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Monday, 25 February 2013

Love our village conservation

A merry bands of locals do sterling work as Milford Conservation Volunteers. The group is made up of people of all ages, and  they get up to many various projects to ensure our village environment, habitats and wildlife are well cared for.

If you appreciate what they do, would like to know more, our fancy joining in, why not pop along to their AGM

Annual General Meeting
Friday, 8th March
Community Centre, Sea Road 7.00pm
Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available.

MCV are also taking this opportunity to publicise information about their new project - a Biodiversity Action Plan for Milford-on-Sea. Ian Barker from the National Parks Authority will be giving a short talk about Biodiversity Plans from other areas and from the County. If you are interested in finding out more do come along.

Non-members are very welcome.

The evening is open to all, and the more the merrier!

Recall Milford of Old Over Tea

The young people of MiCO (Milford Community Organisation) would like to meet anyone who spent much of their childhood growing up in Milford during the 70’s and 80’s, and who would like to share any memories and experiences of what it was like in Milford then!
If you have any photos or items documenting village life at that time that would be also be great……….
The MiCO Team are holding a Tea Party in the café area of the Community Centre on Thursday the 7th March at 3:30pm until 5pm, and invite you along to sample their home made cakes, warming tea and hopefully get talking and comparing the Milford of today to the Milford decades gone by……..
Please let us know if you would like to come along, and we look forward to seeing you!
RSVP: 15 Lawn Road, Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0QZ. Telephone: 01590 644961 | 07557 658495 Email:

MiCO (Milford Community Organisation) is run by young people who are living in Milford-on-Sea, Keyhaven and Everton. Currently they are involved in a Lottery Heritage Project called “All our Stories” discovering more about the cultural heritage of our village.
In May they will be displaying exhibitions and performing at small events in locations including Milford School, St Barbe Museum, St George’s Nursing Home and the Community Centre in order to pass on what they have learned about the history of our village and what it is to be part of Milford’s community today.



Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Five Star Stay

Milford Croft Self Catering bungalow has for the 4th year running achieved the Five Star Gold Award status as assessed by VisitBritain.
Just off the seafront in Hurst Road, Milford on Sea, Milford Croft was described as being: 'exceptional with a degree of luxury’. The owners, Tricia and Colin, are understandably delighted.
Mulbery Barn at Old Walls is another five star self catering option in the village. Click here for more information.

A New B&B

We have heard that the village has another new bed & breakfast, Juniper House B&B, to welcome visitors to the village. It looks pretty cosy, so why not check it out by clicking here.
Milford on Sea is naturally a great destination for visitors all year round, and to look after our guests comfortably there are many options on places stay. Indeed, there issomething to suit all styles and budgets.  If you know anyone coming to stay, why not get them to check out what is available by clicking here.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Thinking of Getting Married, or Divorced?

As it has just been Valentine’s Day it is probably a good time to give mention to people planning on getting married.
photographs by
helen rushton
On Sunday 24th February from 10am to 5pm the New Forest Showcase takes place at many of the New Forest hotels, including our own South Lawns Hotel. The hotels will be dressed up to show potential brides and grooms how the venue handles weddings, they can also meet various local wedding suppliers, including Mandy Black of Elmsleigh Cakes from the village.

There are also a series of Wedding Showcases taking place every Tuesday evening, from 5pm to 8pm at The MacDonald Elmers Court Hotel in Lymington. Each evening the ballroom is decorated in differing chosen theme/colour, from chairs, sashes, table plans, place settings, cake and flowers. The lovely ladies responsible for the displays and also the photographer who captures the impressive displays, will be there for you to discuss your own ideas and requirements for your big day.

On Sunday March 17th there is an even bigger Grand Wedding Fair at Elmers Court Hotel in South Baddesley Road, Lymington, from 11am until 3.30pm ,where a number of wedding suppliers and services will come together for one large show.

Sounds a busy month for brides and grooms. 

