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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Help for Open Sight

We have receivd the e-mail below from Terry Smith of Open Sight. If you can help him out, please give him a call.

"I am writing in anticipation that a number of Milford on Sea News readers may be able to help one of New Milton’s oldest charitable groups.
The Open Sight New Milton Club for blind and partially sighted people has been serving the local community for many years, providing vital support and understanding for the significant number of visually impaired adults in the area. The value of the Club is immeasurable as many of the Members would face isolation and loneliness without it. The Club, which meets monthly at Bashley Village Hall, is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
However, due to impending retirements, the Club needs to enrol enthusiastic Committee Members to fulfil key roles in helping to organise the monthly activities and carry out administrative duties.
If readers are able to offer a few hours once a month on a Wednesday afternoon, we would love to hear from them. All Open Sight volunteers are given sighted guiding training, ongoing support and become part of a much appreciated team.

For full details, please call 023 8064 6377 or email

Thank you.

Terry Smith"

Open Sight
Terry Smith
Community Development and Support Manager
Tel: Direct: 02380 646 377 Office: 023 8064 1244

Angela Hartnett at Food Week

We are delighted to announce that 'An Afternoon with HARTNETT & HOLDER' will be taking place at Food Week at 3pm on Wednesday 9th April 2014.

Angela Hartnett is one of the most high-profile female chefs in the restaurant world.

In 2004 she gained her first Michelin star after previously working alongside Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing. Today she holds a Michelin star in her restaurant Murano in Mayfair.

Angela is also very active in 'Harnett, Holder & Co' at Lime Wood Hotel, Lyndhurst. Alongside her at 'HH&Co' is Luke Holder, the creative and highly experienced Michelin star trained Head Chef.

HH&Co is receiving rave reviews for its inspired English dishes with a respectful nod to the seasons and to Italian culinary ideologies. During the afternoon, Angela and Luke will be demonstrating some of their dishes whilst sharing stories of their kitchen careers to date.
 An Afternoon with HARTNETT & HOLDER

Tickets on Sale Now: £15 - Available from the Community Centre Box Office or Online Ticket Office - click here.
10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all community organised shows: click here to find out more.

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

Get Back to Shape at Shorefield

No doubt like us, you may have overdone it a bit over the Christmas festivities!
Shorefield Health & Fitness Club
I am sure we have contibuted more than our fair share to the bottle bank, my wife has even eaten some puddings, and the weather has made eating and drinking the only sensible option.
At times like these, people often look for way to get back to where they were, or perhaps even to better shape, so a trip up to Shorefields to find out about their 'New Year - New You' may be just the thing for you.
The friendly team at the impressive Shorefield Health & Fitness Club are holding an Open Weekend this Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January 2014 - 10am to 6pm.
The Shorefield Health & Fitness Club is available to everyone from Milford on Sea and features the latest Technogym equipment, Dedicated weights are, Weekly personal training, Great aerobic classes, the Renowned Elemis Spa, Outdoor tennis & all sports courts and ample parking.
To see the facilities and courses on offer, simply pop along.
The Shorefield team are also offering a Special Trial Offer: £24 for 4 Weeks, if you sign up at the Open Weekend.

At the Open Weekend you can also get a Free Swim, Sauna and Spa Bath, so bring your costume.
Finally, if you book on the day you can get 50% off All Reflections Elemis Day Spa treatments taken before the 10th February 2014. Plus…No Joining Fee!
Open to Non-Residents all year round.
Shorefield Health & Fitness Club


Food Week Website Launched

The Milford on Sea Food Week website has been completely rebuilt and has today been launched.

The website contains lots of information about Food Week, and will show you what a fabulous week we have in store for Foodies from Monday 7th April until Sunday 13th April 2014.

Our twenty village restaurants, pubs and cafés are offering a wide range of events and dining offers.  Local organisations like the WI, Milford on Sea Club, the Sea Scouts, the Guides, MoS Primary School, MiCO, New Forest Transition, League of Friends, MoS Library, the Village Churches, Total Voice Choir, Milford Makers, Folk Club ...and more, are all involved!

The Food Week Cookery Theatre has a packed programme of demonstrations and shows, with everything from local home cooks sharing their recipes, to Michelin star TV Chefs like Angela Hartnett & Luke Holder, Atul Kochhar and personalities such as Shappi Khorsandi, and Sal Bashir, The world’s only Pakistan Elvis, plus Alex Aitken and top chefs from The Pig, Montagu Arms, Chewton Glen and The Jetty coming to do shows.

Added to this, there is loads for the family and the kids to do, a CakeFest, educational films and talks, wine tastings, beer brewing demonstrations, the Great Dining Bus, cookery classes, the Sunday Food Market, ...and even a walk to try and shed some of the pounds you may have put on!

Chef for a Night Auction: You can bid online to have David Wykes, Chef/Patron of the award winning & Michelin recommended Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant, come to your home and cook three courses for a dinner party of 4. - All menu ingredients and washing up included! In both 2012 & 2011 David was recognised as 'Hampshire Chef of the Year'.

Generous Sponsors & Friends. Food Week is delighted to say that we have received more support than ever from every level of the community. Check out all of our sponsors and the Friends of Food Week here:

*If you are quick you can still become a Friend of Food Week or a Business Sponsor. If you e-mail me by this Thursday at the latest, we can get you in the programme. Send e-mail to:

Food Week Goodies: A whole range of Food Week merchandise will be on sale in The Village News newsagent opposite the village green from the end of February. But if you can't wait, they now have stocks of Food Week Shopping Bags (£4), or Tea Towels (£3). Choose from our fun branding of: Keep Calm & Bake Cake, Keep Calm & Dine Out,  Keep Calm & Drink Wine, and Keep Calm & Curry On!

