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Monday, 29 July 2013

Stay at The Marine

The Marine, perfectly situated on Milford on Sea Seafront, is now offering rooms for diners wishing to stay over night, or holiday makers wishing a longer stay to enjoy all that our delightful seaside village has to offer.

The spectacularly located ‘Art Deco’ styled landmark building, occupies a dramatic position with stunning views to The Needles, Christchurch Bay & Sturt Pond Nature Reserve.

There is now the opportunity to stay, in one of the three comfortable executive bed & breakfast bedrooms or the luxury self-catering Hurst Penthouse Suite, all with excellent facilities and panoramic sea views.

Having had a sneak peek, it is clear that no expense has been spared in the quality of the furnishing and fixtures in any of the rooms.
The Marine | B&B Bedroom
Comfort will be ensured for anyone staying, with every B&B bedroom featuring a contemporary design and benefiting from glorious views of this wonderful coastline.

The Hurst Penthouse Suite is open plan and spacious, with a kitchen that most people would love to have in their own homes, added to this, there is a balcony where you can enjoy a glass of wine and arguably one of the best panoramic views in the country.

The Marine | Hurst Penthouse Suite
Guests will have little need to stray far to eat, thanks to the ground floor contemporary, fully licensed, Café Bar during the daytime or evening, which serves coffee, snack, a delicious informal lunch, afternoon tea, or evening meal. There is also and elegant first floor Restaurant, providing a more formal dining experience, serving the very best modern British cuisine, and enjoying captivating panoramic sea & coast views.

Milford on Sea offers so many attractions for visitors, and anyone staying a few days can also take advantage of the wide variety of shops and places to eat in the village centre. There is a very good reason that Milford on Sea is becoming known as the 'South Coast's Foodie Heaven'!
The Marine
Hurst Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PY | Tel: 01590 644369

Events: *The Marine is also available for private parties and corporate hire. They can accommodate individual parties of between 10 & 100+ for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, wakes etc, - so get in touch if you're looking for a special venue for an occasion you are celebrating.

Visiting Milford on Sea?
Check out what do, where to stay, local news and more:

Saturday, 27 July 2013

WI in the South Seas

MoS WI President, Penny Ramus
& Kath Brookes 
The girls at Milford on Sea WI went a bit tropical recently.
As members arrived for the July 'Garden Meeting', they had a bit of a surprise when they were greeted with a scene from the exotic South Seas, complete with parrots in palm trees!
Knowing the fun loving girls in our local Women's Institute I was not the least bit surprised that they were dressing up again!  Some of you may remember a variety of humorous and daring costumes in the Milford on Sea Carnival over the years!, ... I rest my case.
The tables were gaily decorated with vine leaves, pineapples and fresh fruits and background music playing. President, Penny Ramus, complete with grass skirt and garlands of flowers, greeted members old and new with “Aloha”.
As things got underway, Barbara Pidgeon showed the certificate and her prize winning quilt (runner-up in the national Makeover competition) which is currently touring various county shows and will be at Denman College by Christmas.

The meetings business was kept to a minimum, after all there was a party to enjoy!

click image to enlarge
The choir performed a selection of hit songs from the musical, South Pacific to enthusiastic applause. The Committee, all dressed in similar polenysian style with multi-coloured grass skirts and bedecked with flowers, then served a sumptuous afternoon tea to approximately eighty appreciative ladies. Fortified with tea, the brain-teasing quiz was tackled with renewed vigour.

To close, Shirley Headley was thanked for her delightful flower arrangement, and the committee earned a huge round of applause for excellent catering and a fun afternoon.

The Next meeting is on 17 September in All Saints' Church Hall.

If you fancy joining the WI please contact: Maureen Askin on 01590 641420 or see website by clicking here.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Ross, David and Heston

click image to enlarge
A face that was familiar around Milford on Sea not so long ago has made his way to the pages of OK! Magazine.

Ross Clarke, 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, atomosphere, standard, efficiency and overall level of performance.

The OK! Magazine interview, (picture shown above) was conducted at one of Ross's Multi Sensory Dining course's in Dubai. The course covered topics such as; the effects that playing with senses can have on the perception of the food, the use of modern dining equipment to increase dining experience and the atmosphere of the restaurant from start to end.  Also covered was the safe and effective way to use dry ice and liquid nitrogen to increase dining experience instead of just making clouds!

The magazine article covers Ross's thoughts on cooking, and he quotes that the best ever meal he has had was at Verveine.  Obviously an excellent judge!

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.

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  and Platinum Fusion Awards.

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

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Old Walls, ...New Website!

click image to enlarge
David & Kate Danby has been providing excellent holidays in their quality self catering properties for several years, and have now decided to bring their holiday collection 'under one roof' on a new website.
The new website has been given a light sea side breezy feel that gives visitors a great deal of local information from the best local beaches, to great days out, top children attractions and details of where to eat whether it is pubs or restaurants either in Milford village or further afield in the forest. It even allows visitors to check on the state of the tides!

This has been combined with a booking platform that enables clients to immediately look at the availability for their preferred dates, check prices and then book on-line.
The three New Forest Coastal properties are Mulberry Barn, which has the Visit England highest 5 Star Gold rating, Old Walls Apartment which is Visit England 4 Star, and Lime Grove Bungalow in Everton which is NFTA Quality Assessed.

