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Thursday, 27 February 2014

James Martin gets Naked!

Local artisan jam maker, Jen Williams of award wining Naked Jam, appeared on the James Martin Home Comforts BBC TV programme on Wednesday 26th February 2014.

Jen featured an episode called 'Jam meets pastry' in which she is shown foraging for her fruity ingredients, making jam in her kitchen, and then alongside James Martin cooking up a scrumptious strawberry frangipane tart with vanilla pod custard. A natural new TV cooking star is born!

You can also meet Jen during Milford on Sea Food Week, where she will be doing a free demonstration called 'Learn about making Naked Jam'. Jen prides herself on making jams and conserves that bring together a true understanding of flavour and quality.

The free Naked Jam demonstration is on Saturday 12th April at 3pm to 3.30pm in the Cookery Theatre at the Community Centre. Her range of jams and preserves will also be on sale throughout the day. As a Food Week Free Event, just come along!

In 2013 Jen won 3 Brilliance in Business Awards for her jams and conserves, and the jars grace the tables of excellent hotels such as The Pig, Chewton Glen and Terra Vina.

Watch Jen on James Martin Home Comforts: click here (Jen is on about halfway through the programme.)

Naked Jam

Milford on Sea Food Week

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Big Hand for the Council

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After the destruction of the Valentine's Night Storm the New Forest District Council were quick on the scene.

During the storm, the emergency services did a great job in rescuing the stranded diners from The Marine on Milford on Sea seafront, they also ensured no one could get close to the danger areas, as the sea wreaked havoc in destroying beach huts, cars and seafront shelter.

The next morning the council teams and army set about an immediate clean up, at the same time the village was inundated with crowds of people coming to see the carnage. At times the village centre was close to gridlock and the seafront awash with cars unable to pass due to parked vehicles. Hopefully, all these people spent some money in the local shops, and will be back for Food Week!

The drama at The Marine was not only the main story on national TV news, but also made the TV news in France and as far afield as Australia.

A big thank you goes to New Forest District Council, Army, Coastguard, and every one else who has helped. I am sure all Milford on Sea residents are grateful for the help our village has received.

Mr Pink's Help Out

A little story has reached us on the grapevine. Having finished service and cleaned everything down for the day, some peckish emergency service workers arrived after closing time at Mr Pink's Fish & Chip Shop in Church Hill, Milford on Sea. To ensure they did not go hungry, Steve fired up the frier's and provided some of his very tasty wares. Nice one Steve!

The Brownies Pitch In

To help up with the clear up, the Milford Brownies served refreshments, including home-made cake, to the NFDC workers who were doing a great job cleaning up the seafront on the Sunday following the big storm.

To read the full story of the Valentine's Night Storm please click here.

FREE Food Week Programmes Here

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Milford on Sea village shops, and various central locations across the village and New Forest, now have Free copies of the Milford on Sea Food Week programme for April 2014.

If you haven't yet seen a copy, don't worry, a free programme is coming with every copy of the New Forest Post newspaper this weekend. The 50,000 programmes printed are going to every house in Milford on Sea and to many homes across the New Forest.

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

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

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

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

Volunteers Pull Together

Voluntary groups in Milford have come together to support a drive for new volunteers and to thank those already volunteering. They are using a 'Volunteer Job Description' so that you can have a look at all the opportunities available for volunteering in the village and the surrounding area. 

There is a display in Ellis' shop window in Milford on Sea High Street showing some of the groups which are taking part.

Many of the groups will be represented at the Open Day to be held at All Saints Church on Saturday 1st March from 2pm to 4pm, as well as at the Newcomers' Supper.

The efforts are being coordinated by the Community Advisory Panel, a collaborative group made up of representatives of various voluntary organisations in the Milford area who offer services, support or activities for young people, older people, and people with disabilities. 

If you are interested in joining or finding out more please contact: Jenny Whitley on - 01590 644039

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Landlord to the rescue

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Today's Daily Echo carries a story about our local landlord, Benjamin Renouf at The White Horse Milford on Sea, who was one of the first people to arrive to help the stricken dinners trapped in The Marine after the Valentine's Night storm and floods.

Benjamin is a member of the volunteer coastguard, and immediately after getting the call, left his pub to become part of the rescue team.

To read the full Daily Echo story - click here

A Window with an Old View

When you next visit the village, one thing you will not miss is Holland's of Milford's new window!

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The new design is eye catching, but more than that, it is quite fascinating. One window shows a giant aerial photograph of Milford on Sea. (Taken by Everton based Sales & Marketing Agency, Strawberry Marketing

Another two windows show old photos of the village from year's gone by, which will no doubt cause a lot of interest for many passers by.

Paul & Maureen Holland opened their independent village supermarket in 2000, and it is quite clear from their new window design that they are in love with the village and serving the people in it!

Pop down, take a look - and do some local shopping at the same time! 

More About Holland's of Milford

Holland's of Milford now stocks over 2500 Products, including all of the big brands you would expect to see elsewhere, and indeed everything you may need for your daily meals, naughty treats, kitchen cupboard stocks, household daily use and celebration times.

They also love to support local suppliers and stock a tasty range of local New Forest Marque produce. Another delight is the cheese counter & cold meat delicatessen, which is hard to beat for miles around. You can even get your lottery tickets, although winners can’t be guaranteed!

It is likely that you have shopped there many times, and like me, have been amazed how much can fit into such a small space! I wonder however if you realise all that they do? 

Holland's of Milford certainly do their bit for the community, they constantly support village events and are always willing to help out wherever they can. Their Opening hours of Monday to Saturday: 7am until 8pm and Sunday: 8am until 7pm ensure they are open when you need them, and they offer so much more than your daily groceries.

