully fed, we made our way across the road from the restaurant.  Their classic rock’n’roll set soon had people up and dancing as the band banged out the tracks made immortal by Mick Jagger & the boys.  The audience included people from every generation from the ages of 10 to 90, and each were equally delighted to be part of a great night of musical mastery.

Sunday morning started out grey and wet, and I thought about waking my wife up with tea in bed.  I then decided it would be much more fun to let the dogs into the bedroom to lick her face.  As I hid in the hallway I was not sure if I was listening to her muffled screams or the dogs giggling, either way, one of us had had a good start to the day.  My wife had volunteered to help some friends on the ‘cream tea’ stall in the afternoon, so off we trotted.  Thankfully, the day had now brightened up and the sun had fought its way through.  Total Voice, the village choir, were in full song as we arrived and as always they were a providing super entertainment for the happy throng.  It was clear that the choir itself were also having a great time. Many of you will think my wife’s temporary cream tea job would have entitled me to a particularly large portion of jam and cream, in fact I actually got less, as my wife is apparently ‘looking after my health’.  I see it more as making sure I don’t enjoy myself too much! 

The village green was again packed, and a lazy Sunday afternoon floated by as everyone were treated to a sparkling performance from Zing! Choir and then dancing from the kids at Zapp!.  Retiring to the beer tent for well earned refreshment, two teenage girl singers were on stage at the ‘Open Mic Session’ in the marquee.  Their voices were quite mesmerizing, and in future years it would be no surprise to see them on the main stage.  As the sun continued to shine everyone enjoyed some classical music from the New Forest Community Orchestra, followed by the crisp harmonies of Crescendi, a fine local choir with a fair number of members from the village. 

To close this magnificent event, Colin Judson, the villages own professional opera singer, was joined by many of his classical music contemporaries to delight the crowd with songs from the Savoy Operas.  Colin and his operatic friends were once again a spectacular finale to a wonderful weekend of music.  

The music festival is always a highlight of the village year and without doubt creates music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.  It is hard to believe that earlier this year the event was under threat, but thankfully a handful of people from village volunteered to lend a hand and everything is now well and truly back on track.  How a small dedicated committee of volunteers put on such an amazing event I have no idea, but I and many hundreds of others are really grateful they do!

Lost festival child found

Anyone with a lingering concern regarding the lost child announcement at Saturday's Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival will no doubt be pleased to learn that Sasha was found safe and well, shortly after the announcement.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Calling all gardeners

The Milford on Sea Flower and Produce Show is due to take place next Saturday (July 16th) at the All Saints' Church Hall. There are a wide choice of classes. As well as Flowers, Fruit, and Vegetables, there will also be Craft, Photography, Baking, and classes especially for children of 12 and under.

It is not too late to enter, so if you want to join in please pick up a schedule at Gwen's, The Village Coffee Shop, and the Village News. 

The event is fun, and a chance for everyone to take part.   If you are not actually entering a sprig of something, then just pop along and have a look at all the things being created in the village.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Milford Festival gets underway

After a few days battling high winds to erect the main marquee, the Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival got underway with the Folk Night yesterday evening (Thursday).  Thankfully the storms of the last few days abated for a few hours for the revelers to enjoy the performers.  Tonight is Youth Band Night, with a exciting and full ‘Cool Saturday’ programme tomorrow.  Sunday kicks off with the local churches holding a ‘Service on the Green’, followed by a variety of musical entertainment throughout ‘Smooth Sunday’.

The music festival is always a highlight of the village year and there is without doubt something for everyone.  To make sure you don’t miss anything please buy a programme in one of the village shops.

Enjoy the weekend, rain or shine!

Bastille Day by the Sea

Now that La Perle restaurant is established in Milford on Sea High Street, we as a village are of course now annexed to France.  I have contact my old friends the mayor’s of Paris & Nice about a twinning arrangement, but their e-mail must be broken, as to date I have not had a reply. I am sure it is only a matter of time before I receive a formal civic invitation.

I digress, next week is Bastille Day, which is celebrated in France every 14th July, apparently it is something to do with a group of guys ‘Storming of the Bastille’ on on 14 July 1789, and the start of the French Revolution. It was also a great excuse to write some great songs and the magnificent ‘Les Miserables’ stage show, but I think this was done later and was not written by the lads storming the Gallic prison, they were far too busy getting shot of one of the King Louis’.  Of course, being a village that will jump onto any excuse for a good time, it is only fair that we join in the celebration of our French brothers.  So, to celebrate, La Perle will be serving a full traditional French menu for both lunch and dinner next Thursday.  Having had a sneak preview of the dishes, it looks like Lionel is giving us all an opportunity to taste many of the specialities from his French homeland.