To check out the website for yourself please visit:
New Forest Coastal Cottages
David & Kate Danby

Sun Shines on The Needles Trophy

click image to enlarge
Milford on Sea Bowls Club held their annual Needles Trophy Competition on Wednesday 24th July.
Blessed with great weather, 16 pairs battled it out in a "Round Robin" format leading to an exciting final between Janice & Rob Perkins and Carole Tearle & Tim Capron.

Janice & Rob were the eventual winners and were presented with the engraved glass Needles Trophy and original John Bird water colour paintings of the Needles as keepsakes.
This annual Competition is sponsored by local estate agents Murray & Hayward and the presentation was made by Martin Scott and Club President Ron West.
The Milford-on-Sea Bowls Club was founded in 1933 and "exists for the happiness of its members" and it is this ethic, which makes membership an enjoyable experience both for the playing of bowls and its social events.

If you fancy getting involved, playing bowls, enjoy a BBQ or like to sing out in a rousing chorus of 'Land & Hope & Glory' at a party night, the contact details are on the weblink below.
Milford on Sea Bowls Club

Murray & Hayward

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

No Smugglers Here

An interesting article appeared on the Daily Echo website this week.  The piece featured The Smugglers Inn in Milford on Sea High Street and was written by senior reporter Maxwell Kusi-Obodum.
Locals and visitors alike will know The Smugglers as a family friendly pub with a timber beamed interior, serving hearty gastro style pub food and a good selection of beers. It also has a large beer garden on to village Danestream with childrens play area. Dogs are welcome inside and out.
What people may not be aware of, is that inspite of the pubs name, it has no connection with smuggling. As Maxwell put it: "The name suggests an ancient hideout where shady characters sip their brews as the waves crash against the stormy shore. But one of the most intriguing secrets of the Smugglers Inn is that its fascinating history reveals nothing of the sort."
The Crown Inn
(Before being renamed The Smugglers)
click image to enlarge
Maxwell goes on to reveal that the original building served as a customs and excise office before being converted into a bar called The Crown Inn. It is also said that the original bar included a barbers. The change of name to The Smugglers Inn was only made around 30 years ago.
The Smugglers Inn is a Grade 2 Listed building, but interestingly its listing remains under the name 'Crown Inn, Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea'. Under its reference; 'English Heritage Building ID: 413237' the building is described as 'Late C18/early C19. Painted roughcast with tiled roof. 2 storeys, 5 windows including  centre blank, lst floor. Sashes with glazing bars. Centre door with flat hood on scroll brackets.'

This historic Coaching Inn is believed to have been built in 1803. Some say the exposed timbers forming the beamed ceilings inside, came from old barns, other say they are old ship timbers.

Milford on Sea also has two other former Coaching Inns, the White Horse, and The Red Lion where you can still see the original stable doors. Plus, of course The Gun Inn in Keyhaven is another pub with a fascinating history.

Today The Smugglers is managed by Susie & Guy Roche (who is also a chef and fisherman.)

The Smugglers Inn will host a Caribbean Barbecue and Party from 2pm on Saturday, 24th August, everyone is welcome!

Read Maxwell Kusi-Obodum’s full story by clicking here.
The Smugglers Inn
High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QE
Tel: 01590 644414


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Monty, Richard & Milford!

Almost six years to the day Milford on Sea lost a highly regarded resident and a person with a fascinating life history; Colonel Richard Carver OBE RE.
The below account of Richards life is a combination of research from The Times Obituaries, the Daily Mail, and online interviews with Tom Carver.

A full account of Richard’s life and war exploits are also available in a book called ‘Where the hell have you been?’, which is written by Richard’s son, Tom Carver, who is a writer and former BBC foreign correspondent. The book is published by Short Books.
Colonel Richard Carver OBE RE, also known as Dick Carver, was born on 26th May 1914. He lived in Milford on Sea for 28 years of his later life and died in the village on the 24th July 2007 at the age of 93. A Service of Thanksgiving was held for him at All Saints' Church on Friday 17th August 2007.
click image to enlarge
Richard was a stepson of Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. After reading engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he was influenced by Montgomery to apply for a commission in the Royal Engineers in 1936.

When Montgomery was appointed to command the 8th Army (Commonly known as The Desert Rats) in the Western Desert in 1942, Richard joined him as one of his forward liaison officers at HQ.

After the breakthrough of Rommel's WW2 positions was finally achieved at El Alamein in November 1942, Montgomery sent Major Richard Carver forward to reconnoitre a new location for his tactical HQ. On a desert track believed to be within the British forward area, he drove into a German patrol and was taken to Rommel's HQ. Although interrogated, his name prevented discovery of his relationship with Rommel's arch opponent.
As prisoner of war for 14 months he was sent to Italy, where he was moved from camp to camp until finally held at Fontanellato, near Parma.