The Free Food Week Programme is now going to print and 40,000 copies are going to be distributed door to door around the End of February, copies will also be available in Milford on Sea village shops and key locations across the New Forest.

We are very proud that Food Week is exclusively run by volunteers whose sole reward is in the enjoyment gained by others. Food Week is truly a ‘By the community, for the community’ event.
Your support is critical to us, and we thank you for getting involved whether by participating or simply enjoying the many events throughout the village.
10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all community organised shows: click here to find out more.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FOOD WEEK - please click here

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

Friday, 27 December 2013

Milford on Sea Club Taster Day

Milford on Sea Club are holding a Taster Day on Saturday 25th January 2014. There is no need to be a member to come on in to try a taster from their new, improved, and excellent value lunch and dinner menu. There is also the opportunity to take a look around at all of the club facilities.
The new menu has a wide range of dishes to choose from -

Starters: Garlic Mushrooms, Chicken Strips with a Dip, Pate or Loaded Skins

Mains: Homemade Curry and Rice, Homemade Cottage Pie with Chips or Mash & Veg, Scampi with either Salad or Chips, Homemade Lasagne with Chips or Salad & Garlic Bread or Homemade Meat and Potato Pie with Roast Potatoes and Veg.

You don't have to be a member, just come on in!
Milford on Sea Club is situated in the High Street, next door to Zaika Indian Restaurant and opposite Dave Gregory's Butchers Shop. The club is large and comfortable with facilities that are also pretty impressive; with modern lounge seating, fully equipped stage, 4 Big Screen TV's which regularly show live sport,  2 Snooker Tables, Pool Table, 5 Dart Boards & Skittles.
Milford on Sea Club also puts on regular social activities, such as; Bingo, Quiz Nights, Prize draws,  Poker, Live Music and Discos. The bar offers keenly priced drinks & guest ales, and you can also enjoy eating from the great value Daily Food Menu, including Sunday Lunch (Pre-booked) and numerous Bar Snacks.
The club really want people to be more aware of what they can offer to everyone. So, if you would like to pop in to take a look around for yourself, you will be warmly welcomed on Saturday 25th January 2014 at:
Milford on Sea Club Taster Day - Saturday 25th January 2014
Open to everyone, all locals and visitors welcome. Entry is free. The Club will be open from 12 noon until 9pm for people to have a look around. The bar will also be open with drinks at excellent prices.

Milford on Sea Club
67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG
01590 645201
Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 4pm to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 12 noon to 11pm
Sunday:12 noon to 10.30pm
Membership Costs
Joining Fee and Share - £14.05
Full Membership: £10pa
Senior Membership: £5.50pa
(Joining Year Full Membership for Seniors)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Total Voice spread Christmas Cheer

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Total Voice contemporary and chamber choirs wowed patients and staff at Lymington Hospital with a special Christmas performance on Wednesday 18th December.
The event started off with some great rock and pop classics sung by the Contemporary Choir including What Christmas Means to Me and Driving Home for Christmas. Then the Chamber Choir performed some beautiful repertoire including Carol of the Bells and O Holy Night. Finally both choirs came together and sang carols along with the audience.
Lymington Hospital has the most amazing acoustics with its large open space and it was such a treat for the singers who are always keen to support their local hospital.
Total Voice Directors Christine Mulgrew and Victoria Hopkins said "We felt so proud if everyone today, it was a very special event and the perfect way to finish what has been a terrific year for Total Voice. We'd like to thank all of our members for their enthusiasm and dedication".
The choirs are taking a break now for Christmas but will be back in the new year learning some new songs for their next projects. Total Voice will also be running a programme of workshops open to all, watch this space!
Total Voice Choir

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Shappi Bringing Laughs to Food Week

Yet another top name has been added to the Milford on Sea Food Week line up for April 2014.

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Our comedy headline act for the Sunday evening is Shappi Khorsandi, the daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran.

Feisty, flirty and effortlessly funny she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously dizzy delivery and endless charm. Shappi’s upbringing has been in no way conventional, it has all gone on in the Khorsandi household and now she recounts it all the only way she knows how, with wit, warmth and hilarity.

Shappi has appeared on many top TV shows; such as Have I Got News For You, Live at the Apollo, QI and 8 Out of 10 Cats to name but a few. This will be a special night, don't miss it!
As the Evening Standard said; "Don’t be fooled by her innocent looks, she packs a deceptively powerful punch."
The show is for Broad-minded Adults Only and the bar will be open on the night, as well as a tea bar.

*Not too late to buy some tickets as stocking fillers, or as a surprise gift for friends who you love a great night out with! 


Tickets on Sale Now: £15 incl. a Slice of Cake made by Nicola at Yum  - Available from the Community Centre Box Office or Online Ticket Office - click here.

10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all community organised showsclick here to find out more.

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

School after Eco Pod

The economic climate over the past few years has seen reduced investment in schools. Fortunately, our local school continue to plough on to improve the facilities for our local children, and the Parents Friends Association (PFA) are not deterred by the hard work this takes in fundraising.