Thankfully, I do not have a wedding to research, arrange, or pay for. Having done it twice already, I know exactly how much it can be, and that a divorce is about ten times the cost of any wedding!

I am thinking of taking a stand at the shows to gently point out to the potential grooms the exact risks he is taking. It is only fair that the poor chap should know both sides I feel. Yes, I am sure my delicate counselling skills would be really appreciated, but perhaps not by the brides and their mothers! The other wedding service suppliers also might not appreciate my presence, and the risk is quite high that I might get dunked in a chocolate fountain, (which wouldn’t be a bad thing), however, it is more of a concern where a wedding umbrella might end up!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Verveine is 'Smoking!'

Our local award winning fish restaurant, Verveine in Milford on Sea High Street, was featured in an article in The Independent today.  Looks like David Wykes, Chef/proprietor and Hampshire Chef of the Year, is now making a mark for Milford on Sea on a national scale with his imaginative and flavour full cooking. All sounds very tasty to me!

No wonder they have won five major awards in the past two years.

Here is how Vereveine was featured in the article:

"Although there's plenty of smoking going on in London – on the roofs of Mayfair, where Mark Hix and Richard Corrigan smoke their salmon, on the balconies of bistros and in the bars of speakeasies elsewhere in the capital – nowhere can it be more prevalent than the New Forest, where both Lime Wood and The Pig, the area's most-acclaimed restaurants, have their own smokehouses.

However, they can't hold a candle in variety to the fumes generated by David Wykes, chef-proprietor of nearby Verveine, tucked behind a fishmonger's in Milford on Sea. He smokes flour, eggs, butter, lobster shells, parsnips, celeriac, potatoes, vanilla – and chocolate, which is a huge trend among the artisan chocolatiers of New York and Chicago, but not generally available here.

"I'm working on smoked chocolate and cep-powder truffles at the moment," says Wykes, who believes smoking his lobster shells gives a deeper flavour to bisques, and favours smoked butter to wrap into mash. "We also have a smoking gun for infusing food under glass cloches," he adds, reporting that rapidly infusing herbs, flowers and spices with this latest culinary tool results in "wonderfully aromatic" dishes such as elderflower-smoked scallops and rosemary-scented spinach.

The gun comes out again at Verveine with a siphon charger to infuse alcohol. "Smoke is fed in, the top is screwed on and charged with nitrous oxide. This displaces the oxygen in the container and forces the smoke into the alcohol. Brandy smoked with elderflower is truly beautiful, as is red wine with oak smoke.

"We're also putting a screw-top Kilner jar on the table 10 minutes before the customer arrives; the jar is filled with smoke and pork skin transformed into smoked bacon crisps. The customer opens the jar as the first amuse-bouche, to enjoy with an apple-and-sage espuma."

Wykes is also burning hay to make smoked-hay ice cream and infusing brandy with cigar smoke for the ultimate digestif, perhaps cognisant that smoked spirits are a major feature of the London cocktail scene. The British vodka-distiller Chase reports that it has had to double its production of smoked vodka to cope with the increased demand for smoked Bloody Marys, and there are plenty of London bars that wield a smoking gun to inject instant fumes into bourbon or rye.

Wykes believes we've missed a beat by turning our backs on our culinary heritage for the past 60 years: "We never picked up our cultural identity after the Second World War, when smoking food was massive, although in those days it was mainly used as a preservative. It wasn't realised there's more to it than that – smoked food tastes so much more alive, less one-dimensional. It has more edge."

click here to read full article


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Super Heroes in Milford

Chris and Jocelyn would like to say a big thank you to the 107 people who attended the Love Library celebrations at Milford on Sea Library last Saturday.
Also grateful thanks must go to all of the volunteers, the Knit and natter group, Alison for the fascinating felt making demonstration, Nicky for the delicious cakes, the ladies who lent their super art work for the display, the 40 children who took part in the Library's Super Heroes Trail and the 18 shops who displayed the Super Heroes!

You can see more photos from the day here:


A Tower for Cheese Lovers!