When Italy surrendered in July 1943, after warning the prisoners that the Germans would arrive in a few hours to take over, the Italian commandant, Eugenio Vicedomini opened the gates and told them they were free to go. Many of the ex-PoWs decided to put distance between them and the camp, but Carver stayed nearby, reasoning that the Germans would concentrate their search further afield. He and some 600 others hid in an overgrown drainage ditch three kilometres away and, for two days and nights, listened to search parties driving by.
Once the search slackened, Richard Carver and several companions headed south to meet the 8th Army advancing up the Italian peninsula. They walked by night and hid in barns or woodland by day. The Italian farmers were usually glad to share with them what food they had and, on one occasion, he was given meat wrapped in a poster warning Italians that the penalty for harbouring PoWs was execution.
One morning,  near Gessopalena, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, a boy stumbled across the two men hiding in some bushes. Some Germans had stolen his pet pig and the boy planned to try to snatch it back, but the pig was forgotten when he saw Carver and his companion. For six weeks the boy's family, the de Gregorios, looked after the two ex-prisoners, Richard and South African infantry officer Jim Gill, by then they were malnourished and suffering from dysentery. If a German patrol approached, a neighbour across the valley would hang a sheet from the window and the pair would be hustled into a nearby cave.
In December 1943 the two crawled across the shattered tracks of a railway bridge over the River Sangro to reach the Allied lines near Paglieta in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Despite his withered leg, Carver had walked more than 500 miles. Montgomery was delighted to discover that his stepson was alive, having not seen him for more than a year. When reunited with his stepfather, with whom he had been serving as a liaison officer, the great man simply asked: "Where the hell have you been?".
After recuperating in the UK, Carver took part in the Normandy landings and was wounded in the leg during a mortar attack outside Caen, but recovered in time to take part in the advance across Germany and the liberation of several concentration camps, including Belsen. He posted up cuttings from British newspapers in German villages through which he passed showing pictures of these camps, but the locals dismissed them as propaganda. He was mentioned in dispatches for his wartime service. 
In 1958 he was awarded an OBE for work at the Ministry of Defence and promoted colonel to take command of the Christmas Island base where Britain's first H-bombs were being dropped, but with a nuclear testing moratorium approaching, tests were suspended after September. After leaving the Army in 1966, he taught mathematics at Marlborough and Radley for a while. When the MoD invited him to write Royal Engineer manuals, he accepted with delight and continued until his final retirement to Milford on Sea in 1979.
Italy Revisited
Fontanellato PoW Camp
 Today it is a rehabilitation centre
In September 2003 Richard Carver returned to the camp in which he had been held as a prisoner of war in Fontanellato, near Parma. The prison was a large brick building next to the Sanctuary of Beata Vergine del santo Rosario, originally intended as an orphanage, but it was never used as such. Today it is a medical rehabilitation centre.

 He was accompanied by a handful of other survivors to commemorate the 60th anniversary of their escape from the PoW camp. Fifty years after his escape, he received a video from the De Gregorio family which reenacted the incident over the pig, with the boy played by the original boy's son.
In July 2013 Tom Carver and his wife, Katty Kay Anchor for BBC World News America in Washington, made a trip to Italy to visit some of his father’s war-time history and to launch the Italian language version of his book: Where the hell have you been?
Below is Katty’s account of their trip as she posted on Twitter. 

 10:56 UK time, Monday, 8 July 2013: The Italian family who fed & hid my father in law risked being shot by the Germans but they never suggested turning Dick away. Huge courage

10:54 UK time, Monday, 8 July 2013: Final photo from our WW2 trip. Tom crouched in the same cave where his dad hid for 3 months. Cold and wet.

15:12 UK time, Sunday, 7 July 2013: Celebrating 'Montgomery Day' in Paglieta Italy and the Italian publication of 'Where the Hell have you Been'.

15:10 UK time, Sunday, 7 July 2013: Lunch in Paglieta where my husband's dad was reunited with his stepfather Monty after escaping POW camp.

17:22 UK time, Friday, 5 July 2013: The book tells of Dick Carver, hidden from the Germans by brave Italian peasants for 2 months in a cave at huge risk to themselves.

17:18 UK time, Friday, 5 July 2013: In Pescara Italy for the launch of my husband's book about his WW2 POW dad and Monty in Italian - v proud!
Montgomery Day | Paglieta

On Saturday the 6th July the town council of Paglieta, a small town near the Adriatic coast in central Italy, staged a Montgomery Day, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the "Battle of the Sangro."
Montgomery Day | Paglieta 2013
- Pic Katty Kay
The day included a gathering at the English cemetery Torino di Sangro, a visit to the Montgomery’s allied battle headquarters at Torre Paglieta, and the Svelatura Plaque (Memorial to the fallen) in Piazza Roma, Paglieta. Richard’s son, Tom Carver, was also in attendance and the day ended as he launched his book "Where the Hell Have You Been" in an Italian language version. (Published by Lanieri.)
Richard Carver Afternoon | Gessopalena
Tom Carver in Gessopalena Cave
-Pic Katty Kay