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The Milford on Sea C.E Primary School Academy Trust is currently in planning with New Forest District Council for a new outdoor classroom (to be known as the Eco Pod), which will see a classroom emerge through the conversion of a recycled shipping container.
The estimated cost is around £16,000 without the add-on ideas, to date they have raised have approximately £8,000 - so still a bit to go!  The Parents Friends Association have raised money by holding summer/winter fairs for the school & village community, school children's disco & movie night, adult quiz night, pamper night & cookery demonstration evening and have more events planned.

The front of the classroom will have bi-fold doors, giving it an open-feel and the sides will consist of recycled habitat panels for nesting birds and other habitat. Inside, there will be desks for the children to work from and the outside will be decked and professionally landscaped to complement the existing school grounds, including the school garden and nature reserve.

However, now due to budget restraints, they are not going to do the grass roof. Instead their idea is to use re-claimed car tyres and grow plants out of them.
The habitat panels for the side panel they hope to make at school with the help of the older children. Ever creative and ambitious the project team aim to have lots of add on ideas such as a: Weather station measuring rainfall for the children to record data and create statistics, Solar panels to power the Pod, Water butts to collect rainfall to use within the school garden, Insect nesting glass fronted boxes, Bird feeding station/bath, Bat boxes, Glass tanks for frog sporn/pond life from the existing pond, to be used under microscopes so the children can watch and take pictures of development, Hedgehog hibernation boxes, Ants in glass box and Flat stones outside to see what nests under them.
Phew, that is quite a list!
This is an exciting, innovative and interactive opportunity for the children to experience hands-on learning, while giving teachers the opportunity to engage pupils in a fun learning environment across many aspects of the curriculum.
It will be completed in stages with phase one, including the groundworks, the installation of the container and the habitat side panels to be completed as soon as planning is granted. The school has been fundraising for these elements for the last two academic years.
However, the bi-fold doors, decking and landscaping will be implemented in phase two once potential funding or further school fundraising has been achieved.
The school team have found it a slow process getting the idea together and through planning but hopefully the end is in sight, as they are expecting a planning decision before the year end, and they can then can then crack on!
If you would like to make a donation towards the remaining £8000 required, however small or large, please e-mail me at:, or should you prefer, e-mail: Linda Scott, chair of the Parents Friends Association (PFA) at:, she can also tell you more about this exciting project.

Local Chef, Ross Clarke on TV

If you were watching TV last night, you may have seen a familiar village face on the BBC's Christmas edition of Food & Drink.
click image to enlarge
Ross Clarke had a significant segment in the programme demonstrating how to cook turkey two ways for Christmas. (He didn't do a third way I know, dry & burnt!) His methods of using a water bath and smoke gun may not be something we will all be doing at home this year, but the results certainly looked tasty.
Ross is a locally born chef who initially learnt his craft under the guidance of David Wykes, owner/head chef at Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant in the village.

From Verveine, ambitious Ross went to join Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck experimental kitchen in Bray. The Fat Duck is one of the world's most famous restaurants, which been awarded three Michelin stars and was voted Best Restaurant in the world in 2005.

Surprisingly, Heston Blumenthal is a totally self-taught chef, whose route to the top has been an unconventional one, involving rule-breaking, unusual experiments and totally amazing food creations.
Ross's career continues to develop, and today he has his own food consultancy & training business which operates in both the UK and Dubai in the UAE. His company now provides services which can further a restaurants menu, atmosphere, standard, efficiency and overall level of performance.

Ross also runs food events to fit a clients needs, which could be anything from a product launch to 500 people through to a private dinner on a super yacht for two people, in addition he also runs a selection of training courses in the UK and the UAE. The courses can follow a set subject or they can be tailor made towards any aspect of modern dining.
In a recent OK magazine article which covered Ross's thoughts on cooking, he quoted that the best ever meal he has had was at Verveine.  Obviously an excellent judge!
To add to his recent experiences Ross has also become involved in filming, from consulting on creative concepts to presenting for culinary programmes. His previous filming experience includes; Heston's Fantastical Food, BBC Good Food, Platinum Fusion Awards and now of course the BBC Food & Drink programme!
Ross Clarke | 07712 449775

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

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

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Underwear Exposed in Milford

You know how some weeks are better than others?

Well, I have just had a mixed one! Having spent the last 10 days trying to finalise the programme for Food Week, and working 5am to 11pm, 7 days a week (yes, seriously!) it has been a mix of highs and lows.

The lows have been chasing people for information, the highs have been the fantastic enthusiastic responses from the wide variety of people who want to be involved, the great number of small local businesses that have shown their support by becoming sponsors, and the excitement of closing deals with an excellent group of top name celebrity chefs and performers happy to come and be part of Milford on Sea Food Week.

Anyway, tonight is Friday and my wife and I have tickets for the Burlesque Cabaret Night in Milford on Sea Community Centre. Naturally, the tickets had been bought because my wife enjoys the variety of costumes and the dances, and I, like most men, was going along just to make her happy. (Do you believe that?)

I have to be honest, although having looked forward to the show for some time (on my wife’s behalf of course), I was seriously considering wimping out for the early night that I desperately needed. My wife decided sleeping is for wimps, so off we went.

On arriving we were greeted by Sue in an outfit matched to theme the evening and Marguerite in an apron with projecting speaking breasts when you squeezed them. (Perhaps you had to be there to appreciate this!)

