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Friday, 31 May 2013

Jamming Sessions at The Gun

The Gun Inn in Keyhaven have launched regular Jamming Sessions on every other Thursday evening.

All are invited to come to enjoy the music, or to rock up and play a song or two at the live music night. Everyone is welcome from the ages of 18 to 80+.

The evenings are all acoustic, and a lot of Milford on Sea’s musical talent is anticipated to come along.

The Gun Inn is run by Paul, Jackie & Nathan Hill and is well-known for their extraordinary whisky selection and local crab sandwiches & dishes. Over 240 malt whisky’s are on offer, each with their own tasting notes. Could be quite hobby to work your way through the entire list!

Since being built in the 1700’s The gun Inn has had a number of incarnations, including being a mortuary and bakers.

The next Jamming Session at The Gun is next Thursday 6th June, and then every other Thursday from then onwards. Entry is free, so why not pop along and check it out!

The Gun Inn
Saltgrass Lane, Keyhaven, Lymington, SO41 0TP
01590 642391

Check out event dates in:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Milford Businesses Come Together

If you run any type of small home-based business, or retail shop operation in the village, you may find this of particular interest.

Local village businessman, Paul French, is forming the Milford Business Forum. Having had a successful career, Paul is looking to give something back, by bringing together our local village business owners.

The primary purpose of the Milford Business Forum is to provide a relaxed, friendly, supportive network where local new or long established businesses can meet people, make contacts, exchange ideas and develop their business. The feeling of isolation is a problem for many business owners, especially small business owner-operators who sit, alone, in front of a computer all day or those with few staff members to bounce ideas off and look to for guidance when issues arise.

The Milford Business Forum meetings will be relax, as business issues are discussed over a coffee. The forum is also completely independent and non-profit making.  

The business topics to be discussed will be wide and varied, and indeed tailored to fit the requirements of the group. Subjects such as; Business Planning, Financial Management, E-mail Marketing, Google, Networking Skills are all possible, as are many others that people may wish to include.

The Milford Business Forum is normally free to attend for all businesses in the village, with regular meetings every Friday morning in the Milford Community Centre between 10:30 and 12:00am. There will be occasional workshops or meetings at other times at other locations as shown on the local event diary which may incur a small cost.

Paul still runs his own video Production company, and is also a Micro-Business Mentor working with Job Centre Plus ‘New Enterprise Allowance’ project, where he is appointed by JCP to assist persons develop their Business Plans etc. He was also a past chairman of both the New Forest branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, and the New Forest Business Partnership. 

Paul would love people to come along experience the concept. Everything is very informal, and there is no commitment, simply come again if you can see a benefit for your own development or benefits for your business.

The first meeting of the Milford Business Forum will be 10:30am of Friday 7th June in the Committee Room of the Milford Community Centre. 

For more details, or to register your attendance please contact:

Milford Business Forum
Paul French MIOEE
Direct Line: 01590 645578 | 07525 405999 |
12 Greenways, Milford on Sea, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 0RU

Music on a Lazy Sunday

Local singer, Hannah Evans, will be performing live during ‘Lazy Sunday’ at The Cave in Milford on Sea this coming Sunday afternoon (2nd June). Then, there is more live music on Fathers Day afternoon with a trio named ‘Captain Crash and the Magic Hats'. They will be playing bass guitar, acoustic guitar and single drum. (Fathers Day is 16th June, for anyone who has forgotten!)

Hannah will be accompanied on guitar by Josh Lines, whose parents, Paul & June were landlords of the Red Lion until earlier this year, after which Stuart & Jayne Grieves took over. (The Red Lion is of course another place who hold regular live music worth listening to.)

Hannah is an accomplished and keen singer, and she has previously appeared on stage at the Milford Arts & Music Festival.

In April 2004, when just 13 years old, Hannah appeared on national TV in the ‘Stars in their Eyes Kids show’. TV audiences saw her battle it out with five other contestants, as she was transformed for the broadcast into US singer Vanessa Carlton. After undergoing a full makeover and sporting a brown wig, Hannah sang one of her favourite tracks by the American artist, A Thousand Miles.

Despite not reaching the glittering finals, Hannah was delighted to get as far as the hotly contested heats, beating off competition from thousands of other hopefuls. But in the end, it was 14-year-old Kenny Davies from Leeds who wowed the audience with his performance as Bobby Darin singing jazz classic Mack the Knife.
Hannah and Josh will be playing numbers to suit the mood of a relaxed Sunday afternoon, whilst further entertainment can be had in The Cave, with a Beer Tasting by Hunters Brewery from Newton Abbott in Devon.
The cave will also be serving their full wine list and nibbles as usual.

Lazy Sunday: 2pm to 5pm | Free Entry | Live Music & Beer Tasting

The Cave, 2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
Find out more at:

Anyone Seen Squirrel?

A well loved family pet has gone missing, and we have been asked to see if anyone can help please.

He is called Squirrel and has been missing from Pless Road since Monday evening (27th May). He is 16 years old and is wearing a red collar with id tags (unless he’s lost it). Picture attached.

If anyone has found him or seen him, it would be great if you could please contact: Clare or Peter Johnston via this sites contact details.

They would be very grateful, and no doubt relieved.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Tudors are Coming!

A friendly invasion is on its way to Milford on Sea, as Tudor and Stuart History Comes Alive at Hurst Castle.

Pop along between 10.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd June 2013, to see the Tudor and Stuart re-enactors at Henry VIII's original castle, with authentic costumes, demonstrations of crafts and skills (including net-making, a barber surgeon and lace making) and a special focus on dining, food and etiquette.
 There will also be lots of opportunities to interact with period soldiers and learn about their weapons or the games they used to pass the time, and even serve as a juror on a court leet.