On Sunday 7th July 2013, the town of Gessopalena, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, dedicated an entire afternoon to Richard Carver.
This was to commemorate the refuge he took in a cave in Gessopalena in November 1943 whilst escaping a German PoW Camp. A visit to the ‘Cave of English’ took place, as did a visit to the ruins of the farm of the family de Gregorio, who saved the Richard’s life. This was followed by a brief religious ceremony at the cemetery at the tomb of de Gregorio.
Richard Carver Family History
Richard Oswald Hobart Carver came from a family of wealthy cotton-mill owners in Cheshire. His father, Oswald Armitage Carver, rowed for Great Britain in the 1908 Olympics in London, and was killed at Gallipoli during WW1 when Richard was a year old. His mother, Betty Carver, an accomplished artist, had a wide circle of aesthetic and literary friends, including Augustus John, A. P. Herbert and the Poet Laureate, John Masefield. In 1925 she took her two sons on a skiing holiday in Switzerland where she bumped into a British colonel on an ice rink. He was called Bernard Montgomery.
Despite their opposite temperaments, the couple fell in love and Montgomery's proposal of marriage was accepted in a squash court at Charterhouse where young Richard Carver was at school.

On June 25th 1927 the following announcement appeared in The Times: "Lieutenant-Colonel B.L. Montgomery and Mrs. Carver. The marriage arranged between Lieutenant-Colonel B.L. Montgomery, DSO, of the Staff College, Camberley, and Mrs. E.A. Carver of 2, Riverside, Chiswick Mall, London W4 will take place very quietly in London on July 27."

From school Richard went on to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read engineering before gaining a commission in the Royal Engineers in 1936. After being posted to the Madras Sappers & Miners in India, he contracted polio but escaped with only a slightly withered left leg. In 1937 his mother was stung by an insect on a Devon beach and died shortly afterwards from septicaemia, leaving Montgomery grief-stricken.
Richard married Julie O'Brien in 1947 but she died in childbirth the following year, leaving him with their only son. In 1950, he re-married to Audrey, a widow who had two children, a son and a daughter. Between them, a son and two daughters were born, and it is said they used to joke happily about their large family including Rex, Chris, Kate, Elizabeth, Alice and Tom as being 'his, hers and ours'! 
click image to enlarge
In 2009, Richard's son, Tom Carver, wrote a full account of his father's life in the book; 'Where the Hell Have You Been?’ 
After retirement in 1979, Richard lived in Milford on Sea for 28 years until he passed away in 2007, and he was recalled by those that knew him as a charming and endearing man. He was a long-time member of Milford Art Group and also a fundraiser for the United Nations Association, for whom he held an annual fair in his garden on a number of occasions.
About the Book: ‘Where the Hell Have You Been?’ 

Richard's son, Tom Carver, has written a book with the title reflecting Montgomery's humerous welcome.

The book documents Richard's extraordinary life and many amazing adventures. Sounds like it could be a good read, as it has great reviews and a five star rating on Amazon. View or buy book here.


Read Roger Moorhouse of History Today in conversation with Tom Carver on 9th October 2009: click here


Other Famous Milford on Sea Village Residents

Milford on Sea has connections with a number of famous faces past and present to find out more please click here.

We are interested to know anything you might know about Richard Carver, particulary his life in Milford on Sea?

If you can help please e-mail me at:

Friday, 19 July 2013

Music Festival with Tea!

The village Arts & Music Festival is fast approaching and the organising team are pleased to have had a good response from the local community in terms of volunteers.

They could still do with a few more pairs of friendly hands, particularly to help as stewards and on the Tea and Coffee Bar. It can be good fun and a chance to give some well appreciated help. 
The event is always well supported with visitors and if the weather holds this year it could be the best yet, so keeping everyone safe and refreshed is critical!
If you want to join in, even just for a few hours, please email Steve carter at: or phone/text:  07795 034434.

All of acts and events taking place from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th August 2013 can now be found at 

About the Milford on Sea Arts and Music Festival
The annual Arts and Music Festival has been running successfully for twelve years. It celebrates and promotes the high quality and sheer number of talented local people involved in music and the arts.
In fact the festival’s raison d’etre is to promote art and culture in the local area and to give an outlet for performers of all kinds to promote their art and to develop cultural understanding for all.
In 2012 a successful application was made to the Charities Commission and the festival is now a registered charity (no. 1148001).
Their Charitable objectives are as follows:
  • To advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in, and appreciation of, the arts, music and culture in all aspects and by any means the trustees see fit, including through the presentation of public concerts and recitals
  • To further such charitable purpose or purposes as the trustees in their absolute discretion shall think fit but in particular through the making of grants and donations.
The festival has always been free to attend and its continued success depends upon the support of generous sponsors, advertisers, Friends of the Festival, villagers and visitors.
If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, to become a 'Friend', or give a donation, please contact:

Milford on Sea Arts and Music Festival - Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th August 2013

The Big Village Sing

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Junior Tennis Fever

Milford Tennis & Squash Club are hosting the 75th LTA Junior Open Tennis Tournament.
Happening hot on the heels of Andy Murray's glorious Wimbledon success, a high quality and motivated competition is expected.
The event is Grade 4 Ranking & Rating and takes place from Monday 12th August until  Saturday 17th August 2013.