All at Holland's of Milford pride themselves on the wide range of products and local services that they offer, all with competitive prices to make you smile. Paul & Maureen, with son, Rob and the team delight in serving our local village, happy holidaymakers and day trippers, and are always looking to offer a little bit more... 

The shop also offers a full Takeaway Service, with filled rolls & sandwiches made to order using you own choice of fillings from the wide range of options on the yummy deli-counter. The fresh bake ovens are constantly on the go, producing hot sausage rolls, pasties, fresh breads, croissants and other tasty hot delights. If you fancy a drink, there are hot takeaway teas and coffee, as well as cold drinks from the chiller cabinets. If you would like to order your filled rolls, sandwiches, hot snacks or picnic ready for your collection, please call the Takeaway Hotline on: 01590 641882.

Holland's also stock a wide selection of wines and beers along with some great offers, and they also have a glass loan service for your function or party. In fact, if you want something very different for your party, how about a Cheese Tower created with the stores delicatessen cheeses and made by Mandy at Elmsleigh Cakes.

Paul’s van is a regular sight around the village as he makes his home deliveries, and yet another way Hollands serves our local village. The Home Delivery Service provides a convenient and friendly way of doing your shopping. Anyone can use the service, you can simply place your order by telephone for later collection, or for Paul to deliver by calling: 01590 641882. Now of course, you can also see all of the current special offers on the website to aid your shopping selections. Alternatively just pop in and select your own shopping and have it delivered. Delivery is free for all orders over £50.

Holland's of Milford are also part of the 'Making A Difference Locally' Charity. This is a national charity which was launched to help independently-run local stores to add value in their communities through donations to local charities or good causes - such as local football teams, hospices or one of a thousand charities that run throughout the UK. The scheme is truly local as money is raised over time through the sale of specific products in our shop. We then choose the beneficiary for the money and a donation is paid to the charity or cause by the Making A Difference Locally Charity. To date Holland's have made donations of £1500, and they have £650 in the pot for our next donations.

If you are not familiar with the shop, you will find Holland's of Milford right in the centre of Milford on Sea High Street, next to the village green. The High Street has free parking, and there are also a pay & display car park in Sea Road, opposite the store. 

A unique village shop offering so much deserves our support, and I for one will try and buy more locally rather than using the large supermarkets so much. Why not join me, although best to come in when I am not there, I am pretty difficult to pass in the aisles!

Take a look at Holland's website now:

Hollands of Milford
49 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Help Out at Food Week

Food Week is fast approaching and we need a few more volunteers please. It is fun being involved, so please get in touch.

Tea Stall at Food Market: Sunday 13th April 2014
If you can pour tea and serve cake you will be perfect! (If you can only do a shift for a couple of hours or so, that's fine.)
Please contact: Nicola Goode: or 07796 171008

Food Week Information Centre
We are after some friendly faces to point visitors in the right direction. Everything is very informal and it is a great chance to have a chat and help people to enjoy Food Week. No special knowledge necessary, we will explain all. We still need people as extra cover for any of the days during Food Week, and if you can be flexible that would be great. (12th to 15th April 2014)
Please contact: Amanda Tanner: or 01590 645119

If you can't help with these ones, we will still be asking for more help later, so please let us know if you want to be a volunteer and are not on our current team list. 

We hope you will join the team!

Milford on Sea Food Week

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Valentine's Nightmare Storm

Valentine's Day Smashacre
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It is not often that Milford on Sea makes the local news, yet alone the national news. However on Valentine's Night, The Marine in Milford on Sea was the main national story on BBC, ITV & Sky News.

After a month and more of what are probably the worst persistent storms the South of the UK has seen, vast areas of the country are covered by floods and high winds are causing indiscriminate damage.

A Valentine's Night storm then devastated The Marine Restaurant & Café/Bar as diners were enjoying a romantic night of celebration.

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The violent storm lashed The Marine, and the diners were evacuated to the upstairs rear of the building as the stones from the beach created havoc in smashing windows, and at the same time a tidal surge flooded the ground floor. The cars in the car park were floating away and most of the car windows were shattered as if hit by sniper bullets.

The Army, Fire Service and Lymington Coastguard were called to rescue and evacuate the 32 people trapped in the beachfront restaurant. Even the army trucks did not escape unscathed with a windscreen smashed, bodywork dented and tarpaulin covers ripped by the flying shingle and large stones.

Meanwhile the concrete beach huts near The Needles Eye Cafe were being smashed by the fierce waves, and the incredible force raised a number to the ground, with massive lumps of concrete been sent tens of yards in the air and strewn across the seafront green.

Pictures by Valerie Dudley
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Hurst Spit did not escape the devastation. During the night the massive structure was wrecked and thousands of tons of shingle must have been moved by the high winds.

The next morning revealed that the popular walk was no longer possible, as the large flat top of Hurst Spit had been reduced to a few peaks. At certain points the entire sea defence had been breeched, and the sea was flowing directly into the previously sheltered marshes.

Hampshire Police has issued bomb warnings after eight unexploded shells washed up at Hurst Spit.
Pictures by Jeff Dudley
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Yachtsmen were also urged to stay vigilant after February's extreme weather left behind a host of new hazards to navigation around the spit. The combination of high winds and spring tides led to massive wave heights and at the same time the frequency between the waves were shortened to create the worst all of all sea conditions.

Residents of Milford on Sea know all about storms and high winds, but nothing has ever been seen as devastating as the 14th February 2014 storm before.

Not sure the sign was meant for that gap!
Picture by Nigel Swann
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The Marine Restaurant and Café Bar was built and is owned by Richard Thompson. The stylish art deco style building is a landmark on seafront in Milford on Sea, and it could boast some of best panoramic views you could find anywhere.