Things became even more surreal when our local solicitor arrived in fancy dress with a mac and glasses and acting a shady character to match! Added to this, some of the audience where wearing themed costume, and the atmosphere of the purple dressed show hall let you know that everyone was going to be in for a good night.

The table we had consisted of our old friends C&T, plus some new faces from Lymington. We soon introduced  ourselves and went on to have a really fun evening together.

Before the show we were all fed with complete efficiency, and enjoyed a tasty and generous chicken dish with a jacket potato and vegetables. We debated whether it was chicken casserole or coq au vin, but either way it was very enjoyable.

I have to be honest the show kicked off a little slowly, but at that stage we had no idea what was to come! All that were watching the show will remember the 'bleaching' joke after a few minutes, and from that early stage the show grabbed everyone's enthusiasm.

Burlesque can be titillating and erotic, but this show was designed to entertain at all levels, nothing was overt or overly sexy, it was something everyone could watch without any level of embarrassment.  When the girls got to the stage when they removed their tops to reveal their tassels, the girls in the crowd were certainly enjoying the fun as much as the men.

Throughout the evening, like the dancers, the audience lost its inhibitions, and there was more cheering, shouting & whistling than I have seen in any Community Centre show before. As much of this was coming from the women as the men!

The show was wonderfully compered by 'Miss Annie' who had a great voice and a great disposition for delivering jokes. Her rendition of 'Cabaret' bought the house down, and her song about her cat had all in fits of laughter. She could also put together a really good Burlesque dance. (We were later to discover that she is also the lead singer in The Regular Joes jazz band.)

Alongside her was lead dancer 'Sensu'Elle'. She was statuesque and commanded the stage. Her timing was excellent and she drew the audience right into her dances with her charisma. Added to this, her fan dance was perfectly timed and a delight.

As 'Miss Annie' was conducting the crowd in a singsong of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' one guy from the audience, who had been good fun all evening, decided that the song was too fast, and then went to the stage and took the microphone from her. He then tried to get the audience singing it acapella. Not a great move to make after a few drinks, and he was soon heckled and shouted down.

What he had not realised was that the song had been purposefully set to make it a quick fun part of the show. Miss Annie resumed the microphone, and every table played their part by taking turns for each verse to stand and sing their lines of ‘Five Gold Rings’, ‘Three French Hens’ or whatever, along with the relevant with actions to match. The crowd joined in with gusto and amidst the laughter everyone was smiling

As the show returned to the running order, we were treated to dances from the 'Swinging Belles', 'Miss Anticipation and 'Baby Belle', who was making her first ever stage appearance.  The range of the dancers abilities added to making the evening feel totally inclusive.

The other striking memory was that all the girls were real shapes and sizes, they had sparkly costumes and were obviously enjoying performing as much as we were enjoying watching.

Arguably, the best dance of the night was a 'Belly Dance', having not seen a 'real one' before I was enthralled by the movement and skill that went into making it so sharp and precise. I don't think anyone in the room could remove their eyes from the stage throughout the routine.

The bar was open & well stocked throughout and I made plenty of visits to ensure that the team serving were kept fully active.

Miss Annie closed the show by asking if we wanted to 'see her privates', at which time the full cast arrived wearing army uniforms. They all sat on the front of the stage and performed a complex 'white gloved hand dance', which was as funny as it was entertaining.

The last routine summed up the night, it was innocently naughty in places, it was funny, it had some great dancing and the singing was excellent. Ultimately, it was great fun for everyone that came along.

As I awoke the next morning my head was thumping and legs not quite working properly. That settles it, it must have been coq au vin, wine always gives me a hangover!

Kitty Kat Cabaret Club

Twice Michelin Star Atul Kochhar at Food Week

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Exciting news from the Food Week team....

We are delight to announce that Michelin Star chef, Atul Kochhar, is looking forward to coming along to Milford on Sea Food Week in April 2014.

You can come and see Indian cuisine created as you may have never seen before. Atul Kochhar’s unique talent has changed the way people perceive and experience Indian cuisine. Taking inspiration from his native India, while continuously researching regional dishes, Atul has managed to combine his heritage with his love of British ingredients to create a unique and innovative modern Indian cuisine.

As the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, accomplished during his tenure as Head Chef at Tamarind in 2001, he then went on to open the highly acclaimed Benares Restaurant for which he was awarded a Michelin star for the second time in 2007.

Atul is also often seen on our TV screens in such shows as the BBC's Saturday Kitchen with James Martin, and his restaurant is the Michelin star Benares in Mayfair, London:

In November, we had the pleasure of dining at Benares. It was a fabulous experience and you can read the full review by clicking here.

Tickets on Sale Now: £15 - Available from the Community Centre Box Office or Online Ticket Office - click here.
10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all community organised showsclick here to find out more.

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

Fancy a Quality Cuppa?!

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A brand new business has opened its doors in Milford on Sea. The Great Tea Co. is the brainchild of local man, Ben Mair.

Previously, Ben had trained successfully as a chef, and spent some of his time in the Verveine kitchen alongside award winning chef David Wykes.
Ben however decided to take his career in another direction after discovering the exciting world of blends and exotic teas.

The Great Tea Co. is a tea expert, who knows the latest innovations and will always share its knowledge with its customers and consumers to deliver the Great Tea experience. They will always strive to have the widest range of teas and accessories in order to deliver the Great Tea experience.