Throughout the week there are competitions for boys and girls in all age groups, and the club are hoping that lots of local players will apply.
Spectators are very welcome to go along. The club bar will be open, with drinks, snacks and lunches available daily at very reasonable prices throughout the tournament.
To make an online entry and payment please go to using code HAM13S622. 
For further information please telephone Geoff Burch on 07813 016767 or email:

Milford Tennis & Squash Club

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Marjories Greengrocers is back!

After the retirement of Sandra from Marjorie's Greengrocers we would have all been forgiven in thinking it was an end of an era, and that the village had lost its independent fruit and veg shop forever.

To the surprise of many, the shop in Church Hill, Milford on Sea is not to just to reopen, but to reopen as a greengrocers, selling fruit & veg as well as flowers. As the new shop's leaflet says; 'The best is fresh'.

The new owner is Jane Fielding, and she plans to keep continuity with the past by trading under the original name of Marjorie's Greengrocers. Jane is not new to retail floristry and fruit & veg as she has a depth of experience in the trade. Her parents have also run a number of similar shops across the New Forest for many years. Jane will also be supported by her husband, sisters, and she hopes in time some local faces.

Jane is hoping to open this Saturday should all plans go well. We think it is great to see a new venture in the village and hope that they get the support they deserve.

Having chatted to Jane, she is very friendly, so why not pop in and give her a warm welcome to Milford on Sea, I am sure she would love to see you.

Monday, 15 July 2013

40 B4 40-The End of the Quest, or is it?

Anyone that has been following our quest to achieve our '40 B4 40 Dining Challenge' (To dine in 40 restaurants before my wife is 40!), will have spotted that our visit to Rules was: ‘No.38’, and my wife is now 40 - so, technically we have not done the 40, or have we?

The whole thing was, like most thing we do, on a whim and we have been very fortunate to have had lots of fun dining in some great places.

Somehow my wife has kept herself in fine shape and did not reach anywhere near the 14 stone predicted. I however did not fare so well, and there are a fair few extra pounds knocking around.

During the past year we have also re-visited favourite venues for excellent meals, such as Verveine, La Perle, The Marine, The Raft, The Jetty etc., plus pub meals and a couple of restaurants that we did not included. Add to that the curry house visits and Chinese takeaways and we have not gone hungry.

So...., on that basis we could amend original rules which did not allow repeat visits, and we would have smashed it!, or we could gracefully accept a defeat. Either way it does not matter, we had a great time.

Life without a challenge can become boring, and we cannot have that. So, a new challenge is on its way, my money is on it not being too energetic, and being based around food!

40 B4 40 Restaurants Visited:

No.38 | Rules: London WC2
No.37 | Quilon: London SW1
No.36 | L'Autre Pied: London W1
No.35 | Café Shore: Poole, Dorset
No.34 | P&O Ventura East: (Atul Kochhar)
No.33 | The Mill at Gordleton: Lymington
No.32 | Bluebird: Lymington
No.31 | Hibiscus: London
No.30 | The Filly Inn: Brockenhurst
No.29 | L'Escargot: London W1
No.28 | RAC Club: Pall Mall, London
No.27 | Gilberts Restaurant: Harrow, Middlesex
No.26 | Matahari: Guildford
No.25 | Roux at Parliament Square: London, SW1
No.24 | The Marine: Milford on Sea
No.23 | The Carlton Club: London, SW1
No.22 | The Tamarind Tree: Wokingham, Berkshire
No.21 | Lowlander: London, WC2
No.20 | The Beach House: Milford on Sea
No.19 | Egan's: Lymington
No.18 | Vesuvio Italian Restaurant: Bournemouth
No.17 | The Hand and Flowers: Marlow, Buckinghamshire
No.16 | Cantina Laredo: London, WC2
No.15 | Terrace Restaurant (The Montagu Arms Hotel): Beaulieu
No.14 | La Torre, Castello Del Nero: Tuscany, Italy
No.13 | Bel and The Dragon: Godalming
No.12A | Gaucho Charlotte: London W1
No.12 | La Perle: Milford on Sea
No.11 | The Jetty: Christchurch, Dorset
No.10 | Pebble Beach: Barton-on-Sea
No.9 | Verveine: Milford on Sea
No.8 | The Snakecatcher: Brockenhurst
No.7 | The Raft: Milford on Sea
No.6 | Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel): New Milton
No.5 | The Marine: Milford on Sea
No.4 | The Old Vicarage: Hinton, Dorset
No.3 | Jamie’s Italian: Guildford
No.2 | The Savoy Grill: London, WC2
No.1 | The Drummond: Guildford

If for any weird reason you would like to read the reviews on any of the above restaurants, you can search this site by the restaurant name, or find them by clicking here and then scrolling to the restaurant review.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Cream Tea with the RNLI

The energetic team of volunteers in Milford on Sea Branch of the RNLI have had a busy few weeks of fund-raising.
On 20th June, Shorefields Country Park invited Milford RNLI to have a presence at one of their regular New Forest Big Band Nights. Members and holidaymakers danced to the big band shounds and a generous raffle raised £289. (NB: The Big Band Nights at Shorefields are on most Thursdays, and open to anyone in the village should you fancy going along.)
The next event, on 9th July, saw a glorious Tuesday afternoon when Keyhaven Yacht Club had generously opened its clubhouse for the village RNLI team to host a Cream Tea.  (Thanks go to the generosity of Jennings in Lymington who supplied the scones.) Whilst enjoying the great English custom, guests were also able to relax and watch the harbour life and sailors in the fine sunshine.