Being English, born & bred, it is weird the way that I can transform into a Francophile in a nano-second. I am sure I will be there quaffing ‘D'escargot avec sauce crème à l'ail’ and ‘Cassoulet de Toulouse’, as my wife watches me with distain.

If you fancy taking a look at the menu please visit:  Due to demand this will be available on both Wednesday & Thursday 13th & 14th July.  (Thursday night is already fully booked.)

Booking may also be a good idea if you fancy a true ‘taste of France’, it looks as though this could be very popular.

MoS Club raises £10k for ‘Cash for Kids’

Over the past few months Mark Ketchen and Richard Millbery, supported by the members of the Milford on Sea Club, have been raising funds in the memory of Jack Boothroyd and to support local children charities.  Jack was a popular Milford on Sea teenager who tragically passed away in October 2010. He attended Priestlands School and was a regular member of Milford Youth Club.

Their efforts have certainly been successful, with £10,000 being raised for Wave 105 Cash for Kids.  This Tuesday, 7.30pm 12th July, a presentation of the cheque will be made to Simon Clarke (DJ) and Gloria Hill from Wave 105 Cash for Kids at Milford on Sea Club. In addition to this, funds have also been raised to contribute to a bench in the memory of Jack Boothroyd on Milford on Sea green and £500 will be donated to MoS Juniors Football Club floodlight fund.

The successful fundraising events organised by the guys included, The Jack Boothroyd Memorial Five-a-Side Football Competition and a fundraising 'Auction & Prize Giving Night', and their tremendous job will provide support to many kids across Hampshire.  Congratulations to everyone who took part in the organisation or by participating.

For more information please contact: Mark Ketchen | 07967 547639
Milford on Sea Club, 67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

*PS: Mark has asked for any sponsors who have yet to pay their money could they please contact him or Richard Millbery as soon as possible.

Milford on Sea gets a taste of South Africa

Village based specialist South African wine company, Cape Wine Cellars, will be holding a South African Wine Tasting Evening in the Milford on Sea Community Centre at 7pm on Friday 29th July.

The evening will include a guest appearance from Hansie van Niekerk. Hansie is the owner of the Knorhoek Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, and he will be presenting information on his wine production and a tasting of his wines.

Those attending will also be able to taste about 30 South African Wines including 12 wines made from the Pinotage, a unique South African grape.  There will also be a draw for a number of prizes during the evening.

Tickets are £5, and available from: Jaws, Paws and Claws in Church Hill, Milford on Sea village.

The company, Cape Wine Cellars, was founded in Milford on Sea in April this year by Daan Coetzee, and launched successfully at Milford on Sea Food Market during Food Week.  As you many have guessed from his name, Daan is a native South African, but having met and married Rebecca, a local Milford on Sea girl, they have now moved to the village with their young family.

Cape Wine Cellars will be having a very busy time during July, with appearances at the CLA Game Fair, The Pylewell Park Food and Wine Festival,  The New forest Show and finally the Milford on Sea Sip & Shop event. So, no shortage of wine tasting opportunities for us all!

For more information, please contact:

Daan Coetzee | Cape Wine Cellars
Tel: 07703 687707 | 01590 670746

Milford makes sweet music

A number of local pupils have excelled in recent national music exams.  Milford on Sea music teacher, Jenny Davies, was delighted by the performance of some of her pupils, each of whom sat The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations.

Josh achieved his Piano Prep Test certificate, Jack got a good pass on his grade 1 Guitar, Jackie passed with merit for her grade 2 Clarinet, Anatole passed with merit for his grade 1 Piano, and Jordan passed with distinction for his grade 3 Saxophone.

It is nice to hear that a myriad of young musicians are learning such a variety of instruments in the village.

Jenny tells us that she always tries to have funds available for pupils who otherwise could not afford music lessons and instruments. Donations of e funds for me to buy instruments for pupils are always welcomed.  She is also constantly on the lookout for donations of no longer used musical instruments for her pupils to use.

Should anyone be interested in music lessons or wish to make a donation, please contact Jenny at or call 07766 592425.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Milford on Sea gets first App

A new local business has launched Milford on Sea’s first SmartPhone App.  Helen White & Paul Etheridge from Bluetooth Marketing Ltd in the village have launched an Android version and are now just waiting for Apple iPhone version to be approved.