Local cake maker, Mandy Black of Elmsleigh Cakes, has launched a new idea for parties, weddings and just about any celebration.

As just about everyone loves cheese, Mandy is now building 'Cheese Towers' as both a tasty and attractive centrepiece from people's events. The towers can be various sizes to fit various budgets.
Mandy's Cheese Towers are not simply a  stack of cheeses. Because she has a cake decorating background, all of the cheeses are arranged using cake separators, which means she can then decorate them with fresh fruit and flowers etc in the same way as you would do a cake.
To ensure Mandy can supply the whole package, she also supplies pickles in personalised jars decorated in the same theme as the wedding/function and baskets of crackers and fresh baked breads.
The pickles are from Spice n Easy, which are also made in the village and available on the shelves of Hollands of Milford.
The Cheese Towers not only look stunning, but they can also feed so many people. A stack of 5 cheeses, bread and pickles will easily feed over 100 peoples, so as part of a evening buffet they really go along way.

Mandy said: "At my last wedding fair at Rhinefield House I spent as mush time talking cheese as I did cake ,and I can talk for England but even I was exhausted by the end of the day!!"
The cheeses are supplied by Hollands of Milford in the High Street. Paul, Maureen and their team have a very impressive deli-counter laden with local, national and international cheeses, not to forgot a lot of cold meats and other goodies. Always worth a look to find a tempting treat!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Keyhaven Lamb at Verveine

Award winning local fish restaurant Verveine is currently serving our own local Keyhaven Lamb.

Hampshire Chef of the Year, and owner of Verveine, David Wykes has been working his magic in the kitchen, and created both a starter and main course of Keyhaven Lamb for his latest creative menus.

His starter of Keyhaven Saltmarsh Lamb, sea garnishes , apricots and pickled trompettes sounds pretty tasty, and the main course of 15 hour cooked local Keyhaven Saltmarsh Lamb, Truffle and honey roasted root vegetables, creamed potatoes, caper and rosemary dressing irresistible.

The lamb come from Lisa’s Larder at Aubrey Farm, in Keyhaven Road ad it always proving a winner for dinners.

NOTE: We have also discovered that The Marine are also serving Keyhaven Lamb, so plently of choice in getting a taste!

Brownies go Hi Viz

Lymington Rotary have generously donated 30+ hi visibility jackets for girls and leaders of Milford Brownies. The jackets have also been printed with Lymington Rotary & Milford Brownies branding on the reverse
The Brownies are very grateful for this donation as they will both help with keeping the girls safe and raising our profile when on trips in or out of the village.
The group are now also in the process of raising money for new camp beds for Pack Holiday and have recently received a donation from The organisers of Milford Road Race and through the Community Matters green token scheme at Waitrose. 

Next year will be the Brownie centenary and they will be hoping to raise a substantial amount of money to subsidise a special outing, as yet to be decided upon, for all the Brownies.

If you would like to find out more about our local Brownies, please contact: Rebecca Webb, 1st Milford on Sea Brownies. Tel: 01590 641644

Red Nose Jelly!

Comic Relief celebrates its 25 year anniversary on Red Nose Day 15th March, and local Jam Maker, Jen William of Naked Jam is looking to raise some donations with a fun new jam.

Comic Relief has asked our local mistress of jam to come up with a special edition to auction off at their head offices in London on the 25th February 2013. So, Jen has created a limited edition 'Red Nose Jelly' for Comic Relief, and you can bid for it.

Comic Relief have a promise that for every pound the charity gets directly from the public, a full pound goes to help people affected by poverty and social injustice to transform their lives. They are able to keep this promise because the costs of running Comic Relief are met in cash or in kind from all types of other sources including, Government, corporate partners and individual suppliers as well as through the interest generated on funds and through Gift Aid.

You can bid for the jam by e-mailing your bid to: or

Jennifer Williams | Naked Jam | 07870 373795 |

Friday, 8 February 2013

MoS Pre-School Looking for Directors

Milford on Sea Pre-School offers an After School and Holiday Club to children from 2 years 9 months to 11 years. They are a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity.