I am pleased to say I had got tickets, and in an excellent strategic move I had got my wife to come along. We had a prime position on an outside bench, observing all of the harbour activity, plus the car that had blocked the opening for sailors to return their dinghies to the dinghy park. After around 15 minutes or so, two embarrassed walkers returned and drove away quite sheepishly.

My plan then fell perfectly into shape, - when my wife as unable eat her second scone. Three scones, a mound of jam & cream, and three cups of tea later, my face had a simple smile and I was extolling the virtues of being British!

In total £138 of souvenirs were sold and together with £438 from the afternoon tea ticket sales, another healthy fundraising donation was sent to support the RNLI at Poole HQ by the Milford on Sea team.
Tel: 01590 648304 or 01590 648356

RNLI Lifeboats 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sue Leaving the Counter

News has reached us the Sue is to be retiring from running the Post Office in the High Street, Milford on Sea during August.
Not just a Post Office, Sue has added plenty of useful product lines, including; books, cards and of course the wool for local knitters.
Many of us will have been to use the very useful village postal services, and numerous customers will have found her very willing and more than helpful. Personally, I have always enjoyed Sue's slightly wicked sense of humour and I am sure she has been a friendly face to many in the village over the years.
At present we do not know the future plans for the Post Office.
We understand that Sue will be relocating to the Salisbury area, and closer to her daughter.
We wish her well in her retirement.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Kate Danby Wins Heppenstall Prize

Local painter Kate Danby has recently won the Heppenstall prize at the annual Lymington Palette Club Exhibition.
The Exhibition took place at the Masonic Hall on Lymington High street until Sunday July 7th.
Her painting ‘Hartland Point’ was unanimously selected by the three judges who remarked on the strong composition and successful use of deep colour in the work.
Kate will also be exhibiting her work, along side Tony Clegg, Tessa Van Hasselt and Shaun Stevens during Hampshire Open Studios from August 10th to August 26th at The Sea Scout Hut in Keyhaven.
Indeed a number of village artists have exhibitions running at the same time.
Why not pop along to take a look at athe artist skills we have in the village.
You can find what is happening, where, and when at:

40 B4 40-Rules

No.38-Rules (Covent Garden, London)
As part of my wife’s 40th birthday celebrations, which seem to lasting around a month, we decided to return to one of my favourite London restaurants (I have quite a few!) for a meal before watching Joe Pasquale in Spamalot.
The Big 40 Day was last week, and thankfully a great success, she had loads of presents, bouquets of flowers and I even remembered a card. (Thanks for the reminder Liz). The whole thing was capped with taking over a pub with a mass of friends.
Now being in around the tenth day of celebrations, it is proving tough to stay so nice for so long.
Before leaving for London, my wife took delivery of new washing machine. Our previous machine had died a week before, so with much gusto and excitement she was loading her new best friend to the gunnels. As we boarded the train she was still smiling a the freshness of her latest wash.
This was my wife’s first visit to Rules, which was established in 1798 making it the oldest restaurant in London. It serves traditional British food, specialising in classic game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings. Right up my street!
After a tasty starter of Lobster Bisque, our main course arrived; a Steak & Kidney Suet Pudding, and a massive Fish Pie. Tradition, flavour and heartiness all on a plate. Who said the English could not cook delicious dishes before curry!
The ambiance was friendly, yet has a special feel about it. From the top hatted and tailed greeting by the doorman, through to the red plush furnishing, burnished wood, crisp white table linen and walls full of historic memorabilia & paintings.
As we chatted, including a few conversations about the benefits of a fantastic new washing machine, we were never out of the attention of the serving team, who wore black tie and jackets with a white apron underneath. The service was a sharp as their dress.
Choosing a pudding was tough, really tough. Selecting a favourite between; Lemon Meringue Pie, Pavlova with Raspberries, Sticky Toffee Pudding with caramelised walnuts, Black Forest Gateau with morello cherries, Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding with custard or Blancmange with a strawberry soup & summer berries, was never going to be easy.
Ultimately, my favourite from childhood won through, and I was soon in ecstasy eating my Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding with custard. My wife even nicked a valuable mouthful as she wondered if her final spin had finished at home.
We discovered that during the second world war, Rules stayed open from 1pm to 3pm and offered the compulsory rationed meals at five shillings but could offer copious rabbits, grouse and pheasants which were not rationed. The restaurant could never open on Sundays because it was on Church grounds and could not get a licence.

The restaurant employs 90 staff, and has had many distinguished customers, one of which was Graham Greene, who chose to spend all his birthdays in the quintessentially British surroundings of Rules. There was also a private first floor dining room (now the cocktail bar), where King Edward VII was said to have entertained his lover, Lillie Langtry.

Next year we may return to Rules, but most importantly I will save a fortune on a present, by buying the latest iron on the market – she will love it!