We have heard that there will be things to see and do all day, with special events timetabled throughout, so plently to interest the whole family.


The event jointly mounted by: St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery and Hurst Castle

Castle Admission: £4.50 adult - £4.00 senior - £2.50 child

Return Ferry from Keyhaven: £5.50 adult - £3.30 child

For more information contact: Hurst Castle | T: 01590 642344

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Musical Milford

click image to enlarge
Milford on Sea is not only a great place to live, visit and eat, but is also the home to a plethora of talented people.

Behind the scenes, the village has quite an amazing number of musicians, artists and authors.

One is a local band named Allegro, a Female Contemporary Trio. Jo Vezey formed Allegro in 2008 when she couldn't find a local group who performed her type of music, so she set about forming her own!

Allegro are a contemporary trio who enjoy performing both together and as soloists, singing all types of music from Chicago to Eva Cassidy, from Adele to Paloma Faith.

Jo says: "For as long as I can remember, I have always loved music and grew up listening to my Dad strumming his guitar and singing 'Puff the magic dragon', (Ed: They don't sing this one any more!) 'Mull of Kintyre' & 'Yesterday'. This is where my love of music began."

The group started through an advert in the Lymington Times, from which Jo met Joy & Pam who immediately committed to regular rehearsals. From those somewhat erratic meetings, 'Allegro' was formed.

Agreeing a suitable name for the group was their first challenge. They all put several suggestions into the pot, and because they particularly wanted something related to music, they chose 'Allegro' - which is a musical term for cheerful or brisk, & also a term that most definitely applies to the girls at times!

Sadly, shortly after 'Allegro' formed, Jo's Mum, Anne, who had been in remission from skin cancer, became ill again, and she passed away on the 21st August 2009. 

Anne became the focus and inspiration for 'Allegro's' first charity concert, 'Seasons of Love', in her memory. 'Seasons of Love', was a huge success & something Jo is immensely proud of.

At the time, Jo was a member of Milford on Sea's Total Voice Choir & she asked choir leader, Christine Mulgrew, if the choir would like to support Allegro at the brand new Community Centre in the village centre. The collaboration worked brilliantly, and they raised almost £3,000 on that very special evening.

Since then 'Allegro' haven't looked back, and they have raised close to £5,500 for their favourite local charities; Oakhaven Hospice, the Piam Brown Ward in Southampton Hospital & Wave 105's Cash 4 Kids appeal.

Jo originally moved to Milford on Sea with her Mum, Anne Metcalf, her Dad, Keith Metcalf, & two younger brothers just before she turned 16. Jo say; "I think I sulked for several weeks after leaving all of my friends behind!"

Anne worked at Milford Medical Centre in Milford for around 20 years & was well known to many in her role as Practice Manager. Not only could she pronounce all sorts of seemingly impossible medical words, but she could also spell them! Keith is Parish Clerk in Milford on Sea & has many other hobbies outside of work that keep him extremely busy. Not least, the Milford Conservation Volunteers.

Jo said: "When we first moved to Milford, he and my Mum ran one of the youth Lymington Sprite teams & would often fine the boys for not tucking in their shirts! I'm sure it stood them in good stead for the real world!"

Jo initially trained as a Dental Nurse, a job she really loved & returned to briefly after she had her children. After meeting her husband, she made a career move to Imports/Exports & she is still happily commuting to Southampton each day. (Except on the days when the traffic is appalling & Jo is feeling a little grumpy!). Jo and her family moved to Hordle in 2000, when her daughter, Emily, was barely a year old. As her family continued to grow, so did her house and the long term extension project is nearly completed!

Because Jo has a full time job in Southampton, Joy, who travels to rehearsals in Hordle from the other side of Southampton each week, acts as 'Allegro's' Admin Assistant. Joy is the bands right hand and provides a huge amount of support in organising events & dealing with all sorts of communications. Even more importantly than this, Joy has always loved singing musical theatre and pop songs, and she is viewed as a talented vocalist. Allegro has provided Joy with a great platform to experience the buzz of performing and to share her vocal talent.

Pam has always been involved with local bands and musical theatre, and in the 70's toured the UK, Europe and the USA as a session singer. Her experience gives 'Allegro' a unique flavour, as well as her very honest opinion!

The musical talent continues in Jo's family, and 14 year old daughter, Emily has a wonderful talent for singing. This would be confirmed by anyone who heard her sing at The Milford's Got Talent Night at the Marine. Emily made her debut performance at 'Seasons of Love'. As well as singing 'Castle on a Cloud' from Les Miserables beautifully, she sang the duet 'For Good' with Jo in tribute to Anne.

The group goes from strength to strength & as Jo says: 'It is a great hobby to have!'

You can catch Allegro performing live at The Marine on Saturday 15th June:
click image to enlarge

The Marine:
Milford Conservation Volunteers:

Splashing Around in The Solent

This July, Joey Owen, local Milford on Sea villager and leader of MiCO (Milford Community Organisation), is taking part in 'Swim the Solent'.
My own training is also underway.
Swim the Solent will place on Sunday July 21st 2013 starting from Hurst Castle on the mainland at 9.40 am.
Joey is determined to raise as much as she can for the Samaritans even though as she puts it; 'It is quite a task because the sea is freezing and the tides are strong!'
Joey and fellow swimmers have been training all winter, bravely wearing swimming costumes in the waters at Milford on Sea beach. She is hoping that plenty of people sponsor her, so that she doesn't 'chicken out at the last moment.......'
The Samaritans provide such an important service on the island and this is their main fundraiser of the year, so every penny means an awful lot to them and their dedicated work.
As I mentioned, I am also in training for the same event.  The full body waxing took some doing, and whilst my 1985 Speedo's are a bit tight, I am willing to take the pain for a good cause.
Call me old fashioned, but there is something pleasurable about covering yourself head to toe in lard before wandering down to the seafront for training.
My wife refuses to help apply the lard, murmouring something about an 'oversize turkey'. She did however buy me a sea blue swim hat, to replace the bright yellow one I had for safety purposes. Apparently, the new colour 'suits me better', but I suspect her motive is more connected to the hope that I get separated from my safety boat.
When I arrive for training on the beach, many people pretend to ignore me and then whisper as I pass, I am pretty sure that this tells me I must cut an impressive figure.
So far I have been unable to train with my fellow event swimmer, sadly they are unavailable at any time I suggest, and a few seem to have changed their telephone numbers. It is a shame, as I would like to show them my 'Swimmer of the Year' trophy from 1968.
The organisers have recently asked me if I am happy to swim in the opposite direction and possibly on another day. My wife thinks this is a good idea, and that I should increase my challenge by doing it at a time when the shipping movements are busiest.
If you would like to sponsor Joey, you will find her JustGiving page here:
Swim the Solent for Isle of Wight Samaritans began in 2007 when the director of Isle of Wight Samaritans at that time, swam from the island to Hurst Castle on the mainland and raised £3,500 in sponsorship for IW Samaritans. It has now become an annual event.
The swim date is when the tides are most favourable nearest to that day, and it takes place in the morning when there is least traffic on the Solent. The distance is a mile and a quarter, so swimmers must be fit and able to swim that distance in not a great deal more than an hour.
The two Freshwater Lifeboats and some Ribs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) accompany the swimmers, and there are also kayaks to guide the swimmers who are paired up according to how long it takes them to swim the distance in the pool, 90 lengths of a 25 metre pool. The Lifeboats and Ribs take swimmers over from Yarmouth and drop them in at Hurst and they swim from there.
For Isle of Wight Samaritans the money raised is absolutely vital, it is half of thierr income and enables them to keep the centre running and phone lines open.
Isle of White Samaritans:

Monday, 20 May 2013

A wander around Milford on Sea

Lymington Tour Tours have published their programme for 2013, which includes visits to Milford on Sea for: The Story of Milford Tour.
You can join the village The Story of Milford Tour for a leisurely walk through Milford on Sea on Sunday 26th May. Starting at the Village Green at 11am and ending on the cliff top about 1 hour 40 minutes later.
Your guide will explain how the sleepy hamlet of Milford changed its name and tried to rival Eastbourne. Hear the story of the string of Pearls seven yards long. The walk includes some footpaths and some uneven ground.
Lymington Tour Tours is run by volunteers and do not make a formal charge, however they will ask for a realistic donation towards their costs.
There are five other Milford walks during the season, and seven other walks in Lymington. Please see web-site for details:
These tours are in addition to the 'Discover Milford on Sea Walking Tour', which is a casual stroll around the village with a local guide, who will help you to discover our history & tell some fascinating village stories.

No need to book, just meet on the Village Green at 10.30am.
The tour lasts around one and a half hours and ends at All Saints' Church, with a cup of tea!

Everyone is welcome, and there is something of interest for locals and holidaymakers alike.

The 'Discover Milford on Sea' tours are just £1 for Adults and Children Free
Why not stick a date in your diary now: 10.30am: Wednesday 5th June, 3rd July, 7th August and 4th September.

Alan Clark hits Hole-in-One

Golf Monthly carried a recent story telling that Milford on Sea golfer Alan Clark, 71, has received a limited-edition BOSS watch after scoring a hole-in-one during a recent competition at his club.
His ace was scored on the 140-yard, par-three 11th, at the New Forest Golf Club, when Alan is also a committee member in its 125th anniversary this year.
Alan, a 18-handicapper was rewarded with membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1 Club and a specially-commissioned, commemorative BOSS watch.
Clark, said to golf monthly: "I had just messed up the previous hole, a par-five, where I took a nine - so with a one on the 11th I'd played the two holes to my handicap. "Normally you'd do it six and four but the nine and one had the same effect," he laughed.
The luxury German brand, BOSS Watches, has pledged to reward club golfers with an exclusive watch for every hole-in-one recorded during a club competition between April 15 and October 31 this year. And, with nearly 4,000 holes-in-one recorded annually, BOSS Watches could feasibly be giving away £1m-worth in 2013.

Happy Birthday to Us!

We launched our first Milford on Sea village website on 20th May 2008, so it is now five year old and I don't look a day older!
Milford on Sea Website: When we decided to create this website, it was purely as a hobby,  and to provide some more local information about the village. I say ‘we’, but there is only me, my wife (who inadvertently provides story lines) & our two dogs (who contribute much less than they should!)
From day one we have always loved our independence, and as we take no revenue from anyone this means we can say & do exactly what we like!
We never really considered that people would enjoy what we built, however it is very satisfying to provide a service to the local community which a number of people seem to enjoy.

The site has now taken on a life of its own& amp; a small hobby has now turned into a big one! As a result, we now have a number of spin offs which have been created for specific purposes to inform and entertain people across the village.

To date: has had 861,285 visitors. We are also averaging around 250 visits to the website every day.

Milford on Sea Calendar: This website details anything we hear about that is happening in the village, plus things that may be of interest nearby. The calendar also contains sections of 'Clubs & Classes', 'Dining Offers' and 'Church Services'. In the past month 438 people visited the site 536 times.

Milford on Sea Directory: The directory lists as many local village businesses, services, clubs & classes ect. as we know in Milford on Sea. Great if you are looking for something to join in with, or need to get something done.  Our next project is to rebuild in a new whissy style, but not just yet, hoping to enjoy some sun first. click here to visit MoS Directory 

Milford on Sea News: Our News Blog keeps people informed of village stories. Some are factual, other embellished, and others simply made up. Around 260 News Pages get read every day, and it seems most people choose to come back!
To make sure that I have as little time as possible to irritate my wife, we also co-ordinate a couple of village events. Both are designed to put Milford on Sea on the map as a 'Foodie destination'.

