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Friday, 21 December 2012

Join in the U3A

Do you fancy meeting new people and broadening your mind?
Well, the U3A has now arrived at Milford on Sea. U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment, providing educational, creative, and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment.
Despite the new branch only been established in November, they now have a membership of well over one hundred, with nearly twenty-five interest groups. These groups range from Art Appreciation to Social History.
A monthly meeting with a speaker is usually held on the first Tuesday of the month 2pm, at the Community Centre in Sea Road.
The membership fee until the end of March is £10. Non- members are very welcome for an initial visit at a charge of £2.
To find out more about this active, lively, and friendly Milford on Sea U3A Group, please contact them on: 01590 644039 or 01425 638836.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

40 B4 40-The Hand & Flowers - again!

click to enlarge
No. 28: The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

After finding an excuse to book a return visit to the excellent Hand & Flowers, my business meeting was cancelled at the last minute.

Having booked the restaurant over a month before, I had no intention of letting the table slip, so it was my wife's lucky day!

This is our second visit to Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The restaurant is the first and only pub dining rooms to be awarded the coveted Two Michelin Stars, they are also the current AA Restaurant of the Year 2011-12.

The restaurants head chef and owner is Tom Kerridge, a former winner and judge on BBC’s ‘Great British Menu', and of course, our headline act from Milford on Sea Food Week 2012.

On arrival we were greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne from Tom, nice touch!

The menu was extraordinary, and choosing tricky.  Fortunately, having eaten here before, we knew whatever we chose was going to be an experience.

Before we had even chosen what we were going to eat, we were served with a cone of Whitebait, home made bread and pots of salt and pepper to season the home-made butter. Everything was off to a great start.

For starters I went for the Blow-torched Scottish Scallop with Warm Roast Chicken Bouillon, Morels, Nasturtium and Apple. My wife went for, Salmon Tartare with Poppy Seed Crackers.

Naturally, each had to be shared, but thankfully my share was greater.  The crispy apple with the scallops & nutty mushrooms was masterful.

Our main courses of slow Cooked Duck Breast with Savoy Cabbage, Duck Fat Chips and Gravy, and the other house speciality of Hand & Flowers Fish & Chips, kept the juices flowing. As I savoured the duck fat chips and amazing fish in batter, I was almost overwhelmed by the accompanying Pea Puree, which was certainly one of the best sides I have ever eaten.  Meanwhile my wife was going though a mix of emotions.  The duck was succulent, with a crispy glazed skin and jus that had her in heaven.  Worries appeared as she became full, yet she battled on, and on, fighting her expanding food baby, until she had completed her meal.  Afterwards she sat almost in complete silence, with a silly grin, just saying 'that was the best, ...ever'.

My dining companion was now just a quiet Michelin Man as I ordered sweet.  A hard one, yet I resisted the Tonka Bean Panna Cotta.  I know it is delicious, but I was up for something new, so it was the Banana Soufflé with Gingerbread Custard and Yoghurt Ice Cream. Wow!

Over coffee and a Bailey's I enquired if they had a fork lift to get my wife to the car, but I had to settle for throwing her over my shoulder.

Tom says that he just 'cooks great food, simply'.  I think he is wrong, he 'cooks great food, in amazing combinations'. This is definitely a place to really experience great food, cooked by a master with true passion.


RAC Club, Pall Mall, London - Great Gallery Restaurant

Sadly, a couple of weeks ago I made a 'wifeless' visit to the RAC Club, which meant that it did not qualify for our 40 B4 40 Challenge. Invited by a customer, who was also a member, and accompanied by Alistair, we had the pleasure of dining in the Great Gallery Restaurant.

The restaurant had reportedly had a recent £1m makeover, and it was spectacular. The food was also excellent, but taking pictures of the plates was not really the order of the day.

A later tour of the club's facilities was similarly impressive. We particularly enjoyed the Long Bar, but for probably longer than we should have!

Having started the day with coffee in The Ritz, followed by our leisurely RAC lunch, we then moved on for a tour of numerous London bars. Arriving home from lunch at around 11.30pm, it is suffice to say, we had enjoyed our day!