The Marine has built a reputation of great food whether you require a snack, light meal, or a more formal dining experience in the first floor restaurant. Hopefully, it will not be too long before it is again delighting diners from near and far.
Picture by Colin Holdsworth
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To see videos and read various stories on the Milford on Sea storms, please see below:

BBC News 1: click here.

BBC News 2: click here.

Sky News: click here.

Sky News: Day 2 click here

Metro: click here.

Destroyed Beach Huts: Video by Ben Mccallum click here

The Day After: Video by Thomas Bird click here

Mystery Danger for Dogs

Since December 2012 there have been five dogs walked in the New Forest (Brockenhurst, Wilverley inclosure, Tiptoe, Holmesley campsite and Gordleton) confirmed to have been affected by a renal failure. One dog survived but unfortunately four dogs did not.

Veterinary Surgeons, Anderson Moores are heading research into the total of 19 dogs affected by CRGV since late 2012 to nineteen (12 from the New Forest and 7 from other counties in the UK). 

This is naturally of great concern to local and visiting dog owners wishing to enjoy walking their dogs in the beauty of the forest.

The New Forest Dog Owners Group, worried about the mystery dog deaths from kidney failure, has decided to set up a fund and collect donations to help facilitate further investigations into this disease.

To find out more please take a look at the Anderson Moores web link below. To donate, or to find out more about how the New Forest Dog Owners Group is helping, please click here.

New Forest Dog Owners Group

Anderson Moores

Light Up the Village

In The Big Brownie Birthday Challenge our local Guides & Brownies are hoping to light up as many windows in Milford on Sea on as they can on Saturday 22nd February.

Back in the 1950’s every Girlguiding member would place a light in their window on the evening of World Thinking Day as they remembered their sisters around the world.

Our local girls are hoping that anyone who has been, or is a Brownies or Girl Guide, will place a light or display in their home window to light up the village. 

Will you be twinkling on Saturday 22nd February?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Ramblings from Deauville | Part 2

Things had been going well, plenty of local fare, three books read, another on the go, and happy dogs striding across the massive sandy beach.

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Preparing for one walk, Skye was excitedly bounding around with her extending lead in my hand. As she did a circuit of the coffee table, the rather nice glass vase in the centre was yanked defencelessly onto the tiled floor. It didn't bounce very well.

Our unscheduled shopping trip confirmed that France is expensive and as Deauville's shops include brands such as Chanel (Coco opened her first shop here), Lancel, Ralph Lauren & Louis Vuitton it demonstrates that this resort can take prices to another ridiculous level!

Disappointingly for me, we found a similar glass vase in the town. Having completed her role in 'product sourcing', my wife handed the 'le purchasing negotiations' over to me. 

The negotiations may have been somewhat easier had the guy spoken proper French. For some reason he was failing to understand my perfect dialect, together with numerous facial expressions and some rather exaggerated Gallic hand gestures. My new friend in the shop looked rather blank and a little nervous, as I added the classic technique of holding up various numbers of fingers from a closed fist to represent Euros. 

My final attempt at communication involved a slight of hand, as I seamlessly removed my beret from my pocket and placed it on 'ma tete', then I slowly unzipped my coat to reveal my blue & white hooped t-shirt, and nonchalantly leaned on the counter. From the corner of my eye I could see the admiring glances coming for my wife's gaze, but although my new friend looked impressed, he remained non-moved.

As I stared defeat square in the eye, I handed over the 50 Euro. My new friend smiled, more in relief than pleasure, and hurriedly did the wrapping and escorted us from the premises.

We relieved our trauma with a trip to the supermarket, a ham baguette, a couple of glasses of vin rouge, followed by a lay down on the sofa half looking at the Kindle and at the gentle waves against the sand.

Tuesday bought a trip to the vets. Thankfully my wife's coat is only listless due to an excessive consumption of fromage. While there, we booked the dogs in for their 'back to Britain' jabs in just under two week's time.

On the way back we stopped at the fish market for Normandy Sole for dinner and fresh Prawns for lunch. The compulsary baguette was of course also purchased. Why is it that prawns are so delicious, yet so often disappointing and more a watery mush. Not this time though, the flavour was perfect ...and I did not even complain about eating salad with it.

Discovered today that my friends here on the Cote de Fleurie call 'D-Day', 'J-Jour', and that the French do not have word for éclair, macaroon or nougat.

It has become clear to me that our French friends are still grateful for the sacrifices of our forefathers 60 years ago.  On recognising our English numberplate, they often demonstrate their gratitude by hooting their horns or waving excitedly. My wife however thinks it may have more to do with me driving on the wrong side of the road.

When Monsieur Baguette invented his exceptionally long loaf, I wonder if he realised this would drag me on a daily trip to purchase this as an accompaniment for everything we are eating. Any visit to a French supermarket brings a mixture of lip licking and astonishment in equal measure. My French brothers know a thing or two about ham, cheese, fresh fish, pastries and wine, however their love of offal is a different matter. White sausages, fat filled terrine's, unidentified fish soups, and tripe abound, they also seem to love vegetables and strange alien foods in jars. We must be missing something delicious somewhere, but how to gather the confidence to go completely off piste is tricky. I did try a jar of crevette pate, but it just tasted like swan to me.

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Saturday bought the obligatory visit to Deauville Market and of course the supermarket. I was still recovering from a night of storms, banging shutters and a demented dog panting in my ear all night, (My wife slept fine, no panting, just the occasional dribble and snore.)