Ben is inspired to source great quality, great value teas from around the world to offer you an extensive selection of delicious all natural teas. He has the perfect tea blends and accessories to match every occasion and mood, from the familiar classics to the more unusual, adventurous blends. So whether you want to enjoy a soothing, comforting cup of tea, or a blend to stimulate and invigorate, whatever you desire, he can help you 'Make everyday a Great Tea day'.

According to Chinese legend, tea was invented accidentally in 2737 B.C. by Emperor Shen Nong. He was a scholar and herbalist, as well as a creative scientist and patron of the arts. Among other things, the emperor believed that drinking boiled water contributed to good health. One summer day while visiting a distant region, he and his entourage stopped to rest. The servants began to boil water for the emperor and his subjects to drink, but dried leaves from a nearby camellia bush fell into the boiling water. The emperor was fascinated with the new liquid due to its pleasing aroma, so he drank the infusion and discovered that it was very refreshing with a delightful flavour. He then declared that tea gives vigour to the body, thus….Just like Emperor Shen Nong, Ben believes that tea is great!
Ben will be providing tasting of his teas and displaying his tea related accessories at the CakeFest at Milford on Sea Food Week on Monday 7th April 2014, he will also have a stall in the Community Centre on Food Week Saturday alongside other local producers.

As well as supplying tea lovers, he also hopes to provide his teas to local shops, cafés, restaurants, hotels, and B&B's.
To find out more about his teas you can contact Ben on - 01590 641972, or visit his website below.

The Great Tea Co.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Bowls Club Panto

The Milford on Sea Bowls Club got into the Christmas spirit recently when they held their annual Christmas Panto in All Saints' Church Hall, Milford on Sea last Tuesday.

The performance had an enthusiastic audience of 120 club members and friends.

This year's story was 'Alice in Space', which was both written and performed by members of the club.
A delicious American Supper followed the show and a most enjoyable evening was rounded off by some hearty singing of well known Christmas carols. All members are now looking forward to the 2014 production......... Oh yes they are!
Milford on Sea Bowls Club

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Keep an Eye on Hurst Spit

Ever wondered what is happening at Hurst Spit in stormy weather?,
Ever pondered on what the view might be like from the top of Hurst Castle?,
Ever asked 'Why doesn't superglue stick to the inside of the tube'?

Well, thanks to Steve Cook, Coastal Engineering Team Leader, we can now answer the first two. No idea on the third.
Steve has told us of a couple solar powered cameras out on Hurst Castle that relay the scene 24 hours a day. You can see what is going on right now from the link below.
Should any one be in a new or amorous relationship, please be aware if you are looking for a quiet place, the castle might not be a great idea - there may be cameras watching!
Vision Link at Hurst Castle:

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Elvis is coming to Food Week!

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The first show of Food Week 2014 has now been booked, so get your 'Blue suede shoes' ready, as Elvis is on his the way!

The ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA show is a fantastic, authentic & showstopping tribute to Elvis 'The King'; by the world's only Pakistani Elvis!

Award winning Sal Bashir's show has two 45 minute sets of legendary rock music: Early Elvis 50-60's and then the Las Vegas years of the 70-80's. This show will have you rocking around the Community Centre!

Why not grab some tickets now, they make an ideal extra Xmas present, stocking filler, Xmas table gift, surprise New Year present, thank you gift, birthday present, I Love You trinket............ OK, I'm just trying to give you reasons to buy some tickets now, but it will be worth it, and we expect this one to sell out quickly!

Chicken Tikka with Small Naan, Mint Sauce & Salad Garnish served in the interval. The bar will also be open on the night.

Other New Shows are coming soon, including 4 Michelin Star Chefs and a fabulous TV Comedian.

If you would like to consider any of the new shows for Xmas Presents,  drop me a line at and I can tell you who they are, and arrange tickets as Xmas gifts for you.

Tickets on Sale Now: £15 incl Tikka Snack - Available from the Community Centre Box Office or Online Ticket Office - click here.

Meet Sal online:
10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all community organised shows: click here to find out more.

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

About Milford on Sea Food Week

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

During Food Week our village will be alive with Themed Dining Evenings, Professional Cookery Theatre, Celebrity Shows, Cooking Demonstrations, Educational Talks, Dining Offers, Wine Tastings and the unique Great Dining Bus. We also have lots of Kid's Events including Cookery Classes and a Food Treasure Hunt. To end Food Week there is the chance to savour local produce our very own large & popular Sunday Food Market.

Everyone at every age is included, and there are over 100 village events & shows all organised by local organisations, businesses, clubs and individuals.

Our New Forest seaside village is fortunate to be blessed with great places to eat and surrounded by quality local producers, so what better way for Milford on Sea to celebrate this than to have an entire week dedicated to the joys of food!

Milford on Sea Food Week is co-ordinated by a small dedicated group of volunteers who provide their expertise and time for free. We are also fortunate to have a generous group of sponsors, friends & supporters. As a 'not for profit' event, any income generated is only used to cover promotional costs and no fees or expenses are taken by any of the Food Week organisers. We are delighted to support local good causes from any profits that are made.

Food Week is truly ‘By the community, for the community’ and your support is critical to us, we thank you for getting involved whether by participating or simply enjoying the many events throughout the village.

Free Programme in Village Newsagent and various village shops from March.

Ticketed Events: Tickets available online from: or from the Community Centre Box Office, Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PH. Tel: 01590 643404.
Box Office Open: Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm and Saturday: 10am to 1pm.

10% Discount for 'Friends of Food Week' on all online ticket sales. To Find Out about becoming a Friend of Food Week please click here.