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB

40 B4 40: Quilon

No.37 | Quilon: London , SW1

Even though this was a business lunch a couple of weeks ago, it deserves a mention based on the fact that it is an awesome place to eat.

My dining buddy Alistair was in tow as we entertained two clients. (Their names will remain anonymous to protect the innocent.)

 Quilon is a Michelin Star Indian restaurant, specialising in South East Indian inspired food. Housed in a gracious mansion house a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, it is both elegant and contemporary. Whilst we did not see any members of the Royal Family, we would not have been surprised to see the odd crown here or there.
The menu was familiar and unusual at the same time, and we were soon to discover that the familiar was not to be as expected.
Most of us enjoy a good curry, and quite rightly so, Quilon takes Indian dining to a completely different level.

Even the chutney's that accompanied the complimentary Mini-Popadums were totally unexpected new flavours. 
I am pleased to report that we each shared our courses, so we got plenty to taste and savour. Our 'mini-feast' included Pepper Shrimps in a Fiery Masala, Prawn Masala, Coconut Cream Chicken, Malabar Lamb Biryani, Quilon Halibut Fish Curry, Manglorean Chicken, Lemon Rice and Malabar Paratha.
Everything was excellent, but for me, the stand out dish had to be the Halibut Fish Curry, something I had wanted to try for ages.
For sweet we had a type of traditional Indian Pancake Chocolate Layer Cake and some fabulous Baked Yogurts in caramelised orange, mango and lychees flavours, plus of course a few bottles of wine along the way.
Indulging in the Indian experience we had gone for a bottle of Indian White Wine and Indian Red wine before reverting to more familiar wine countries.
We discovered that Quilon has implemented a Division Bell as requested by the House of Commons & the House of Lords. When a Division is imminent, Members are alerted by a division bell that rings throughout Parliamentary buildings & Quilon, summoning Members of Parliament to the Division Lobbies

When presenting our bill the waiter asked if all was OK. We of course said how we had loved it, and just in passing mentioned that the Indian Red Wine was fine, but the Indian White wine was not to our taste.
When the bill arrived, the white wine had not been charged, and no matter how much we protested that we had drunk it and expected to pay, they insisted if we hadn't enjoyed it then they would not charge us. Now, that is quite a special service.
You would expect the meal just described to be expensive, but the 3 Course Set Lunch was £24 including coffee, plus service, and this feels good value for such a quality dining experience. The drinks bill was a bit more!

Next door is Zander Bar, the longest bar in London. This of course had to be tried, as were a few more pubs on the way back to Waterloo.  We really should just stop after our meal!

41 Buckingham Gate, London SW1 6AF

Zander Bar

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Mole Men Close Road

We have received an e-mail claiming to be from Scott Glover, Assistant Highway Engineer for Hampshire Council. I actually suspect it is from our old friend the Master of the Mole Men.
Scott/Mole Master said: As part of the programme of works being undertaken by Operation Resilience we will be undertaking carriageway resurfacing in B3058 Lymington Road from A337 junction to Barnes Lane. The works are programmed to start on Thursday 11 July 2013 and are expected to last for 13 nights. In order to undertake the works safely it will be necessary to close the road from approximately 19:00 to 07:00hrs. The road will be open to through traffic during the day and weekends.

The signed, approved diversion is along the B3058 Cliff Road and A337 Lymington/Christchurch Road. There will however be approximately 3/4 nights when the A337 junction with B3058 will be closed. The diversion will then be signed along A337, B3058, A35, A326 and B3054. Site operatives will be located at closure points to advise public of extents of access during the works.

Information signs advising road users of the works will be erected before the start of works. A letter will be sent to local residents and an email will be sent to New Forest District Council to advise them accordingly.

Should you have any questions or require further information please contact the Operation Resilience team on 0845 603 5633 or email

At first glance this appears an official document, however, I think we all know the nighttime road closure is for a totally different purpose.

Over the past years we have reported how excavations have taken place in local roads around Milford on Sea claiming to be gas, electric, telephone, fibre optic and drainage works etc. The reality of course, is that the 'works' are actually being done by the 'Mole Men' who have been stealthily building a subterranean town below our village.

If you are sceptical, try to recall how often you see men working at the sites. Hardly ever I suspect, and when you do, they are always from a distance, and you cannot spot that they are lifelike inflatable models.

The true short-sighted furry workers of course operate under the darkness of  night, and burrow below our houses preparing more living spaces for their community.

We have heard a rumour that the latest batch of Mole Men may actually be French (Le Mole Men), but we are unable to confirm this at this stage.

The latest 'Roadworks' (Yeah, right!) involves a road closure at night, this is so that their large pieces of furniture can be moved in without being observed.

Should you encounter a Mole Man in Hollands or a village pub, we know they do not bite, so have a chat and post a comment below to let us know what they have said.

Should you encounter a French Mole Man, do not fear, the language barrier can be overcome, as I am of course here to translate, or you can pop in to grab Lionel, our resident French chef at La Perle.  
If you enter: 'Mole Men', into the ‘Search Box’ above, you will discover all of our previous stories on the adventures of Mole Men”!