Steve, my brother-in-law arrived on Sunday. The afternoon was quite peaceful, until my wife spotted a man frantically waving at our balcony from the beach boardwalk. She decided I would be best to deal with the issue and left me to direct the guy to the entrance gate. On speaking, it became obvious that he did not speak my dialect of French, so it was tricky. The only option was sign language, so I held up 4 fingers, made a cross sign and then 7 fingers adding the word 'vacances'. As he tried to interpret my signals (for we are here on a month's holiday) I spotted his jacket had a logo with 'security' on it. He kept repeating the word 'alarm'. I said we were not alarmed about anything, and in fact we were fine and having a lovely time. After a while it became clear that our conversation was going nowhere, so I patted him on the head a couple of times, kissed both his cheeks and wished him a bon voyage.

On returning to the house, my wife suddenly confessed that whilst I waited in the car on our way out earlier, she may have set off the house alarm by mistake. Bless her petites boutiques de coton.

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During the past couple of weeks we have got a taste for Pommeau de Normandy, a local speciality which is basically an Apple Port, made from Calvados & fermented Apple Juice.

We discovered this gem on our visit to the distillery and orchards of Christian Drouin. Delicious cannot adequately describe the smooth and fruity aperitif & digestif. It is made using 20 types of apples and is matured in oak casks for 18 months, - and worth every second. Described as perfect with blue cheese or dessert, I have discovered is also goes perfectly with croissants, crisps, Nutella, or cornflakes.

After opening one bottle with lunch, our planned afternoon of book reading, ended as a deep sleep until it was time for the home bar to reopen. My wife has bought a few bottles for friends at home, but there is a good chance they will never see them!

During the week Steve was introduced to part of our new culinary repertoire (The French don't have a word for that either) of home cooked food, French onion soup, Normandy sole, tartiflette, as well as being swamped with ham, rillettes, canard mousse, crevettes roses & avocado, Normandy soft cheeses, and a rather tasty Comté reservé hard cheese that we had discovered at the market. He also of course soon got a taste for Pommeau.

On one of our daily pilgrimages to Carrefour, my brother in law ventured to the till alone one day. Sadly, whilst an expert in the inner workings of a computer programme, he is not so good with his linguistic skills. This was proven as he smiled gormlessly to every question from our favourite cashier. However, having not answered any of the questions, as he left the till his confidence increased and he gave her a cheery 'gracias' along with a slightly demented wave. The Gallic shrug that our friendly cashier gave in our direction said all.

A trip to the racehorse auction was fun, that was until one of horses in the parade ring got spooked and was bucking like a bronco and threatening to trample all in sight. My wife is in constant fear of being attacked by ponies when we are in the New Forest, so she was particularly alarmed. There was only one thing for it, so we opted for the nearest creperie. Here I learned that a banana & chocolate crepe, alongside a caramel butter crepe and a thick hot chocolate is a little too much even for the sweetest tooth.

Naturally our week with Steve has also involved more eating out, and we have all experienced new dishes such as; an egg poached inside a brioche roll, fish soup, fillet of ling (fish), a whole bass - head and all, and fromage blanc, which was claimed to be be cream cheese with red berry coulis, but more like yoghurt with a red topping like you get on an ice cream cone. Talking of cream, well sort of, - in the land of cows and cheese it is amazing they don't do anything like the glorious single double and extra thick creams we know at home. Their cream is mainly a strange savoury & sweet mix for cooking, their eclairs are filled with flavoured custard, and for desserts they seem happy with squirty cream from a can. No chance of cream tea in Normandy then!

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We decided to mark Valentine's Day by adding our own marked padlock to the Metal Heart in the seafront gardens. As we disposed of the key, a little bit of us will now be in Deauville until next time we come.

Fearlessly we have spent the month accepting the challenge of the town's Avenue of Death and negotiating the town centre Roundabout of Peril. Both are so called because at these locations any driver can appear at will and without warning from any direction. The faster they randomly drive straight in, the happier they seem. Parking bays are also of great amusement to my French brothers, they obviously consider the white line of no relevance, and simply as a rough guide for part of the car underside to cover, ensuring of course that they use at least two spaces.

It has to be noted that the zebra crossings are certainly not to be used by any faint-hearted pedestrian. To ensure the driver has the advantage in the Russian roulette crossing game, they cunningly allow parking right up to the black & white lines, thus increasing the excitement, as the brave pedestrians are then able to appear completely unexpectedly. Driving and road crossing in France should quite clearly be classified an extreme sport.

After a month of being French we are being repatriated on Saturday. With a bit of luck our journey home will be uneventful and my return to speaking English will not prove too difficult.


*If you would like to read a ridiculously long account of our last emigration to France, you can click on the links below. It is not something for the faint-hearted or for people with anything better to with their time!

Ramblings from Deauville | Part 1: click here

Deauville Diary - Week One (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Two (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Three (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Four (Oct 2011): click here

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Volunteering is good for you!

Giving something to the community can be very satisfying, as well as good way to meet people. 

So many activities in Milford on Sea rely on people giving a few hours of there spare time, and it is so easy to get involved.

Both the Community Centre and the Community Care Group can do with a hand, - why not give it a go?

Milford on Sea Community Centre are looking for more volunteers to work in their busy café - one or two sessions per month (10am to 12noon). It's easy, enjoyable and meeting new people along the way. If interested, please telephone 01590 644481 for further details.

If you would like to know more about Milford-on-Sea's Community Centre and the various volunteering roles, Ann Houlihan (Volunteer Co-ordinator) will be in the Centre's Café on the First Monday morning of every month between 10am and 12 noon. 

Tel: 07402 366520 or email:

Community Care Group. Drivers and office co-ordinators are urgently needed to keep this valuable community service on the road.

The Community Care Group help people get to and from medical appointments, and your help would be much appreciated if you could offer a few hours a month.