To View our 2014 Shows & Events please click here.

Gold & Silver Business Sponsorship are available (click here to see our sponsors ads) To find out more please contact:

Join In!  If you would like to get involved in Food Week at any level, run an event, do a demonstration or would like to be a volunteer and haven't yet been in touch, please drop me a line at:

To See the Food Week Website please visit:

Food Week is 'Not for profit', and run entirely by volunteers. We are a true 'By the Community, For the Community Event!'. If you would like to know more, please contact: 

Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 14th April 2014

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ainslie at Hurst Castle

We hear that the BBC has been filming at Hurst Castle recently with Olympic & America's cup hero, and local sailor Ben Ainslie.
It is understood that the piece relates to the 'BBC Sports Personality of the Year', which will be on air next Sunday evening. (15th December)
The winner of the award will come from a shorlist of 10. The nominees alongside Ben are: Athletes Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu and Hannah Cockroft are included, as well as tennis star Andy Murray and cyclist Chris Froome.
Golfer Justin Rose, jockey AP McCoy, cricketer Ian Bell and rugby union player Leigh Halfpenny also make the list.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Night on the Port!

Things started quite simply. My mate Colin’s other half was away for a few days, and he was under strict instructions to attentively look after the dog. I on the other hand, had explained to my wife that our friend was obviously lonely and that I should keep him company. She agreed.
We of course interpreted the dog instructions, & approval of companionship, as an opportunity for a boy's night out. - We chose the Port Tasting Night at The Cave.
click image to enlarge
As we set off for the village centre our pace was moderate, on the basis that walking isn’t our favourite hobby. We however covered the 10 minute journey in around 15 minutes.
This did not include the couple of minutes we spent admiring the massive Christmas Tree on Milford on Sea village green. Simeon and his team from Aubrey Farm had done an excellent job, erecting a monster of a tree for us all to enjoy, and then Ray & Bob had put on the lights. Ellis Hairdressers again has a wonderful Christmas themed window, and many of the village shop decorations were twinkling away in the night sky. Romance was in the air, but we decided not to kiss.
We were warmly greeted at The Cave, and before the evening commenced I warmed up with a perfectly chilled glass of Leffe Belgian beer, and my cohort had some warm real ale which he apparently found impressive and I saw as pointless.
The Cave has three long wine tasting tables, and these were lined up with various glasses and a detailed list of the Ports to be tasted this evening. There was also a glossy Ramos Pinto leaflet explaining the appropriate serving temperatures, storage advice and suggested glass shapes for each type of port, there was also exotic suggested paired food dishes which best complemented each port. I intend to pass this onto my wife as dining suggestions for next week, but have to say; I don’t fancy my chances!
Plenty of people were in The Cave having a social drink or coffee, when quite quickly, the ‘Tasting Night’ crowd arrived from all directions. As we all took to the tables, the group was a mix of couples, and groups of mates, who did not know each other, but soon everyone was chatting and introducing themselves. After all, we all had a hobby of drinking in common!
I am sure several people hoped we didn’t sit at a table with them, but unfortunately Sylvia & John and Wyn & Roy were unlucky. We hadn’t met before, but very soon we were enjoying their company and they were wondering why they had made the mistake of sitting on the same table as us.
Our host Jon, introduced us all to our expert for the evening; Mark Leveson-Gowers. Mark is the Director of Maisons at Marques et Domaines, a company formed by Louis Roederer champagne house. As Mark spoke it was evident he was well bred and had a warm and engaging personality. His Passion for Ports was immediately obvious, as he told us how Port is made from red grapes. The process is very similar to the making of wine. However, the fermentation stage is ended earlier by the addition of a clear brandy, which ends the fermentation and retains the sweetness.
This has now become my new 'favourite fact', relegating my previous 'favourite fact' that, the city with the 6th largest number of French inhabitants is London.
The evenings proceedings started with a couple of Portuguese wines to set the palate. They were interesting, but the main event was soon with us – the Ports!
First served was the least expensive, RP Adriano Reserva NV, a white Port. The gathering were enthralled by the unexpected explosion of taste. Technically this was described as ‘well integrated with gentle tannins & a soft elegant finish’, we simply thought it tasted great, and at £14.90 seemed a good price for something a little bit special.
Next we moved to the more traditional Red Port. Mark explained the making process which we found interesting. All of Mark’s Ports come from red grapes which go into stone troughs and are then foot trodden to crush the grape skins into the juice, the more the crushing, the richer the colour. Bearing in mind we were by now chatting, drinking and not paying full attention, this may need checking on a proper website. Oh, I forgot to mention bread and Cheddar cheese was also served with this Port.
We moved then onto the PR Collectors Ruby Port NV, which was the same price as the White Port. Again the rich flavours did not disappoint as our taste buds gratefully bounced around in glee. Mark described the Douro Region of the Ports origin, its perfect climate and spectacular landscapes. We simply drank and enjoyed the full glass with the Brie cheese now in front of us.
We next received a generous tasting of the RP Late Bottle Vintage 2008. Mark explained the story of the LBV, which was something to do with bottling being late. As you will now notice, I was more focused on tasting than listening. The Port itself was served with Dorset Blue Vinny on a cracker. The LBV Port immediately gave a warm satisfying glow, and we also realised that we were also particpating in an unadvertised ‘Cheese Fest!'.
At this stage I decided to wander the other tables. Everyone was very friendly as they engaged in conversation. No idea what we chatted about, and pretty sure they thought they had just met the village idiot as I moved on.
Our next tasting was Ramos Pinto Vintage 2000 at £35 a bottle. The refined taste was immediately evident and enjoyed. Port is a delight at any level, but this one took a step up and was a treat to taste. The accompaniment of Roquefort cheese on crisp toasts went perfectly. Apparently we learnt, all Ports are ideal to be ‘laid down’, and by this stage a lay down sounded a pretty good idea.
The final tasting was a PR 10 Year Old Tawny with chunks of Comté and Piemonte cheese. Both were a delight and it re-confirmed my long-term belief that there is not much better in life than an evening with Port & Cheese. Mark explained that Tawny Port is made by vestal virgins, using the elixir from the gods, with the grapes trodden barefoot by a Pearly King from the East End and a donkey in clogs. (I think I may not have been listening clearly at this stage, and possibly drinking slightly too much!)
At £12.50 a ticket for the Port Tasting Evening was like an early Christmas present. The value was excellent, the learning fun, and the company great.
Milly enjoying another
hilarious comment!
Obviously, after such a good evening it was now a sensible time to go home - so, not being of the sensible types, we decided to move the two yards to Sam's Bar for a nightcap.
Soon a number of locals we did not know were gathered and we all chatted merrily, having quite a giggle about the night, sharing a couple of jokes and basked in the general warm humour good Port creates. Our charming barmaid, Milly, was enthralled by some of the hilarious stories, although she pretended not to be!
We eventually noticed the time, and realised we were now in the wrong place according to our other half's.
I have no idea how long our journey home was, but I do know that we still somehow resisted a kiss under the twinkling village Christmas Tree, and our direction wasn’t particularly straight. We then spent most of the time on our walk home working out excuses for our lateness for my wife and Colin's dog.
Fortunately for Colin, his dog was pleased to see him when he got back!