Again run by volunteers, the aim is entertain local people, and to draw visitors to the village to have a great food experience. At the same time we aim for the village accommodation providers and local shops to benefit from the additional visitors.
Milford on Sea Food Week: The next Food Week will take place from the  7th to 13th April 2014. The event is a true celebration of Milford on Sea as a Foodie destination. taking part in the 100+ events are local organisations such as the WI, Brownies ect, clubs, friends, local amateur cooks, restaurants, pub, cafés and lots more. Get those dates in your diary, it is week of fun and eating, what could be better!
Milford on Sea Great Dining Bus: Dining with a Difference. Enjoy each course in a different village restaurant. A great way to spend time with friends and to enjoy the delights of various village kitchens. The full programme for 2013 is now on the website, and tours are selling fast. If you fancy joining in, tickets start from as little as £24, and can be bought from the Community Centre Box Office and The Cave. Not only is it a great day out, but also a wonderful way to support and experience our fine local restaurants.
Connecting the Village: We now have 1833 local people who regularly receive our e-mail News Bulletins, and 179 people who don't want it at all!
We are always looking for more people to join us, so if you can spread the word to any friends, family or neighbours who you think would like to get our newsletter, please ask them to send an e-mail asking for the Newsletter, to: or complete the form here: We can then ensure all of our community are kept informed of local news, which on some occasions contain actual facts!
Thanks for your support and for as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!

Blossoming Morning on the Green

The Milford on Sea Gardeners' Club had a successful Annual Plant Fair last week, with the village green heaving with people from 8.30 onwards.

Jenny Spenser and Jan England have also risen to local celebrity status, having been interviewed live on Radio Solent on Friday.
Prior to the Annual Planet Fair, the club and its event was featured in the Hampshire Life magazine, which no doubt encouraged some extra people to go along.
Alll of the stallholders were very happy, going home with a lot less than they started, and a couple pretty well sold out.
The gardeners' are hoping that the village businesses, coffee shops, pubs etc also benefited from the event. they would love to hear if your trade was positively affected.

The final figures are still being verified, but it appears that the total for various charities is now over £4000.

The Gardeners' Club raised about £1200. The Tools for Self Reliance Charity raised £850, The Mayflower Nursery (which is part of Solent Mind - A mental health charity supporting through horticulture) did particularly well, and the school were also very pleased with their takings.

Jan Egland commented; "It would be quite interesting to work out how much the various and numerous events staged in Milford raise over a year wouldnt it?".  I guess no one actually knows, but with so many events for good causes, it would indeed be sustantial.
All in all a great day in more ways than one!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Milford on Sea: Hyphens or no hyphens?

I woke up this morning thinking; 'Who can I annoy today'. Now, my wife had yet to have her second cup of tea, so it would have been unwise to even consider annoying her this early. A quick pop outside, but no one to be seen, so a change of plan was needed.
Luckily, there was a subject that had perplexed me for some time, so I decided now was the time for some research on whether Milford on Sea should have hyphens in or not. (We only deal with the big issues here you know.)
First point of call was the welcome signs into the village. No hyphens, so this must be right. To double check I took a look at the Parish Council website. The header had no hyphens, but the official address details did, so did a couple of mentions in the site’s text. So ‘1-1’ so far.
The Parish Council avenue of research has now opened another dilemma, as looking at the 'Village Crest' not only did it have hyphen's, but also two men in strange attire.  One seems to hold a sythe, the other wearing fisherman boots, - plus a ship, a crown and a flower shape. Could be interesting to understand the meaning, but my hyphen mission had to take priority and be completed.
Next, the Community Centre. No hyphens on their website, so ‘2-1’ to the ‘No Hyphens’.
The NHS site for the War Memorial Hospital had no hyphens, yet Hospital Friends website were clearly in the hyphen camp.
My next investigation should prove telling, so I tracked down the Milford Historical Records Society. Ah, they don’t have the ‘on-sea’ bit in their name. However, Milford-on-Sea does appear in their written text, so now ‘3-3'.
Hampshire County Council mentions our village by using both versions, so they have covered themselves well by ensuring they have the correct version somewhere. 4-4 now.
Time to hit the streets, and ask a few random people in the village. My first questionee said; ‘You can stick your hyphens where you like’.  I wasn’t entirely convinced he was commenting on my actual question.  The next just looked at me pitifully & enquired whether; ‘I didn’t have something more important to do’. This was not going well, however, it did make me think, and I concluded I hadn’t.
In my very weird world, I was convinced that people needed to know the result of my mission. I therefore decided to take a new tact by finding out a bit more about ‘hyphens in names’. 

Not necessarily relevant, but I discovered that the longest hyphenated town name in the USA is Washington-on-the-Brazos in Texas. I considered contacting one of the inhabitants to see if they would comment on my quest, but I decided they might not have heard of Milford on Sea, and even if they had, I am not good with accents.
I also discovered that Sutton-under-Whitestoncliffe is situated in the North Yorkshire Moors, and claims to be the longest hyphenated place name in the UK. Again, I never called anyone there for the same geographic & accent reasons already mentioned.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is of course longer, but they missed the chance of this record by not adding any hyphens.

A quick look at Wikipedia, and although Milford on Sea village is mentioned, I am told never to believe anythings I read on that website, so that was disqualified. Ah, the encyclopedia. Oh no, haven't got one of those anymore. 