The Hand and Flowers
126 West Street, Marlow, SL7 2BP

If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.


Advisory Groups for Community Centre

Would you like to be involved with new Community Centre advisory groups?

The Community Centre is establishing two new groups;

1. A PANEL to advise on what more we can do to meet the needs of: the elderly, people with disabilities, and the personal and development needs of young people.

2. A FOCUS GROUP to explore other additional services and activities, including education courses, information services, one off events, and activities for families.

Can you help? If so, please tell us which area you are interested in. Contact:

The first meetings of these groups will be arranged in January.

The Community Centre Trustees arranged for a Survey and Report to help identify our strengths and weaknesses and to address their concerns about better meeting the needs of the young, people with disabilities, and our older vulnerable residents. Establishing these two groups are the first steps to implement the report. The Trustees will also now conduct a wider review of their decision making processes, and external communications to ensure greater community participation.
The Trustees aim to report further on progress on all of these matters.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Where's Woolly?

The Milford on Sea village shops are holding a competition involving ‘Knitted Nativity Characters’ in the village shop windows.

The competition is for children and adults, and no one is too old to join in, and it has been organised by Christine Luxon, helped by Christine from Inger Lise's Coffee Shop.

Simply find ten knitted nativity characters in Milford shop windows anytime between Wednesday 5th December and Thursday 20th December.

To enter, pick up a form from the first shop where you spot a knitted Nativity Figure, then go hunting for the characters, solve the puzzle and hand in your form.

There will be a gift voucher prize for Inge Lise Coffee Shop in three different age groups, and playing and having fun is free!

Kid's Xmas Competition at Inger Lise's

Christine at Inger Lise’s Coffee Shop in Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, is once again running one of her popular children’s painting competitions.

This time the competition has a Christmas Scene theme. All children aged 4 and over, are eligible to enter, and are welcome to visit with their family to use the drawing tables, whilst the adults can enjoy one of the café’s delightful coffees, snacks or treats at the same time. All the paper and drawing material are provided in the café.

The prize will be a Gingerbread House, which Kev (Christine’s husband) is building at the moment.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Dance Artist coming to Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle is to have a resident artist during September 2013. Espirito Santo Mauricio is a dance artist and will be arriving from Vancouver, Canada.

Espirito will be working on Project Unity, a project that engages community in the art of dance, voice, music improvisation, and is looking forward to getting the local community involved.

She would also like to connect with local musicians and artists. If you would like to contact Espirito, her details are below. 

Espirito Santo Mauricio at

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Are You a Village Newcomer?

Early each year a ‘Newcomers Supper’ is held at All Saints Church Hall in Milford on Sea. This year the supper will be held at 6pm on Saturday 2nd March 2013.

All Newcomers to the village in 2012 are invited, by invitation, to a free informal evening to meet other new people to the village & a selection of village people. (Thats residents, not the old pop group!)

Come & enjoy a free drink & supper meal, together with entertainment & the opportunity to find out more about the numerous clubs and associations in the village. Also meet representatives from the Parish Council, Doctors, Community Centre etc. Lots of fun and laughter which ends with the Milford song!

Free Invitations are available to All Newcomers to Milford on Sea during the year (Adults only), and also for clubs and charities, associations and activities in the village that would like to participate.
Please contact Ruth on 01590 641875 asap after Christmas, if you are new to the village, or an organisiation, but have not received an invitation.

The evening consists of two parts. In the first hour or so, there is a ‘mini exhibition’, where you can wander around and informally meet representatives from the many clubs, associations & organisations in the village. They can tell you anything you want to know, and if you fancy getting involved you can. This is then followed by a sit down supper with the chance to meet new people & have a bit of fun.

Most years the event has over a hundred people attending, and it is a great way to meet new people, and to get a warm welcome to your new home. The village is full of friendly people and the ‘Newcomers Supper’ is a fast-track way of getting to know all about our village life.
The ‘Newcomers Supper’ is funded & hosted by all of the churches in the village & tirelessly organised by Ruth Bufton. The event is by invitation only, so if you are new to the village this year & would like to come along please contact: Ruth Bufton on: or 01590 641875

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Keyhaven Lamb in the Larder

A little secret gem has just become public knowledge.