Christine Goes Alone

Christine Mulgrew, founder of Total Voice Choir, is stepping forward to the microphone in ‘An Evening with Christine Mulgrew & Friends’.
Normally Christine is coordinating other singers, and helping them to improve and enjoy singing. This time, it is her voice that will be centre stage.
During the show, she will be joined by Peter Hill, Victoria Hopkins, Eddie Peacock, Kirsty Purves & Brian Towlson. Also, on the evening there will be a bar, cabaret tables and space for those keen enough to dance!
Christine has done a great job in getting so many people in the village to join Total Voice, and now she is looking forward to singing herself. Her set will include a broad variety of her favourite songs with an all singing all dancing live band. Christine said; “Singing with me will be my Total Voice business partner Victoria Hopkins and awesome local singer Peter Hill. I can't wait!"

An Evening with Christine Mulgrew & Friends | Sponsored by The Cave
Saturday 27th July at MoS Community Centre

Tickets £9.50 from: Box Office or


About Christine & Total Voice Choir

Christine had have many years of singing and performing experience and was studying for a degree in music performance and technology when she had an idea for a community choir.
A short while later she decided to see if her home village of Milford on Sea had an appetite for a choir that would learn and perform rock and pop songs, and would be open to all.
The first rehearsal took place the Milford on Sea Guide Hut in January 2010. The weather was absolutely dreadful, with thick ice on all the roads. Only seven people made it to the venue that night, but the following week, after a thaw, the numbers began to climb. Nowadays, the hut is packed every week with up to sixty singers. The choir has performed at all sorts of local events and festivals and has gained a reputation for its well-known tunes, relaxed style and boundless enthusiasm.
Victoria Hopkins was one of the seven who battled through the snow and ice (all of two hundred yards from her home) to be at the first rehearsal. An experienced classical choral singer and soloist, Victoria enjoyed singing a completely different style of music. When Christine needed a break after her son was born, Victoria stepped into the fray and led the choir.
Following her return to work, Christine began working with Victoria on new arrangements and projects. The two decided to go into business together and expand Total Voice into a company offering a range of workshops and events for singers and public speakers in addition to the Total Voice Contemporary and Chamber Choirs.
Many of you will have heard our very own village community choir, Total Voice, performing in an around Milford over the last few years, and it is clear that Christine and Victoria are passionate about spreading the joys and benefits of singing for everyone.

Please visit the Total Voice website at for more information.


New Campsite on the way

Local residents around Shorefield Way have received a letter from The Camping & Caravanning Club inviting their views regarding an application to set up a small campsite on a property in the road.

The new Milford on Sea site would be for the exclusive use of members of The Camping & Caravanning Club, who are bound by the club's Code of Conduct. The club would carry our regular inspections to ensure standards are continually maintained.
A maximum of 5 caravan or motor homes would be allowed at any one time. To receive a certificate certain criteria regarding space and amenities must be met.

It is understood that the site does not actually need formal planning permission, however the Parish Council are discussing the application at their meeting in the Village Hall at 6.30pm on Monday 15th July 2013.
As with any change, there are likely to be two opposing views. Some may be concerned about the additional local traffic in the approaching roads, potential expansion or noise. Others may see it as a fair opportunity for the owners to enhance their income, and also a source of valuable additional income for the shops and eateries in the village.
Me? Well I cannot understand why anyone would want to sleep outside on the floor or in a mobile tin can. As so many people do it I must be missing something, so I suppose it must be a bit like an outdoor B&B, but you bring your own bedroom and breakfast.
Personally, I am more a bar, restaurant and comfortable bed sort of guy.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Milford's Missing Geocach

We received an e-mail the other day from Teresa, a new resident to Milford after holidaying here for many years. She was enquiring about a 'missing Geocach'.
As you may expect, I had no idea what it was, let alone why it may be missing.
A bit of research was required, and I soon discovered that Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt, where players try to locate hidden containers, (called geocaches), using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.

This weekend Teresa had some friends visit them and they went hunting for Geocaches in Milford on Sea. Apparently, there are quite a number of hidden Geocach containers in and around Milford on Sea, Hurst Spit and Keyhaven.
Teresa's party discovered the first Geocach they were searching for in the village, however they were unable to find another one, which was supposed to be near the churchyard on Church Hill. When searching for a Geocach there should be have been an item near the church which has a group of clues to help find it.

So, we have a mystery for anyone who understands this high-tec game. Does anyone know about the whereabouta of the All Saints' Church Geocach?
Teresa suggested our dogs may be able to help, but the thought of them digging in the churchyard is not perhaps one people would appreciate.
If you have any information please post your thoughts below.
Should you wish to find out more about Geocaching in Milford on Sea , please click here

Max in The New Forest

A new book has just been printed and published about "Max" and the New Forest.
The board book is a touchy-feely story aimed at pre-school children about the New Forest. Max's adventure takes him on a learning journey through the Forest, touching on the subjects of seasons and what animals he can find in the Forest.
The illustrations are hand drawn and painted and the touchy-feely elements include a sticky mud effect. The author and illustrator are both Brockenhurst residents and came up with the idea because they felt there was a lack of children’s books aimed at the preschool age, about the New Forest.
More information and contact details can be found on the website: and they are happy to answer any questions or queries you have.