Contact: Helen at the Community Care Group Tel: 01590 641700.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Hampshire Fare at Food Week

Milford on Sea Food Week are delighted that Hampshire Fare will be supporting Food Week in 2014.

Hampshire Fare is an award-winning food group dedicated to supporting local Hampshire producers and businesses to raise awareness of Hampshire food, drink and craft.

The Hampshire Fare Food Week Festival  takes place on the afternoon and evening of Tuesday 8th April in the Cookery Theatre (Based in MoS Community Centre), and all events are free!

Agriculture Today - 2pm to 2.30pm
Come and listen to a 20 minute talk by the agricultural specialists, Sparsholt College. They will explain the agricultural hot news of today and how they offer agriculture apprenticeships for the farmers of tomorrow. Demo’s with Food Produced at Sparsholt. *Sparsholt Stand presence all afternoon. Presented in conjunction with Hampshire Fare.

Hampshire Fare Producer Stalls - 2pm to 4.00pm
Sample and buy produce directly from a wide variety of local food and drink producers from across Hampshire. All producers involved are proud to be members of the county food group, Hampshire Fare. There is also a display of our village The Southern Co-operative's Local Flavours range.

Farming Today with Ian Nelson - 2.30pm to 3pm
Ian Nelson, farmer, entrepreneur and proprietor of Sunnyfields Farm in Totton Southampton, will explain his 'Food & More' concept. Since founding Sunnyfields in 1984, with no farming experience, Ian has gone on to create a successful organic farming business and introduced exciting initiatives to support farming and produce across Hampshire. Presented in conjunction with Hampshire Fare.

Fish Filleting & Cooking with David Wykes - 3.15pm to 4.15pm
Join David Wykes, Chef/Patron of renowned and award-winning Verveine fish restaurant, to learn about fish filleting skills. David will demonstrate fish preparation and then cook a classic fish dish.

Hampshire Cheese, Wine & Ale Tasting - 6pm to 8pm

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Hear about the delights of Hampshire wine, cheese, beer and ale. Local producers will have displays of their ranges, and informally explain what they do whilst providing tastings of their products. Presented in conjunction with Hampshire Fare. | 

James Durrant in the Kitchen - 7pm to 8pm
Come and watch James Durrant create dishes that can be perfectly paired with Hampshire wines. His culinary career started in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsey and he went on to become head chef at the Michelin star Maze in Mayfair. Today James runs Durrant Restaurants, providing his expertise as a private chef and operating his own pub and restaurant at The Plough Inn in Longparish near Winchester. Presented in conjunction with Hampshire Fare.

Come along: Looks like everything is worth attending and it won't cost you a penny, your only problem may be how to fit in some time to eat, - but when you see the Free Food Week Programme, we have plenty of solutions for that! 

Hampshire Fare
The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ
Tel: 01962 846509

Wind Farm Moves Further & Closer

Navitus Bay Development Ltd has recently announced that it will scale back the proposed wind park off of Milford on Sea.

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The good news is, that it is now proposed to be 2.6 miles further out at sea from Milford on Sea (14.5 miles). The bad news is, that the wind farm is still moving forward. 

In a self-congratulatory announcement, Navitus Bay Development Ltd have said “In response to feedback received from the public and statutory consultees during the final round of consultation last year, the developer will remove the northernmost part of the development – the ‘top triangle’ – which will move the site up to 3.8km further away from the shore." (To read the full story click here) (To read about Milford on Sea specifically click here)

Hmmm, I suspect that a lot of people also told them where they could put their wind farm, but that wasn't mentioned and isn’t happening.

Amusingly, one of their stated benefits are “to make an important contribution to the local economy in the shape of jobs and investment". Is there anyone reading this expecting to be getting a job cleaning the 194 wind turbines or working long shifts in a rib flaying their arms as a mobile bird scarer? 

The opposition group, Challenge Navitus, have responded by saying; “The wind farm has been reduced by 12% from 1100mw to 970mw, which is still 8% higher than the original 'budget' of 900mw” and “The threats to the environment, tourism, birds and navigation remain almost unchanged, and the onshore disruption will be the same". The wind farm would still span 1.8x the width of the entire Isle of Wight and stand up to 2.8x its height, so it would be a highly prominent industrial development in what is currently one of the best, unspoilt views on the south coast of England. (To read the full story click here)

View of Wind Farm from Milford on Sea
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I have to say, I am very much a 'live & let live' kind of guy, and I have never been on a protest march for 3 reasons: 1: They normally walk to far. 2: I am not anti anything enough, and 3: I am still traumatised by the costumes at The Gay Pride march I bumped into in London. In particular, the guy on roller-skates with a big moustache and wearing just an open leather waistcoat, feather boa and rather tight leather pants. 

No one seems to talking about the potential Noise Pollution. From what I have read, existing wind farms can generate a constant low drone, which any tinnitus suffer will tell you is a curse. 

I am no expert on any form of energy generation, unless perhaps it is the kind you generate when eating food. Neither have I been convinced by any of the arguments on the efficiency or worthwhile contribution of wind farms. 

On the contrary, I think there is a much stronger case for fracking. Indeed, I agree with the case made by Boris Johnson in favour of fracking: click here to read Boris's article. As Boris puts it; "The hills and dales of Britain are being forested with white satanic mills, and yet the total contribution of wind power is still only about 0.4 per cent of Britain’s needs. Wave power, solar power, biomass – their collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding".

Of course,any support of fracking will sound like a ‘NIMBY’ (Not in my back yard) statement, but take a look at fracking in the US and you see a reduction in home energy bill costs, real new jobs and not one field mouse has died from water poisoning.