Applications are currently invited for two new Directors of the Board.

The successful applicants should be willing to attend approximately 6 meetings per year and attend other events when appropriate. For continuity we ask for at least 2 years commitment.

Appointment will be subject to satisfactory CRB and Ofsted checks.

To register your interest or for further information, please contact:
Emma Clark, Manager
Tel: 01590 644684 |

40 B4 40-The Filly Inn

No. 30: The Filly Inn, Setley, Hampshire

click image to enlarge
An excuse for a lunch is a good thing. But, we didn’t have one but decided to go anyway, along with our friends C&T, and C, our neighbour, who was happy to have an excuse to get away from finish her PHD Thesis.

We decide to go to The Filly Inn, on the Lymington to Brockenhurst Road.  We have visited the New Forest pub a couple of times before, but this is our first visit since the premises has had a refit.
The first thing we noticed was a new 'Garden room' which looked bright and airy and a large decked area with table, which seemed ideal for a sunny day, which this wasn't!
The old pub had lost none of it character, the wooden beams still abounded and the old fire was alive and crackling.  the refit looked successful, as the pub was still warm & inviting, with a crisp clean feel. 
Surprisingly busy for a midweek lunchtime, and after the boys first pints of cider, we were tucking into our selections from the menu, which it was pleasing to see included a good selection of local New Forest produce. (The restaurant is a member of New Forest Marque and Hampshire Fare)
Our starters consisted of Homemade Ham Hock Terrine with Crusty Bread, Country Pate with Red Onion Marmalade, and some particularly tasty Garlic King Prawns.
Our Main courses ranged from a very meaty Oxtail special, to Steak & Ale Pie, New Forest Sausages with Mash & Onion Gravy, a light Chicken Casserole, and a massive Beef Burger with Cheese, Bacon and Skin-on Chips.
The ciders had continued to go down well, and my wife again weirdly found a sweet 'not necessary!?'  However, the rest of us felt that it would have been rude not to have tried some.  So, we soon demolished portions of freshly made Lemon Tart, a Apple & Cinnamon Crumble, and Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream. 
Whilst chatting, someone mention how they had heard of Balsamic Vinegar being served with Strawberries and Ice Cream.  No chance of strawberries in early February, but we did have ice cream.  The waiter was pretty bemused when I asked for the vinegar, particularly when he heard what I intended to do with it.  With a wry smile a little pot was soon on our table, and then onto to the ice cream.  Everyone had a taste, and the consensus was it was not bad at all. Strange thing food!

The Filly Inn
Lymington Road, Setley, Brockenhurst, SO42 7UF | Tel: 01590 623449

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

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Glorious Milford Sunset

Local photographer, Steve Hood has sent us a couple of photographs he took last Saturday afternoon (2nd Feb 2013) The images capture the spectacular Sunset from Milford Beach, cross Christchurch Bay looking towards the Purbeck Hills.

click image to enlarge
If your are interested, the technical details are as follows: Photos taken with Nikon D3000 DSLR @ 10mm 100 ISO / Shutter approx 240 seconds long exposure using a 10 stop ND filter.

We are very lucky to have such beauty on our doorstep.

Hartnett Holder & Co at Limewood

Limewood Hotel, the prestigious hotel in the centre of the New Forest, are to open a brand new restaurant on 11th February. Rebranded, and with an impressive addition to the team, Hartnett Holder & Co, is a new partnership between Angela Hartnett and Head Chef, Luke Holder. Luke is of course known to many in Milford on Sea, as he is a friend of Milford on Sea Food Week and appeared in The Big Cook Off. 

Luke has worked in some of London's busiest and most exclusive restaurants including Orrery, The Sloane Club, and the Oxo Tower on the South Bank. Luke then spent a year cooking in the Italian kitchen of Enoteca Pinchiorri, 3 Michelin stars, in the heart of Tuscany, Florence - this experience ultimately changed his philosophy on food forever and firmly placed his focus on cooking locally and seasonally, at the highest level. 