The App is designed to be a handy information tool on the move for both locals and tourists alike.  Local business will have the opportunity to advertise their services and to promote special offers on the Milford on Sea App. The team are also planning App’s for Lymington, Brockenhurst, Sway and Lyndhurst. To provide even more benefits, Bluetooth Marketing are planning a 'Flash your APP' promotion, where those who have downloaded the App can win a variety of prizes.

If the word ‘App’ is a mystery to you, we will try to explain; basically it is a noun, and short for “application”.  An App typically refers to software used on a smartphone or mobile device.  The App itself is on icon on your smartphone which enables you to get to a version of your favourite websites quickly, and on the move.  Many App’s are free, whilst others have a small charge, and all are available from an ‘App’s Store’ directly from your phone.

For many I am sure if I had written this article in Japanese language it might have been a bit more understandable!  The world seems to be moving so much faster today, and keeping up takes a bit of effort.  However, many of us will have witnessed the technological innovations of the day, such as colour TV, dishwashers, microwaves, digital cameras and of course mobile phones; and they just keep coming!  Indeed, how many of us would have thought ten years ago that the internet & e-mail would have become such an everyday part of our lives today?  So, the App is simply another innovation, and personally I wish they would hurry up and crack ‘teleportation’ to save me having to walk into the village!

If you have an Android mobile phone, why not give the new Milford on Sea App a try.  I am looking forward to the iPhone version so that I can give it a go.

Village Garden Share Scheme

Transition Lymington (which also covers Milford on Sea), have just started a Garden Share Scheme which matches local growers with local garden owners.

The principle of the project sounds great to me.  Basically, the Transition team are looking for any unused corner of a garden that the owner would be happy to share with a grower.  You might have a suitable plot that could be used to grow vegetables, fruits or flowers.  The benefits are significant, as you could get a share of the produce, the pleasure of seeing a developing vegetable plot, and it is likely you will also make some new friends.

The project are also looking for committed, enthusiastic and respectful growers, who they can match with local garden owners.  To date they have made two matches, with more people being matched at the moment.

If you would like to join in as a garden owner or grower, please contact either Emily on 01590 675612 or Rachel on 01590 683558

Les rides Tiger around UK

Les Spicer, local motor bike enthusiast & B&B host at Applecrust (September Cottage), has completed his mission to motor cycle around the coast line of the United Kingdom. Les completed his mammoth journey on his classic 1968 Triumph Tiger 100 motor cycle, and raised valuable funds for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Such a long trip was not, as you may expect, without incident.  Having left Milford on Sea, all was going well until Les experienced engine problems in the north of Scotland, where he had a two week wait for parts and repairs.  Disappointingly, this was the start of a number of mechanical problems which resulted in more engine issues. Struggling with a lack of compression and engine power, the only solution was to return home for major repairs to a hole in one of the pistons.  Undaunted, he was soon back on the road to Cornwall, around the Welsh coast, and then back to the exact spot in Scotland where the Tiger had broken down to complete his challenge.

Les had plenty more experiences on his journey, and we will be providing some more of his highlights in the coming weeks.

A sparkly clean beach!

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust would like to thank everyone who joined in the Beach Clean and Litter Survey at Cut Bridge, Hurst Spit on Tuesday evening (28th June).  They had about 30 volunteers helping (including some very willing Milford on Sea Brownies and Cubs!), and they collected 13.5kg of rubbish in 1.5 hours along a 120 metre stretch of beach. The vast majority of litter collected was plastic, with small plastic pieces, nylon rope and drinks bottle caps accounting for most of it.

The Beach Clean and Litter Survey is run four times a year as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Adopt-A-Beach’ project. It’s important to keep our beaches clean to reduce the risk to our marine wildlife that can become entangled in waste and litter along our shores. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidently eat or become tangled up in litter each year, often fatally. As well as being harmful to wildlife, beach litter is also unsightly and is hazardous to people too. Information gathered from surveys adds to the data collected on other adopted beaches around the UK, and allows the MCS to build up a better picture of the state of our shores by telling us what types of litter wash up and when.

For more information please see the Wildlife Trust’s website:

Sweet Pea Champ in Village

News has reached us that Milford on Sea has its very own ‘Sweet Pea Champion’. We have heard that Mr R. Newland recently won a 3rd award at The National Sweet Pea Society Show.  The show took place on Tuesday & Wednesday 21st/22nd June 2011 at Stewart’s Garden Lands in Christchurch.
Mr Newland, is as you may expect, locally known as a keen gardener and an obvious enthusiastic for sweet peas. Congratulations on your award!