I finally had a look at BBC News website, but there was no mention of Milford on Sea at all, so no help here then.
I then had a brainwave, when does the Oxford Dictionary believe it is correct to use a hyphen? I found they are not sure either. The first editors of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, wrote in their preface to the 1911 edition: ‘We have also to admit that after trying hard at an early stage to arrive at some principle that should teach us when to separate, when to hyphen, and when to unite the parts of compound words, we had to abandon the attempt as hopeless, and welter in the prevailing chaos.’, they conclude ‘Hyphenation in English is highly variable, and in many contexts, it really doesn't matter’.
My ‘in-depth’ research therefore left the results as an honourable draw with the ‘With Hyphens-4’ & ‘No Hyphens-4’. So, which is the correct way to write our village name: Milford on Sea or Milford-on-Sea? It seems there is no right answer, so just do what you like!
Thinking my mission was over, someone has just asked me which is correct, Danes Stream or Danestream? - Argggh!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Stroll and Discover Milford on Sea

Did you know that the village has an interesting and rather charming 'Discover Milford on Sea Walking Tour'?
The tour is a casual stroll around the village with a local guide, who will help you to discover our history & tell some fascinating village stories.

No need to book, just meet on the Village Green at 10.30am.
The tour lasts around one & half hours and ends at All Saints' Church, with a cup of tea!

Everyone is welcome, and there is something of interest for locals & holidaymakers alike.

The tours are just £1 for Adults and Children Free
Why not stick a date in your diary now: 10.30am: Wednesday 5th June, 3rd July, 7th August and 4th September.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Anyone for the Dordogne?

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I have discovered that a well-known and popular Milford on Sea local resident, Richard Poole, has some rather nice properties for holidays in the Dordogne.

Being almost French myself, I am of course an expert on anything to do with France. Some of you will know me to be fluent in my special version of the language, and partial to a frogs leg baguette.

Having emigrated on more than one occasion to Deauville, (my wife’s only regret is that I kept coming back with her), I can confidently say that the Dordogne is worth a visit, not just for the spectacular scenery, but also the French food, and of course the great local wines. Some people even get involved in the many outdoor pursuits, but I much prefer activities that simply involve a parasol and a glass.

Richard is a qualified surveyor and also a sponsor of the Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival. He is also a supporter of our excellent village restaurants, and I am sure when he regularly visits the Dordogne area, he takes the opportunity to see if the local food they serve can match ours. I bet they lose on the variety on offer!

Having taken a peak at the website, it is clear that each of Richard’s houses have been renovated to a fine standard, and that the properties looks welcoming and comfortable with all mod cons and naturally the much needed swimming pool for the summer.

If you fancy taking a look or even going on holiday, please visit:

Reconnaissance Inside The Cave

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As you may have read last week, there was some confusion over my invitation to Tuesday’s ‘Preview Night at The Cave’. The confusion was, I didn’t have one.

As my wife got ready for the evening using the invitation she had received, I was plotting my way in, although camouflaging a twenty stone bloke is a little tricky.

As she left, and somehow managed to walk in her high heeled party shoes, she reminded me for the fifth time to take the dogs out. I found her reminder very useful, particularly as this is something I have always done when she is out for at least ten years and more, who knows what could have happened had I not been reminded.

As she turned the corner, I decided to demonstrate my independence and ignore the reminder, by letting the dogs out quickly and then telling them to say that they had been for walk when she asked.  I then swiftly changed and followed her path towards The Cave.

Having arrived in the village centre, I was furtively peeking out of Mr Pink’s doorway and I could see that there was no neanderthal doormen, so getting in to The Cave was looking promising.

Confidence was the key, so I strolled straight in. No one recognised me in my beret and blue & white hooped top. Every time anyone spoke to me, I replied in my fluent version of French until they moved on, mainly perplexed.

A few people did challenge why I was there and asked why looked so ridiculous, but I explained I was the French cousin of the bloke who did the Milford on Sea News. On hearing that, no one appeared that surprised and simply shrugged. (I thought shrugging was something that only us French did.).

I have to be honest, things got a bit tricky when Leo, the French owner/head chef from La Perle, spoke to me. I simply told him that I did not understand his Champagne region dialect. His face was a picture of disbelief and gallic mystification as he walked off. He even forgot to take the gift I had made to him of the onions I had been wearing.

The enthusiastic new team in The Cave were serving tasty canapés (that word is French you know) and glasses of wine. I did get a blank look when I asked them if anyone else was drinking Pernod.

Surreptitiously, I spotted getting on for 100 guests, B&B owners, local shops, restaurants, councillors, press, friends and many other smiling people having a great time and 'ooing & ahhing' at the fabulous transformation.

The interior can only be described as amazing. The whole inside has been expanded and reborn. Everywhere you look there is interesting objet d'art (another French word), which seemlessly blended together. There is not doubt that Stacey has a wonderful eye for interior design.

The Cave could easily slot into London’s West End in a heartbeat. The only way that you knew that you were not in the West End, was the familiar faces, great view of the village green and reasonable prices for such quality.

As Sam’s Bar was in full swing, and the Wine Shop area was constantly being complemented for the wide selection of world wines and special ales that Jon had stocked, James (the Retail Manager), was busy enthusiastically explaining all they could offer to numerous interested people.

If the overheard compliments of the guests is anything to go by, The Cave is going to be a great success as a Wine Bar & Shop in the heart of Milford on Sea, and the team certainly feel as though they will be giving everyone a warm welcome, whether coming in to buy wine, having a drink or coffee, or simply taking a look at what is going on.

As I continued to mingle, I must have been mistaken, but it felt like people just moved away as I approached.  I guess none of them were confident enough in speaking French. It was hard to tell if my wife was fooled by my disguise, or whether she had just chosen to completely pretend she had no idea who I was, and completely ignore me. (It was probably the latter, as she does this on quite a few occasions when we are in he same place.)