Joining Luke in a kitchen partnership is Angela Hartnett, one of the most high-profile female chefs in the restaurant world. She worked under Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine, and then under Marcus Wareing, where she soon became Head Chef at Pétrus. In 2004 she gained her first Michelin star. In 2008 she launched Muranos in Mayfair. 

Limewood describes Hartnett Holder & Co as a relaxed, stylish and comfortable upscale restaurant which is full of character, yet unpretentious. Angela Hartnett and Lime Wood’s Luke Holder, with their team, will be creating locally sourced English dishes with a respectful nod to the seasons and to Italian culinary ideologies. This collaboration will be reflected in their fresh, confident approach ensuring that this is "fun dining, not fine dining". 

Harnett and Holder’s food is out-and-out British yet comes with the much loved Italian approach to eating - where sharing and provenance is everything. The style will be chefs’ home-cooked food not chefs’ food cooked for restaurants. Both Angela and Luke are famed for their informal, grounded style of cooking and their respect for local produce. 

Expect a menu of Italian influenced forest dishes with English classics, pulling together both Chefs much admired signature styles, which will remain constant and other dishes on the menu will change daily with forest and seasonality being the driver.

We are looking forward to trying out the Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant in the next month or so, and of course we will let you know how we get on.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Use it, Love it, Join it!

Our local village Milford on Sea library have once again put together a super programme of entertainment for adults and children alike.

Super Heroes Trail prize draw (children up to age 9) - Collect your answer sheet from the library (or you may have been given one at school),. Find the super heroes hiding around the village, hand your answer sheet in to the library by 11am on Love Libraries Day.

Love Libraries Day: Saturday 9th February 10am to 12 noon.  
Special opening to celebrate our friendly neighbourhood library 
Free cakes, Free feltmaking, James Bond Quiz prize draw (adults and older children), Launch of Magazines for loan and Talking Newspapers/Magazines 
Come along and join in the fun. 

NEW Knit and Natter Group: Starting Monday 4th February 2.30 - 4.30 pm 
Now meeting fortnightly in the library on Monday afternoons. Bring your own knitting or knit for charity (pattern provided). A group for new and experienced knitters of all ages. All are very welcome. Refreshments available 50p. 

Old MacDonald Had a Farm: Thursday 21st February 2 - 4 pm 
Free Crafts for 3 - 8 years year (parents/carers to remain in library) 

& Even More!...... The library also has regular Learning in Libraries workshops; Library Club for those who find it difficult to get to the library on their own and Toddlertime - stories and rhymes for the under 5s and their parents/carers. 

The library team work hard to provide things to keep the village entertained at all ages, why not pop in and show them your support, their can't be many villages our size still with their own library.

For further information on the above events and other activities please pop in to the library. 

Milford on Sea Library: Normal opening times: 
Monday 2.30 - 5.30 pm
Tuesday 2.30 - 4.30 pm
Wednesday & Friday 10 am - 12.30 pm

Make Music with Coda

Although based in Christchurch, the Coda Music Trust has several links with people in Milford on Sea. 

Coda is a unique resource which provides music tuition, creative music workshops and music for health & well-being for people of all ages and abilities. 

The Music Centre holds many events and activities during school term time for both children and adults, and we have taken the opportunity to provide the list below should you be interested:  

Every Monday: 10.30am to 12pm - Start the Week with a Song - vocal therapy for those suffering with difficulties with voice due to Parkinson's, Stroke, speech problems etc. £3.00 

Every Tuesday: 7.30pm to- 9.30pm - Community Singers - informal unison singing £5.00 per session. 

Every Wednesday: 7.30pm to 9.30pm - Ukelele Band - For complete beginners or masters of the Uke, a fun and sociable chance to develop skills playing all types of music - £3.00 

Every 2nd Thursday of the Month: 11.30am to 1pm - Beautiful Sounds - music workshop for adults with learning disabilities, £5.00. Carers and family free. 