The Cave run all sorts of tastings on International wines and beers throughout the year, each is hosted by an expert who will expand you knowledge and give you an evening to remember. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on their website in the new year to see what events are planned.
We also now know where we will be buying our Port for Christmas, and as their wine selection, gift box selection looks just as good, there could be quite a few bottles on the way to our place to be emptied before the New Year!
The Cave
2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
01590 642195

Monday, 2 December 2013

New Shop for Xmas

click image to enlarge
Many villagers will be delighted to see the lights on once again in what was 'The Salad Bowl' in Church Hill, Milford on Sea.
For many years the very first shop you see as you enter the village has laid dormant and decaying. What was once a vibrant and colourful fruit & veg shop, with a charming Georgian style bowed panel window shop front, had sadly become ravaged by the effects of time.
Many villagers will be pleased to hear that the new owners will be completing a full renovation, and a new permanent shop will emerge, plans of which are yet to be revealed.
Excitingly, a Pop Up Gallery, called The Gallery at Milford is taking residence for December, which will give added life and colour to the village centre, and at the same time provides an oppotunty for some local creative souls and traders to show their creations.

The Gallery at Milford is being organised by local photographer, Adam Lynk and the items on sale will include photographs from Lynk Photography, click here to view examples of his work.

Another village resident,  Jo Vane will be presenting her beautiful hand-made jewellery from the Jo Vane Jewellery collection. Click here to view ranges.

The final range on offer with be interiors and home accessories from Maison. Some may recall Nikki, who's Maison shop was once where The Village Coffee Pot now occupies. See website.

Sounds like this will be worth a look, it is be a long time since anyone went through the doors of The Salad Bowl to buy something tasty!
The Gallery at Milford opens its doors for December on Friday this week, why not pop in to say hello and see if they have any Chistmas presents you may want:

Christmas Viewing on Friday 6th December: 7pm until 10pm - Live music, wine and mince pies.

Christmas Opening: All December until Xmas Day - 7 Days a week, Monday to Sunday 10am until 6pm.

The Gallery at Milford (Pop Up Shop)
1 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
Tel: 07590 333313

Shipwrecks Ahoy!

Next August brings the centenary of the First World War, and the Hampshire based charity, The Maritime Archaeology Trust, are looking for more shipwreck researchers in the local area.
The Maritime Archaeology Trust is launching an advance campaign to improve the research available of First World War shipwrecks and archaeological sites in the Solent.
Many of these sites of archaeological significance occur in the waters around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and are often a forgotten part of the region’s history. One such example is the SS Londonier, wrecked off the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight.
On 13th March 1918 the Londonier crossed the Channel en route from Calais to the Bristol Channel before suffering an attack by a UC-71 a German submarine. The vessel was abandoned as it sank with 13 men managing to reach the ship's boats and rafts but 12 tragically lost their lives.
Today this shipwreck site has undergone some archaeological research and is frequented by sports divers but Amanda Bowens, Education and Outreach Manager for the Maritime Archaeology Trust, says there is more that can be done to explore sites such as these: “We’ve just completed a Heritage Lottery Funded development phase for a project looking at shipwrecks and sites along the South Coast associated with the First World War. This has shown tremendous public appetite for information about this often under-represented aspect of the conflict. A recent historic research session with volunteers at the National Archives in Kew proved really popular and we’re now looking to do more similar research with volunteers in Hampshire.
“Raising awareness of these largely hidden and forgotten sites is so important, especially in the run up to next August’s First World War centenary. We’re trying to encourage communities to get involved in our maritime heritage through active research of the sites and the human stories associated with them.”
The charity is seeking volunteers who live in Hampshire from now until the end of March 2014 to help research ships, wrecks and sites along the South Coast.
If you have an interest in our local history, and are willing to spare time to research from home or using local, regional or national archives, please contact the charity for details by emailing, or by phone on 02380 593290.
The Maritime Archaeology Trust

The Ladies are Back!