Jon himself came over for chat. Forgetting my original cover story, I explained to him that I was representing Milford on Sea’s French twin town of Le Poulet. His face was quizzical, probably because I has said it all in my version of French. As he called Stacey over, I blended into the crowd, and left.

The Cave
2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
Tel: 01590 642195

40 B4 40-The Mill at Gordleton

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 No 33: The Mill at Gordleton

It was a glorious sunny day and we were on our way to lunch at The Mill at Gordleton, near Lymington. My wife at the wheel, friends in the back, things were looking good.

To beat the setting of The Mill at Gordleton is difficult at any time of the year, and on a hot spring day it is almost impossible.

We were greeted and asked whether we would prefer the Main Restaurant or The Terrace next to the river. No brainer really, and I had the sunglasses to prove it.

Only Colin and I went for starters, to accompany our respective pints of Grolsh and Thatcher’s cider. He had gone for the tempting Smoked chicken & sweetcorn chowder, the girls abstained, and I had gone for possibly my favourite starter of all, Twice baked soufflé, this time it had a twist, by including Fjordlings of Salisbury smoked salmon and horseradish. Oh yes, delicious!

As you may have seen in previous ’40 B4 40’s’, we always photograph our meals. However on this occasion, mainly due to us both being starving, we had tucked straight in.

It was only when I got a sharp fork stuck in my side, accompanied by the sweet words; “You have forgotten the photo dear”, that I realised it was far too late. How my wife displays such a sweet demeanour whilst attacking me ferociously I have no idea.

As we awaited the main courses, and I tried not to show the pain coming from my left side, we admired not just the immaculate gardens, ambient terrace and babbling river, but also the garden sculptures. The Mill has a number of fantastic local and national artists currently exhibiting their pieces in their beautiful grounds.

They have now added 'The Mill Art Walk', which is a mini tour around the grounds with details on each pieces exhibited and the artists who have kindly contributed them.

Our main courses were soon in front of us, and consisted of Breast of chargrilled free range chicken, olives, sun-dried tomato, artichokes, Pecorino cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette for my wife, two of us had; ‘Scampi’ (breaded medallions of monkfish) with hand cut chips, minted pea and lime crème fraîche, and Colin the Carnivore had a light summer meal of Rich steak and kidney pie with rosary roasted mids and glazed carrots. All were very well cooked, and you could taste the freshness of the ingredients, although I would have preferred Tartare Sauce to the alternative fish accompaniment.

The team at The Mill are very proud of the fact that they make everything in-house themselves, including bread, soups, sauces, ice creams and puddings. They also source local and organic produce including vegetables, free range eggs, local cheeses, New Forest seasonal venison and pork.

Each main course had been devoured and enjoyed, and my perforated side was slowly recovering with the aid of another pint. However, a new dilemma was now facing me. The pudding menu!

Having been mentally narrowing it down to three since seeing the menu an hour or so ago, I made another sacrifice to make a shortlist of two, but still could not decide on just one.

I decided to launch a charm offence on my wife, trying to persuade her to have a pudding (Of my choice of course!). Things like, ‘Go on, treat yourself’, “You can share mine” (That was a lie), “and other pathetic tactics like; “If you loved me you would have one”, were each tried in forlorn effort. Her smile remained enchanting, however her eye’s were darkening on each suggestion, and it was clear that unless I gave up a violent attacked would be on its way imminently. I needed a Plan B.

As we ordered, Tricia inadvertantly went for my very close second choice, the Pavlova with Lymington strawberries and Chantilly cream, and I had settled on the Chocolate Brownie with Tonka Bean Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce. As they arrived I persuaded Tricia to let me photograph her sweet due to the shadows of the beating sun. Plan B was underway. I arranged her sweet and took a great picture whist she chatted. Somehow when her plate returned to its rightful place in front of her, a couple of spoonfuls were missing. I don’t think she bought my explanation that the ducks had swooped across the table helping themselves. I am sure she tried to kick me, but thankfully, she only has little legs.

We have never been disappointed eating at The Mill, and it you dine or visit on a sunny day, it is one of those special New Forest moments.

The Mill at Gordleton Hotel Restaurant
Silver Street, Hordle, near Lymington, SO41 6DJ

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

A New Musical Graphics Guy in Town

Milford on Sea has a brand new, young & enthusiastic business. Lloyd Gee Pearson has started his new company called The Graphics Guy in Laundry Lane, Milford on Sea.

Lloyd has over 6 years of experience in the sign industry. and offers a complete signage service from design to finish. His products range from small stickers for houses/boats etc to full branding and manufacturing of signs and window/van graphics. Most recently, he he completed all of the external and internal signage at The Cave in the village centre.

Lloyd offers a free quotation and design service. His service is prompt, efficient and friendly, and he will work round the clock to manufacture your signs to perfection.

You can see a lot of his work if you check out his Facebook Page at: | Tel: 01590 642220 or 07703 826759.

In addition to this, Lloyd is also the drummer in a local band, called Let's Go Safari.  They have just released their first EP which you can find online at:

You can also check out their Gig's List on the website.

The band are a nice bunch of lads, playing indie feel-good music simply because they love it.

The Graphics Guy
Workshop 2, Unit 3 Laundry Lane, Milford on Sea, SO41 0WJ
Tel: 01590 642220 or 07703 826759

Try them out for: Contemporary & Classic Signs, Vehicle Graphics, Boat Graphics, Shop Fascias, Exterior Signage, Interior Signage, Re-Branding, Digital Printing, Window Graphics, DIY Lettering, Banners, Graphic Removals, Business Cards, Pavement Signs, Gold Leaf WorkWe're a fresh new company, full of enthusiasm, aiming to provide a complete signage service. Whether it be small stickers or signs to a whole branding of graphics for an entire company, they can provide all your graphic needs. 