Every Thursday: Folk Orchestra: 7pm to 9pm - for those who enjoy playing traditional music or folk music as part of an ensemble. 

Coda Music Centre, Chewton Farm Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 5QL. Tel: 01425 276161

To find out more please visit:

Changes at The Red Lion

We have heard that Paul & June Lines have retired from The Red Lion in Milford on Sea High Street.  June's home cooked and great value food will be missed by many, and Paul of course kept an excellent pint ready for locals and holiday makes alike. They also had an impressive exterior floral display throughout the spring and summer months for locals and visitors to enjoy.

It is understood Paul & June will continue to live in the village, and we wish them the very best for the future.

The new landlord and landlady took over recently, but we haven't had time to pop in to say hello as yet.  As soon as we find out more about our new village hosts we will let you know.

Shorefields Open to All

Our local holiday park, Shorefields are having an open weekend for leisure membership, and everyone in Milford on Sea village is invited.

If you wanted to pop along on the 9th & 10th February you can have a tour of new gym equipment in the fully equipped leisure and swimming complex.

Membership includes the new gym, includes use of our indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, no time restrictions, free parking, free fitness classes, 1 hour free personal training per week, full use of licensed club with discount & entertainment available in school half terms. Also, anyone who has the energy to do that lot, can join the leisure club that week and get a complimentary back massage. 

Mother Day with the Kids at Shorefields

Shorefields also have a great value for money Mother’s Day Offer. They are offering a 2 or 3 course Sunday Carvery from £16.95, Kids Mini Carvery at £6.50, offering slow cooked belly pork & crackling, rare topside of beef, English leg of lamb, roasted chicken & all the trimmings – reservations essential

There are also have children’s activities & face painting…. & on the day if booked in advance Elemis facial for only £40.00 saving £26.50.

Spa Specials

The Shorefields team also have their luxury Reflections Spa, which is regularly offering special deals, and relaxing days.  To keep up to date, simply keep an eye on their Spa Facebook page for daily offers… with some amazing bargains.

So much is happening at Shorefields, and they would love people from the village to enjoy lots that go on, so why not pop up and take a look.

Centre goes Choral

The village Community Centre resounded to the beautiful harmonies of American composer Eric Whitacre last Saturday when Total Voice held its latest choral workshop.

Twenty-five singers, some local, some from further afield, gathered for a day of music under the direction of local choir leader Victoria Hopkins, accompanied by Sally Abrams. "I couldn't have hoped for a better sound," Victoria told me, "the atmosphere was fantastic and the group sounded like an established choir in only a couple of hours. It was very gratifying.

Total Voice will be running similar workshops in the future, details of which can be found on their website."

Friday, 1 February 2013

Westover Hall on Sky News

The former owners of Westover Hall Hotel, David & Christine Smith, were featured on Sky News last night.

You may recall that the friendly and hospitable couple spent several years and many thousands of pounds building the business and entertaining customers, before ultimately losing the hotel in the height of the recession in 2012, and in no small part due to their doomed investment in the 'Interest rate swaps' scandal.

The impressive Milford on Sea hotel, is now called The Beach House, and has moved from being a boutique hotel & restaurant, to what is now a popular pub with rooms.

Sky's Jason Farrell has investigated the issue of swap mis-selling for nearly two years and in the online article reveals the tactics used by banks.

Whistleblower James Duker, who used to sell interest rate swaps, told Sky News: "It was normal practice to emphasise the rewards of structures and de-emphasise the risk. They were mis-sold on a regular basis."

David & Christine are now involved in legal action in an attempt to gain some redress, and I am pleased to say they told me they are both fine.  

How greedy people can take advantage of honest and honorable people I will never know.  I just hope the money haunts them, and that one day they find a moral conscience. 

Sadly, David & Christine are not the only people I know who got hit by this scandal. Below is a link to 'Bully Banks', an impressive campaign group who seem to be making some serious progress in their campaign. If you know anyone who has been affected, please get them to take a look and register their position.