So, as the wind farm moves closer to arriving in Christchurch Bay, it looks like local shipping will have a new large roundabout to navigate, and the turbines will soon be chopping up innocent sea birds at the eyesore on the horizon from the Milford on Sea beach. 

If you fancy making a comment for someone else to read one of these days, simply click on the pencil icon below. 

Navitus Bay Development Ltd

Challenge Navitus

Friday, 7 February 2014

Fancy Joining a Club or Class?

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Milford on Sea is alive with Clubs & Classes, many of which you may be surprised to find in the village

A good number of representatives from village clubs and classes will be at Village Clubs & Classes Open Day to be held at All Saints Church on Saturday 1st March from 2pm to 4pm.

Why not pop along to see what you fancy?

A Free New Milford on Sea Village Guide has recently been published and copies are currently available from The Village News newsagent opposite the village green.

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The guide contains, Places to Eat, Place to Stay, and Local Attractions & Activities, in addition to this it lists Community Services, over 50 Village Classes available in the village, alongside over 240 Village Clubs for adults, youth and kids. - There if even more to read should you get hold of a copy!

The aim of the guide is to inform & entertain, to support local organisations and to generate trade for Milford on Sea businesses.

To qualify for an entry a business must be operate in, or be operated a Milford on sea resident. Should you know of anything that needs adding or updating, please e-mail: 

A brand new Online Milford on Sea Directory is planned to be launched within the next few weeks, this will contain even more information; such as local services for the home and business, medial information, local producers, and every service that you may need if you are throwing party, ...and more!

When re-launched, you will find the Milford on Sea Directory here: We will of course let you know when the new website is live.

The Milford on Sea Village Guide is designed & created as a free community service by The printing cost of the Village Guide is funded by Milford on Sea Food Week, who use any profits to fund services to benefit the Milford on Sea community, and to support local village charities.

Newcomers Supper

At the beginning of each year a ‘Newcomers Supper’ is held for all newcomers to the village at All Saints Church Hall in Milford on Sea.

This year the supper will be held on Saturday 1st March 2014. Anyone that is new to the village since February 2013 is able to apply for an invitation and the event is entirely free. 

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

Most years the event has over a hundred people attending, and it is a great way to meet new people, and to get a warm welcome to your new home. The village is full of friendly people and the ‘Newcomers Supper’ is a fast-track way of getting to know all about our village life.

The ‘Newcomers Supper’ is funded & hosted by all of the churches in the village & tirelessly organised by Ruth Bufton. The event is by invitation only, so if you are new to the village this year & would like to come along please contact: Ruth Bufton on: or 01590 641875

Looking for a Milford Property?

Another new business is opening in Milford on Sea.

We have heard from Poddy Booth, who after falling in love with the village over many years visiting her parents has now moved Pod & Co Ltd into Milford on Sea. 

Poddy has now relocated her property search and development business from London. It's no big shot property empire, she mainly helps people find a home to buy or rent by going on all preliminary viewing and show clients shortlist properties, gaining access to private sale properties and also takes over as much admin during the sale with solicitors, mortgage advisors and agents as required.

Basically, Poddy saves people the time, stress and often money when looking for a new home. She also has a development service, which handles anything from total refurbishments to a new carpet, with the aim to keep everything in budget! 

All in all, Pod & Co Limited is a bespoke and dedicated property search service helping you find your ideal property quickly and conveniently. Whether looking for a town house, holiday apartment, country house, or retirement home, you can benefit from her intimate knowledge of local areas and strong relationship with estate agents. Pod & Co research local markets, trends, schools and value-add potential in order for you to make an informed decision on your purchase.

Poddy can also provide an interior design service for any new or existing property. Her efforts are focussed on resourcing good quality, well-designed and reasonably priced furnishings and finish materials for renovation or home improvement projects. Thus providing stylish, well-executed and cost-effective interiors for properties that may need everything from "freshening up" to an entire renovation.

If any of these services could be of use to you, just give her a call.

Pod & Co Ltd
Poddy Booth - 07769 582202

Milford on sea also has two interior design companies. So, if you are considering redesigning your home interior with the help of professional flair, simply get in touch with Val or Emma.

At No 19: Interior Design
Val Plummer - 01590 641804|07767 342542

Abode Interior Design 
Emma Mckelvie - 01590 645540|07968 167261

Juliette take on the Marathon

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Juliette Chamberlain, from local building company Adcroft Build & Renovation, is hoping to complete a new challenge for Naomi House Children’s Hospice and Jacksplace young adult hospice in Hampshire. She will be running her first marathon - the London Marathon - in April and is currently in the middle of her very wet winter training!

Having worked for a number of years as a fundraiser at Naomi House before moving to Milford on Sea ten years ago, Juliette knows first hand the invaluable care and support the hospice provides to terminally ill children and their families. “The journey that these families take is extraordinarily difficult and painful; and one which most of us could not begin to understand. It is however, a journey which is made more manageable with the support of the hospice and the amazing care team.”

“It costs around £7 million a year to provide respite, end of life palliative care, emergency care and bereavement support to hundreds of families across central Southern England and it is only made possible by the generous support of local people.”

Having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006 for Naomi House with her father, Dave (raising £4,500), and abseiled off Spinnaker Tower in July last year with her husband, Tom, Juliette feels the time is right to take part in another challenge, but more importantly to call upon the generosity of the community once again to support her and help raise crucial funds for Naomi House and Jacksplace; help keeping this vital service available for the amazing children and families who need it.

Tom and their three children Sonny, Maisie and Sol are clearly very supportive of Juliette’s Marathon challenge and are accompanying her on training runs as much as possible on their bicycles. Her dedicated running partner however, is Indi, one of her black labradors, so do keep an eye out for them both as they run the streets and paths of Milford over the forthcoming weeks. 