Let's Go Safari

Milford Conservation Volunteers Go Wild!

The Milford on Sea BioBlitz on Friday 7th June and Saturday 8th June. There will be a number of sessions over the two days that provide opportunities to go on a guided bird watch, take part in a mini-beast hunt, look out for moths and bats, have a go at pond dipping and experience a dawn chorus. By taking part you’ll experience nature close up, have fun, and understand why wildlife recording is so important.

Numbers for each session are limited so please call for more information and to book your place.

Friday 7th June
10.30am -12.00noon | Keyhaven Bird Watch and Walk. Call 01590 643400
4.30pm – 6.00pm | Mini beasts at Studland Meadow. Call 01590 644489
9.00pm – 11.00pm | Moths and bats at Sturt Pond. Call 01590 644316

Saturday 8th June
4.30am – 6.00am | Pleasure Grounds Dawn Chorus. Call 01590 643400
7.00am – 8.00am | Moth trap at Sturt Pond. Call 01590 644316
10.30am – 12.00noon | Pond dipping at Barnes Copse. Call 01590 644489

A “BioBlitz” is an event that engages local people with biodiversity, inviting them to get directly involved in surveying and monitoring local wildlife. During a BioBlitz event, specialists and members of the public work together to survey a natural space; identifying and recording as many species as possible over 24 hours. It’s a great opportunity to discover and understand the diversity of wildlife living on your doorstep.

Full details of how to join in with the BioBlitz can be found on the Milford Conservation Volunteers website at:

Cubs Keep Busy

The lads in the Milford & Keyhaven Cubs continue to do good work and keep themselves busy with fun activities.

So far this Spring, led by Troop Leader, Mathew Cobb, they have had another visit to Hillyfield Rest Home for a games evening, and also to celebrate the 100 birthday of one of the residents.

They also had a trip to the New Forest Verderers Court where they had a brilliant talk from Head Agister Jonathan Gerrelli.

In the coming weeks, the Cubs will be taking part in a litter pick in the village, as well as their usual camping, hiking, shelter building, camp cooking and kayaking activities at Keyhaven.

Find out more about the New Forest Verderers Court:

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Let’s Go Caving

My wife has received an invitation to a preview, before the official opening, of The Cave.
Her invitation originally said; ‘My wife and partner are invited to…..’, but the partner bit had been rather enthusiastically crossed out.
My wife denied having anything to do with the obliteration.

I waited until she went out, and after two hours of searching for every pen in the house, and then matching the ink to the scribble, I had to accept that she may be innocent on this occasion.

Fortunately I am not a sensitive soul, and I guess that Jon & Stacey's little baby Sam had been scribbling on it.
The Cave will be officially opening next Wednesday (8th May) and is the unique creation of Jon & Stacey Crouch. The new family owned Independent Wine Shop and Bar looks pretty exciting and I am sure will be worth calling into as soon as the doors open.
With their track record of building successful hospitality businesses in and around Milford on Sea, I having no doubt that Jon & Stacey, and new manager James Jewell, would love to see you, even if they have ‘forgotten’ to invite me to the preview.
Invited or not, I fully intend to gate crash, so watch this space to see what happens!

The Cave
2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
Tel: 01590 642195

The GREAT DINING BUS rolls into Milford

Milford on Sea have launched what is believed to be the first bus dining event in the UK.
The Great Dining Bus takes locals, holidaymakers and visitors on Dining Tours of the restaurants in Milford on Sea, with each tasty course being served in a different village restaurant.
Milford on Sea has become a 'foodie heaven', and when people see the dining options available, it is easy to see why the village is fast being recognised as the 'south coast destination for great dining'.
If you love food and great company, a lunch on the Great Dining Bus in Milford on Sea is for you. Simply book and ‘Jump On’ to enjoy each course in a different village restaurant.
Each Dining Tour gives people a great opportunity to experience fresh local ingredients and tasty creative dishes as the Milford on Sea village restaurants showcase their food offering and service. The village has a multi-award winning fish restaurant, French restaurant, cosmopolitan bistro, seafront British restaurant, and you can even enjoy authentic regional Indian & Thai food.
The Great Dining Bus is perfect as a treat, for spending time with friends, special celebrations, anniversaries, birthdays, or just a great excuse to enjoy a unique dining experience whilst savouring great food in excellent restaurants.
In addition to the Great Dining Bus (37.50pp), there is also a Strolling Dining Tour (£32pp), and a Spice Tour (£24pp). These other two tours give people the choice to walk the short distances between courses, for a different type of dining experience. The village is fortunate to have many of the restaurants close to the village green which enables people to take a leisurely stroll between courses.
Milford on Sea also has much more to offer; being blessed with a spectacular coastline, quaint seaside village & great places to stay, eat & shop. To go with our excellent restaurants, pubs & cafés, the village also has B&B's, hotels, self-catering, caravans & camping, in fact something to suit every taste and budget.
The Great Dining Bus is also encouraging people to come and ‘Stay & Dine’, making Milford on Sea a ‘destination for foodies’.
The Dining Tours run on a regular basis throughout the year, and dates are already available from June 2013 through to April 2014. (See Tour Dates here)  The courses each restaurant serves changes each time. Dining Vouchers make a great gift ith difference, and would be excellent for birthdays, celebrations, or just a great way to say thank you.  After all, who doesn't love a great meal and company!  the Dining Vouchers can be found on the Great Dining Bus website.
The Great Dining Bus tickets can be purchased in two ways:
In cash from: The Community Centre Box Office, Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PH  or from:
The Cave, 2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH.
Jump on board, this really is a trip worth taking!
About the Great Dining Bus
The Great Dining Bus first ran very successfully at MoS Food Week in 2012, and the Food Week team has now launched the Great Dining Bus as a regular and permanent event in the Milford on Sea village calendar. Around 16 Dining Tours will run in the next 12 months.
The Great Dining Bus team will be promoting this significantly locally and also looking for national exposure, as the concept is so unique.
On the Great Dining Bus, diners will enjoy a different course in a selection of Milford on Sea restaurants, where each restaurant will delight in showcasing a taste of their food offering and service.
If you have any queries at all, please contact:

To find out more please visit: -

Pizza's Go Chocolate

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Hollands of Milford, our local village supermarket is now selling Chocolate Pizza. (Yes, really!)
The pizzas are made in Milford on Sea by Pippa's Chocolate Pizzas, and Paul & Maureen are now stocking them for those with large or small sweet teeth.
The Chocolate Pizzas have a Belgian chocolate base mixed with marshmallow and biscuit. This is then topped with 3 choices of toppings, from a list of dozens of delicious and naughty options. (I think I am dribbling.)
I think I might be trying these soon, but I will have to hide in the car park to eat it, as if my wife found out she would plan some painful retribution for me. She might even force me to eat devil vegetables like brocolli and sprouts.

Pippa’s Chocolate Pizzas were on Radio Wave 105 on Thursday 25th April 2013. They were helping to raise money for Clic Sargent on the 'Cash for Kids Day', and DJ Simon Clarke entered into a challenge to eat a 12 inch chocolate pizza.
Paul is a big supporter of local produce, and loves to find products from local artisan producer that he can stock in addition to his vast range of everyday and delicatessen items. they even now have fresh samosas made in Lymington, chutneys and sauces from Spice & Easy, and fresh and delicious cakes from Elmsleigh, all made in Milford on Sea.
What could be better than buying produce that has only moved yards rather than miles, and at the same time supporting someone who is making produce in the village.
Paul is always keen to extend his range of local foods, so if you know anyone who would like him to sell their produce, please just let him know.

 Hollands of Milford
49 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG
Tel: 01590 641882

Lord Montagu at La Perle

The team at La Perle had the pleasure of meeting Lord Montagu recently, when he came to dine at the chic Milford on Sea French restaurant.
Interestingly, Beaulieu is twinned with a beautiful French village called Hautvillers in Champagne, and that village is also the birthplace of Lionel, head chef & owner at La Perle.
Before moving to the UK, Lionel himself came to Beaulieu on a visit as a child more then 20 years ago.
La Perle are also delighted to have recently received a recommendation in the Sunday Telegraph on 19th March 2013. The article read: "With its chic monochrome décor, laid-back vibe (you can pop in for just a main course and glass of wine for £10), and fantastic French cooking, this bistro is a local hit. Try scallops with beurre noisette (£18.95)" I am sure this will once again raise the already high profile of this delightful French bistro in Milford on Sea.
It is difficult to choose when to go to dine in La Perle, as the menus are always great and excellent value.  In particular, Wednesday evenings now require early booking for their half of Lymington Lobster or Half Roast Chicken & a glass of wine for £19.95/£13.95. Both are served with Frites & Salad. You can even choose for your lobster cooked one of three ways; Thermidor, Cold or with Garlic Butter.
Tuesday Night they have Moules, Frites & a glass of wine for only £14.95. Choose your Moules cooked one of three ways; Mariniere style, Bacon & Tomato or Mouclade style.
Hampshire steaks are also served daily, and at £10pp the tasty lunchtime prix fixe menu is hard to beat. Tres bon!
So much to choose from, so it is up to you!
La Perle
60 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
The Marine are running a tasty offer of 'Fish & Chips Weekends' with free pint of beer or glass of house wine with your meal at £9.75. Why not pop in on a Friday & Saturday between 6pm to 9pm.

The Marine
Hurst Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PY

Verveine has a New Look

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Always creating magic with food, David Wykes has now also had a brand new website built, which showcases the extraordinary delights on a plate he serves. It also features their traditional village fishmongers, and much more.....
Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant continues to receive rave reviews, including articles in The Independent and Sunday Telegraph. It is no great surprise that David (Chef/proprietor), has been voted Hampshire Chef of the Year in 2011 & 2012 to go with the other major awards they have won in the past two years.
Verveine has also received a No.1 accolade for food from the Harden's Guide, which is the highest mark this respected national guide gives. I suggest it is only a matter of time before they get a lot more national recognition in a big way.
If you haven't yet eaten in Verveine their two course lunch is amazing value at just £14.95.  The a'la carte menu is of course more, but worth every penny if you love exciting, creative food, and of course fish!
Should you be one of the people that uses (or understands!) Twitter, David does regular tweets and you can 'get in his nest' or whatever it is Twitterer's do, by visiting his website, or clicking here.
To take a look at Verveine's new website please visit;
Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant
98 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QE
Tel: 01590 642176

New at Clubhouse at HCSC

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The new clubhouse at Hurst Castle Sailing club is now complete and being used by the members.

The impressive new building was built by our renowned village builders, Adcroft Building & Renovation. Another splendid project, yet again enhancing our village.
The formal opening ceremony will be on Saturday May 11th at 17.00 hours, (5pm to landlubbers!), when a plaque commemorating the occasion will be unveiled.

In keeping with the club's our self help ethos, three of their most long standing members, who have contributed a great deal to the fund raising over the years, will perform the ceremony for us.
The Lookout Platform is particulary impressive to watch the boats at play.

 To see more of the building as it came together, please click here.

STOP PRESS....  Up to date news about Hurst Castle SC opening is that Pippa Wilson. Olympic Gold medallist will cut the ribbon for the club.

Hurst Castle Sailing Club
HCSC Clubhouse, Keyhaven, SO41 0TR |