Lisa's Larder ‘Pop Up Shop’ has a Grand Opening taking place at Aubrey Farm, in Keyhaven Road on Sunday 23rd December from 10.30am until 3pm.

Everyone is invited, so why not go along to find out more about how you can buy local Keyhaven Lamb and other local goodies.

They will also be serving mulled wine and mince pies around midday, also local guest producers will be available for you to sample their products, and the Total Voice Choir will be there to celebrate the festive season.

A few lucky people will also be picking up their pre-ordered traditional barn reared turkeys for the Christmas table. There will also be a small amount of fresh Keyhaven lamb available in various packs.

Lisa's Larder are planning to offer produce straight from their own local farm, including traditional barn reared turkeys, Keyhaven lamb and mutton, local pork, bacon, sausages and gammon plus a few other carefully selected local seasonal products.

If you have walked along Hurst Spit you may have seen some of the farms flock in the fields by Sturt Pond. The salt they eat enhances the flavour.
Keyhaven lamb is already being served in The Marine, and having tasted a meal featuring the lamb, I can vouch that it is absolutly delicious. We understand it will also soon be on the menu at Verveine.

If you are after last minute presents, Christmas Lamb Box Gift Vouchers will also be available for pre-cut joints, half and whole lamb boxes.

In August 2012 the farm were very proud to be presented with the: 'New Forest Marque Food Producer of the Year' at the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards, and with their exciting plans, things look like they will just keep getting better.

Should you want to keep up with all of the latest product information in the Lisa's Larder newsletter, or would like to know the opening times, please contact: Lisa Morgan at:

Lisa's Larder can be found at Aubrey Farm, Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0TH


About Aubrey Farm
Aubrey Farm is in Keyhaven Road near Milford on Sea. Simeon, Lisa’s husband, takes care of all day-to-day farm management and is responsible for all crop marketing and sheep rearing. Lisa takes care of the administration and marketing of the sheep enterprise, as well as Lisa's Larder Shop.

The farming business was started in 1998 when J&D Edgar Ltd reviewed their farming operations. At that time Simeon was employed by the company having just completed his time at Sparsholt College studying for his ND in Agriculture and HND in Agricultural Business Studies. Lisa, who also attended Sparsholt College, was working as a farm secretary. Simeon was offered redundancy and was asked to tender to take over their arable operations on a contracting basis and the business took off from there.

It has always been Simeon & Lisa’s aim to create a long-term professional and sustainable business that keeps up with modern farming practices, remains flexible and innovative. They also undertake arable operations on 622 hectares of land, under a range of different agreements from contract farming to tenancy and individual operations.

The farm employs two full time members of staff and have a fleet of modern tractors and up to date farm machinery.

Lisa’s Larder now sells their own crossbred lambs and the male Zwartbles lambs via a box scheme through Lisa's Larder Shop. Sales have come about via word of mouth and currently demand exceeds supply. Customers are given the option of pre-cut joints, chops etc. half or a whole lamb cut and packed to their specification.

To ensure they produce the finest lamb, the farm uses C&S Meat’s abattoir near Sherborne, this is a small operation which they have chosen and inspected carefully. Simeon transport the animals himself and leave the farm early in the morning on the day of slaughter, with the whole process usually taking no more than 4 hours. Simeon & Lisa believe it is imperative for carcass quality that the animal’s remain unstressed and handled as least as possible. Blackmore Vale Butchery then collects the carcasses and hangs them for 10-14 days before cutting and packing to our specifications.
The end produce is wonderful Keyhaven Lamb.

The Veertig Flock of Pedigree Zwartbles Sheep

Breed Characteristics: The Zwartbles has a striking appearance: a black/brown fleece, a white blaze on the face, 2 - 4 white socks, and a white tail tip (which is traditionally left undocked). Both rams and ewes are polled. The Zwartbles are relatively large sheep: ewes weigh an average of 85 kg (190 lb), and rams 100 kg (220 lb). The dense fleece ranges from black to brown with sun bleached tips, some silvering maybe present in older animals. The wool is medium to fine with excellent crimp and fibre length, a Bradford count of 54-56 and a micron count of 27 making it popular for spinning and felting. Zwartbles are known for being docile, friendly, easy lambing, prolific, milky and being excellent mothers.