Juliette is hoping to raise £3,000 for Naomi House and would warmly welcome any sponsorship in support of her marathon and the Children’s Hospice. If you wish to be a sponsor, please click here:

Naomi House

Adcroft Build & Renovation Ltd - 01590 644351
07990 547591 – Tom
07765 172648 – Juliette

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lisa's Larder launches Meat Boxes

Lisa's Larder are excited to announce the launch of their first of online Local Meat Boxes.

Lisa's Larder Meat Boxes offer our good value and the contents are supplied freshly frozen. Each will be clearly identified with best before dates and packed in an insulated Poly Box. The high quality, locally sourced produce is now available via an easy click and collect online service, with safe payment via PayPal. 

The current range of Meat Boxes has four options; from the Taster Box at £40, a Wild Game Box, Slow Cooked Box and a Thrifty Box providing at least 5 meals for a family of 4 at just £30.

To see the full range of boxes, please click here. More option will be added on a regular basis.

Lisa's Larder | Pop Up Shop Open
Pop in to buy some of Lisa's own local Keyhaven lamb, plus a good range of other local produce from the New Forest & Isle of Wight including meats, cheese, chutneys, eggs, honey, jams, breads, crafts and plenty more interesting & tasty local produce.

Next Open: Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March from 10am to 3pm. *Please note, with the online ordering going live, school holidays and the weather being so unreliable Lisa has decided not to open in February.
Lisa's Larder
Aubrey Farm, Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0TH
Tel: 07702 556207

Beat Surgery moves to Village Coffee Pot

2016 | Please Note:Police Surgery no longer held here...


The Village Coffee Pot is the new venue for the Police Beat Surgery from Monday 17th February 2014 - 10am to 10.30am. The timing is of course ideal for a naughty breakfast or cheeky slice of cake!

The Police Beat Surgery's will be on Monday every month and provide an opportunity to come along for an informal chat and to meet our local village police team.

To find future dates, please visit:  

Our Local Police Officers:

PC Samantha Chapman is part of the local policing team for Barton & Milford on Sea. She has served with the Hampshire Constabulary since 1998, with most of her service being in the North of Hampshire Samantha joined the Safer Neighbourhood Team at New Milton in November 2009 and the Beat Manager for Milford and Barton on Sea which is covered with PCSO Gary Clarke. They have regular Beat Surgeries in both Milford and Barton and can regularly be seen out and about, we hope to see you around.

Mobile: 07554 775547 | Tel: 0845 045 4545 x 655124

PCSO Gary Clarke is also part of the local policing team for Barton & Milford On Sea. Gary looks after North Milton, Barton and Milford. He has been in the PCSO role since 2009 and is stationed at New Milton. 

His role requires him to be engage with the local community about any issues that are affecting them, and then to work with partner agencies to help find solutions and resolve if possible. He also, aids the regular Police officers in their duties by conducting enquires on their behalf, and to assist with investigations into local crime that has occurred. Gary also attends local groups as a guest speaker giving an insight in to his work as a PCSO and that of the local Policing team, you will often see him cycling around Milford on Sea, feel freeto stop him and have a chat. 

Mobile 07554 775530 | Phone 101

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

La Perle French Classics

As we sit in our French hideaway, a little bit of France in Milford on Sea hit our e-mailbox.

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Milford on Sea's very own French Bistro, La Perle, have changed their tasty Lunch Prix Fixe menu (If you don't speak French fluently, that is a fixed price menu!), and they have now introduced some more great value creative dishes. Their deal includes a hearty classic French main course with a glass of wine or drink for just £13.50 of your British pounds.

(Did you know, in France a 'Bistro' is a 'Bistrot', the 't' was dropped in good ol'Blighly as the 't' was not considered pretty.)

The menu choices look similar to here in Deauville, however we cannot find the Le Perle lunch price here!
  •  Duck leg confit, braised red cabbage, sauteed potatoes
  • Classic Bouillabaisse, Provencal style fish soup, rouille, croutons
  • Bavette steak, rosti potato, pepper & green bean salad
  • Fillet of Seabass, ratatouille, saffron turned potatoes
  • Chicken Créole, spicy stew with sultanas & mixed vegetables served with pilaf rice
  • Moules Marinière & frites, Cornish mussels served marinière style with fries 
  • Omelette available on request *

On Wednesday & Thursday evenings, Le Perle are also offering a special price on A La Carte at 2 courses at £20.95 or 3 courses for £26.95.

Lionel Sene | Chef//Patron
Also being French, mon ami Lionel is very much a kindred spirit, and we often chat relentlessly in our own versions of French, not having a clue what the other one is saying. He loves it when I ask if he has 'frogs legs', and then explains his trousers just make his legs look funny. Another classic is to ask the same question, and then ask if he will hop over the bar to get a drink. He loves British humour, give it a try!

Food Week | If you want to visit La Perle during Food Week you may need to be quick as their events are fast selling out.
Champagne Dinner Night: Tuesday 8th April 
Enjoy the delights of French Champagne paired with a classic meal. Our sommelier for the evening will explain each champagne as it is served.
4 Course Dinner with Champagne Pairing: £55pp. (8 Tickets sold)

Festival du Cannes Dinner | Fancy Dress: Thursday 10th April 
Dress code: 'Red carpet film premiere' fancy dress. Enjoy a night on the Riviera.
4 Course Regional French Menu at £35pp. (14 Tickets sold)

Food Week Lunch 3 Courses for 2: Everyday in Food Week
3 Courses for 2 on all dishes from the La Perle French Bistro a la Carte Menu. Served each Lunchtime from Tuesday to Sunday. (Also available for Dinner on Wednesday Evening) 

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

Monday, 3 February 2014

Ramblings from Deauville | Part 1

We have now been French for two weeks, life has been very Gallic and friends are coming and going.