Our good friends at 'Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire' have been having a cyberspace nightmare!
As technical stuff is very boring, it is suffice to say that their website was broken, and as a result they have had to rebuild the whole website over the past few months. I think that is what is described as a 'real pain', to say the least.

I am delighted to let everyone know that the Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire's website is now once again up and running. (click here to view.) The site contains reviews and information on scores of restaurants across Hampshire, and information on our own Milford on Sea dining places.
The  'Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire' (LWL) are a lively group of four Hampshire women, who enjoy great food (and the odd glass of wine or two!). For several years now, they have liked nothing more than trying out just about every restaurant across Hampshire, and then sharing their experiences with a full unbiased restaurant review on their website:
The website also contains a Discount Directory, where you’ll find all the locations offering discounts when you present a Ladies Who Lunch in Lunch in Hampshire Discount Card. The exclusive LWL Discount Card gives you access to a lifetime of savings at many restaurants all across Hampshire. 
The cards are available for a single payment of £15 (+£2.00 p&p) with no expiry date & no annual fee. Currently the LWL are having a Christmas Sale, and Discount Cards are available for £10 +pp until midnight on Sunday 15th December 2013.
For more information please visit the website, or contact:


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Giant Bunting Project

How about this as a brilliant idea from our local kids?
MiCO are putting together a Giant Community Bunting Project over the next few months. The idea came from one of the young MiCO members.
The concept is that as many organisations, businesses, groups, clubs or even streets get the chance to represent themselves on a giant flag that will be displayed on the village green for a couple of weeks in June 2014. The focus is to get everyone represented right in the centre of our community, and working together under the same 'banner' (excuse the pun!)
There will also be a giant community picnic on the green to open the display. Is it quite a mammoth task, and we are at the early planning stages, and need as many hands to help as possibe. MiCO would like to invite you to a meeting about the project on the Friday the 13th of December (only unlucky for some) at 5pm in the Methodist Church Hall - it shouldn't take too long, just to let everyone know what is happening and to see who is interested in creating a flag and how we are going forward with making it a reality!
Please let Joey know if you can come and please spread the word.....anyone who wants to join in is welcome! It will be giant!
Contact: Joey Owen,  Community Development Officer
MiCO (Milford Community Organisation)
01590 644961 | 07557 658495
About MiCO
MiCO (Milford Community Organisation) is a youth led community group set up to promote community cohesion and development, and to bring together diverse sections and ages of the community.
MiCO provides a forum for people of all ages to come together and discuss issues relevant to village life, and explore ways of promoting positive action to enhance the village community.
As a development of ‘Milford Youth Group’, over the last 3 years MiCO have carried out a number of projects enabling young people to explore what it means to be a young person growing up in Milford, and how young people ‘fit in’ and are seen by other members of the community. More recently we have also worked with people of all ages to explore and record the rich cultural heritage of Milford and Keyhaven.
Our vision is of a village where every member of the community feels valued, and has the confidence and means to have a positive input into village life.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Waitress Required at La Perle

Our excellent French Bistro, La Perle in Milford on Sea, High Street is looking for Saturday Waitresses to cover lunchtimes from 11am to 3.30pm. Ideal for a student.
If you, or anyone you know are interested, please contact Emily on: 01590 643557 -, or pop in for an application form.

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

Xmas Village Shopping

Do you buy all of your Christmas presents in Milford on Sea?
No?, - me neither.
I feel a little bit guilty about that. Like most of us, I love the vibrancy of our village, and the shops are central to what makes everything tick. But, sadly the draw of the internet, large shopping centres and convience, means most of what I spend goes outside of the village.
This year I am consciously trying to spend some of my Christmas cash with our local shops. We have around 5000 residents in Milford on Sea, and if we all spend just £25 in the village, the shopkeepers would share an extra £125,000. Wouldn't that be nice for them. 
So, why not join me and buy as much Christmas meat, veg, food, wine, beer, and other goodies from our shops. For your Christmas presents the restaurants and beauty salons have gift vouchers, we have a great model & toy shop, and of course we have all the charming antique and gift shops brimming with something a bit different for the people you care about.

There are also some local online traders you might not even know, so go on, why not give them a bit of your Christmas spending this year!

Here's a reminder of where you can shop:

Village Gift Shops

Jabulani Gallery, Landfall Gallery, The Old Smithy and Milford Model & Hobbies Shop

Brocante Antiques, The Gallery at Milford (Pop Up Shop), The Village Antiques and Carringtons Antiques

Village Online Gifts & Crafts

Seaside Miniatures:
Coloured with Love:
Little Green Acorn:
Milford Makers:
Phoenix Trading:
Wind Over Tide
Tessa van Hasselt Greeting Cards:
Life Poster:
Vinegar Hill Pottery:

Oh, and if you like music, Nikki Williams, a great friend of ours has just lauched an album. You can hear her sing the tracks she and her writing partner have created on the website, and if you like it, - it will make a great stocking filler! -

Finally, if you know of any village traders we have missed, drop me a line at and we will give them a plug.