The farm has experimented with crossing their Zwartbles ram with some Easycare and Wiltshire Horn cross ewes and have had some very pleasing results producing a faster maturing butchers lamb whilst still enjoying the advantage of a lean, larger carcass. Lambs from these crosses are always black but sometimes will have a little white on the head.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A scary story from Milford

We have heard that Maureen Farenden, a resident of Milford on Sea, has published her first book, The Diary.
If you like a spooky ghost story to snuggle up to on the late winter nights then, The Diary, could be the book for you... if you dare!

Not content with one book, Maureen already has her next venture well underway, and her next novel 'The Last Train' is due out in New Year.

Maureen's book, The Diary, is available from Amazon in either or paperback or Kindle versions.
Amazon Summary: "If you have found this Diary, I beg you; put it back into the sepulchre where it was buried. Do not read it! Open the gateway into the Apport's world and nothing, or no one, can save you." Two lovers who have wished for the perfect English home, for their perfect English family, finally find it thanks to a strange meeting during an accidental visit to a lovely village. When they move into their perfect house, Shannon Mulberry finds an old leather bound diary with a note attached which is just too tempting to the aspiring author. She opens the old book... ...And The Diary releases its terrible truth. It carves their lives into its pages and soon predicts their fates. Shannon and Eddie must find the strength and will to subvert this terrible book and escape the future described. Their perfect English home soon becomes the perfect English nightmare. The Diary has more imagination and flare than most horror writers could dream of in their darkest recesses. Truly, be careful what you wish for because dreams can twist all too easily into nightmares.”
ISBN-13: 978-1909224209

Sunday, 2 December 2012

MoS Music Festival moves to August

The Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival is moving from its traditional July dates to the first weekend in August. The musical jamboree will start on Thursday 1st until Sunday 4th August 2013. 
The festival has always been free for visitors, however the Festival costs approximately £25,000 to create for everybody, and with costs always increasing, the income has remained stagnant. This change has been made by the organising committee in an effort to try increase the revenue stream. 
The  festival committee appreciate that some will see this move as an attempt to pander to holiday makers; however the decision has not been taken lightly, and they want to assure everyone that the festival remains for the village of Milford on Sea.
If you would like to get involved or support the festival in any way please contact Sean Reeves the Milford on Sea Arts Music Festival chair on, 01590 644777 or 07966 449826


Saturday, 1 December 2012

New Diamond Jubilee Trees in Village

Sunday 25th November saw almost 50 Rainbows, Beavers, Cubs, Brownies, Scouts, Guides and their leaders come together for a joint Girlguiding and Scouting Diamond Jubilee Community Project.
The youngsters had applied for, and received a Jubilee Tree Pack from the Woodland Trust. The trees were planted alongside Keyhaven Road between Milford and Keyhaven. 
Although there had been heavy rain and the ground was extremely wet underfoot, the Milford Conservation Group had been down to prepare the ground. Hopefully, thanks to their help, the tiny trees take happily to the location and grow well. 
The youngsters will endeavour to go back In the spring to check how the trees are doing. At the same time, they will place a plaque to mark this joining together of youngsters from Girlguiding and Scouting in our local community in this Jubilee year.


Milford Brownies Raise Money for Charity
Milford on Sea brownies raised £81.93 for charity on Saturday 1st December by selling their homemade Christmas Tree decorations at both All Saints Church Hall Table Top Sale and Milford Primary School Christmas Fair.

The money raised will be donated to The Children's Society (who help vulnerable young people), at the Christingle Service this Sunday afternoon at All Saints Church.

Next year, the Brownies will be conducting their own major fundraising drive in order to raise money to replace their rather old and uncomfortable camp beds.

Good quality camp beds for Pack Holidays cost about £50 each so the girls will be hoping to raise £1000 so they can afford 20 new beds.