I had vowed to leave the computer alone for a while ...but it has not worked too well.

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My wife has only embarrassed me twice, so far. On the first day at the supermarket, some nice charity ladies were handing out white carrier bags and asking shoppers to buy some food for the less fortunate. I took the bag, added some tins and put it in the trolley. Just as we were about to leave the checkout I spotted the bag still in the trolley, apparently my wife was under the impression I had already paid for them?! Fortunately, we did not start our first day arrested for shop lifting! The second embarrassment was even better and follows later.

You will not be surprised to hear that our fridge is stocked with a full range of local Normandy cheese, wine & cider bottles abound everywhere and a baguette a day is keeping the doctor away.

Anyone who knows me, or the more prevalent group of people who pretend they don't know me, will be amazed to hear I have been trying my hand at cooking (rather than just eating). When our close friends, Viv & Nikki arrived, their first evening meal was a menu lovingly prepared by my own fair hands and two bunches of sausage shaped fingers. This featured the French classic of Tartiflette, which proved to be a triumphant cheesefest, and this was followed by a Lemon Mousse. As a result, my wife liked me for almost 42 minutes!

Our special breakfast at the rather grand Normandy Barriere Hotel was quite possibly the best selection I have ever experienced. Spectacular dining room, hams, cold meats, piles of local cheeses, sausage, bacon, eggs, croissants, breads, toast, fruit (not sure who would have that), yoghurt, hot crepes, pastries and an array of cakes, name it, they had it. The decadent hot chocolate could take a spoon standing up and was served in a jug with an accompanying china cup. Nikki hadn't realised this, and was in her element slurping from the jug. Her grin showed that her taste buds were tickled in chocolate delight. As they say, you can take the girl out of Lowestoft, but you can't take Lowestoft out of the girl! Normandy Barriere Hotel - click here.

The girls then spent one of the evenings in the kitchen, creating another delicious French meal of glorious French Onion Soup with cheese croutons, Normandy Sole Meunière (with freshly caught fish from Trouville Halle aux Poissons) & Sautee Potatoes, followed by a Brioche Bread & Butter Jam Pudding with Pear, made by me yet again for extra brownie points.

Sadly, Viv was only with us for the weekend. She had already eaten a fortnight's banquet of cheese, and on her last night she got a taste for the Brouilly and St Emillion, - a few bottles later she lost control of some elements of her speech and slept particularly well that night.

I won't bore you with details of our trips to the D-Day Beaches, The Mulberry Harbour, Omaha American Cemetery, Pegasus Bridge, Horse Ball Tournament, Deauville Casino, Cheese Factory Tour, Honfleur, Calvados tastings, Razor clam hunting, Market visits, Watching the race horses training on the beach from our window and balcony, or my favourite pastime of licking the local patisserie windows - suffice to say, their is plenty to do here. French food of course is even more fun and impossible not to indulge in.

On one trip around the town, Nikki was delighted to discover that Deauville has two beaches, one on either side of the road. For a while she was even under the impression that we were on an island. Well, that was until my wife revealed to Nikki's immense surprise, that we had simply turned the car around.

My wife excelled herself with her second embarrassment in a rather nice restaurant in Trouville. Nikki had already experienced her first ever dish of Snails, and we were all impressed to see the waiter pop across to the fish market to select a lobster for main course. The snappy devil was presented at our table before heading to the kitchen.

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When the prepared lobster and eating tool kit arrived, Nikki tucked in with aplomb until it became to time extract the meat from the claw. Struggling with the lobster cracker my wife stepped into assist. Like a professional she held the claw and started cracking. That was until the claw shot from her hand like an exocet missile and it just missed taking the blokes eye out on the table of four next to us!

As a hushed half filled restaurant stared at the table of 'Les Anglais Imbeciles', the man's face had taken the shape of a death stare. (But, nowhere near as frightening as the one my wife normally does). As he stared, we apologised in a number of languages, until, thankfully the ladies on his table started laughing. My wife and Nikki had been stifling a fit of giggles which then rose to the surface and I was pleased and surprised to later discover that neither of them had actually wet themselves - ...much.

On Thursday, Nikki decided she would try her hand at French cooking and delivered an amazing three course meal to the table. We had Roasted Tomato Soup with Double Baked Goats Cheese & Chive Potatoes to start, a main course of Normandy Pot Roast Chicken with Calvados & Apples, and after a well needed break to rest our food babies, we had a Calvados and caramel laced traditional Tart Tatin.

My wife is proving very helpful with the continental driving. For some reason after many years of driving 30,000+ miles a year with an unblemished record I was under the false impression that I knew how to drive. It is only now I realise that I need her constant help. Like reminding me which side of the road we are on, turning indicators off before we are round corners and checking that I have managed to get the car in the white lines of parking bays. To ensure she has the opportunity to correct me, it is also fun to go a couple of feet over the line so she can joyfully point out my error with an affectionately hard slap to the side of my head. 

Last night we watched a film called 'Identity Thief', in which a driver has a technique where he vigorously flicked the steering wheel to make the passenger hit their head on the car side window. I know, that she knows, that each time I go out driving alone I am practising the technique. Once perfected, I will attempt to see if I can catch her unaware, - in spite of the extreme danger from the level of retaliation this may bring upon me! 


*If you would like to read a ridiculously long account of our last emigration to France, you can click on the links below. It is not something for the faint-hearted or for people with anything better to with their time!

Deauville Diary - Week One (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Two (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Three (Oct 2011): click here
Deauville Diary - Week Four (Oct 2011): click here