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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thanks to our Sponsors

As things return to normal after the massively successful Milford on Sea Food Week, we want to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors. 

Food Week is of course a not for profit community event, and without the great support we receive, it would be impossible to have staged the vast variety of events for everyone to enjoy.

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Our biggest sponsor was Southern Co-op, who very generously provided the Cookery Theatre. Anyone of the thousands of people who attended any of the many events in the Cookery Theatre over Food Week, will know the set up could not have been more professional, with a stage, oven & hob, two large screen TV's and sound system. Add to this celebrity chefs and local talent and you have a great experience! For a small village we were definitely 'punching above our weight' and thanks to Southern Co-op were able to deliver shows that would be the envy of any commercial food festival.

The team at Southern Co-op have enthusiastically supported us for a number of years now, and it is a delight to have a national company so willing to support the community it serves.

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Our other major sponsors were The Beach House (Hall & Woodhouse), Shorefield Country Park (Who also provided our Information Centre), Everton Hyundai, and Brand New Forest.

We were also grateful of the support given by Hampshire Fare, bringing top producers and chefs from across Hampshire.

Just as importantly, were two other groups who showed their support by being a Gold or Silver Sponsor, or people who became 'Friends of Food Week'. We are very grateful that so many local shops, restaurants, and small business all generously took up the offer to support us as sponsors, and several individuals showed great support by donating as a 'Friend'.

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You can see our all our Sponsors and Friends of Food Week if you click here.

Our final thank you goes to everyone who came along to the events, without you and everyone mentioned above, Food Week simply could not happen.

See you in April 2016!

Milford on Sea Food Week

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Shappi Came to Town

The triumphant final show of Food Week starring internationally known comedian, Shappi Khorsandi, took place on Saturday 26th April at Milford on Sea Community Centre.

Although delayed a couple of weeks due to Shappi's performance at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, what better way to end the Food Week events other than with a laugh, or in fact a belly full of them! 

Shappi Khorsandi is the daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran. Feisty, flirty and effortlessly funny she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously dizzy delivery and endless charm. 

Shappi’s upbringing has been in no way conventional, it has all gone on in the Khorsandi household and now she recounts it all the only way she knows how, with wit, warmth and hilarity. 

Shappi has appeared on many top TV shows; such as Have I Got News For You, Live at the Apollo, QI and 8 Out of 10 Cats to name but a few. 

A review by Evening Standard;‘Don’t be fooled by her innocent looks, she packs a deceptively powerful punch’, is a perfect way to describe her excellent act. 

This was a special night, and those that managed to get a ticket (we could have sold out three times over!) will be recalling the evening with a smile for months to come!

Chris Evans in Chippy!

Popular Radio 2 DJ, Chris Evans was spotted in Mr Pinks Fish & Chip Shop, Milford on Sea early Saturday evening.

Chris is known to hang out with his mate Rob Smith, owner of The Haven Café Bar in Lymington Yacht Haven, who is locally famous for painting the post box at the bottom of Lymington high Street in gold in honour of Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

No idea if Chris is now living nearby, just passing through, or whether he had salt & vinegar on his chips. 

Pretty poor reporting really!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Crayoning for fun

During Food Week, Christine Quinn ran a kids colouring competition at her Inger-Lise's Coffee Shop.

Whilst mum enjoyed a cup of coffee, snack or lunch, the children enthusiastically enjoyed themselves colouring pictures of food.

Since Food Week, the competition winners pictures appeared, and are still in the Inger-Lise's window. Local professional photographer, Adam Lynk has taken pictures of the colourful café scene.

The Winners were Josey Edwards, Anna Lewis and Lois Levy. Runners up Jenny Bartlett, Lottie King, Archie King and Ben Nealon. All of the winners received an Easter Egg. 

Many thanks to everyone who took part and very well done to the Winners.

Adam Lynk Photography Studio
High Street, Milford on Sea

Friday, 25 April 2014

Punchy Through the Covers

Milford on Sea is certainly a place to get the creative juices going. In addition to the dozens of Artists in the village, we are also aware of at least a dozen children and adult authors.

Another villager in the writers fold is Alan ‘Punchy’ Rayment. His book; 'Punchy Through the Covers - The Early Years 1928 to 1949' is a personal memoir illustrated with 108 photographs and set in the social history of the 1930's and 1940's.

This review should give you a taste of the contents:

Alan, a North London kid, was born in 1928 to stable parents who lived next to a cricket field. When twelve he witnessed the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, dived under school desks when Doodlebugs threatened in 1944, played cricket at Lord’s when 17 and served two and a half years in the Royal Air Force.

At the age of twenty Alan married his school pal and dance partner, qualified as a ballroom dance teacher and signed a professional contract with the Hampshire County Cricket Club. In contrast to stories of a happy childhood environment – of freedom to roam in London and of  holiday fun on the Isle of Wight in the 1930s – Alan writes about  his Father’s service on  mobile AA guns firing at German Zeppelin airships bombing London in WWI – then of his own clear memories of WWII: of the realistic possibility of invasion by the Nazis, of bombs and the blackout, of  rationing and private evacuation – and that he and his young pals followed and absorbed daily news about the war in newspapers, on radio and from newsreels in cinemas. Alan enjoyed family musical evenings and singing in a choir: he also recounts the ever memorable morale boosting radio broadcasts by Winston Churchill during WWII.
Britain’s dogged wartime spirit ingrained values of duty and  loyalty in young people of Alan’s generation who thus became responsible adults before leaving school. Age 16, Alan worked in a London office during the V2 rocket raids, played football with Spurs Juniors and cricket for Finchley CC – and Middlesex 2nd XI when 18. Conscripted into the Royal Air Force, Alan was officially a radar plotter/teller at Bentley Priory, Fighter Command HQ, but played a lot of sport including cricket in the Berlin Olympic Stadium and RAF matches at Lord’s. More important than his youthful achievements in sport and personal survival in WWII, Alan emphasises his gratitude for the strong family and social values gleaned through his caring parents, large extended family and the free-safe community environment that influenced his development during the first twenty years of his life journey.

Alan’s next book will portray life during the 1950s, 60s and 70s: of family life with six children; of ten seasons of first class cricket and one as an MCC coach at Lord’s; of dance teaching and cabaret, of swing bands and rock’n’roll; of divorce, depression, career change and remarriage – and of surprising mystical experiences that birthed a determined intellectual pilgrimage to understand those experiences in the context of Christian theology.

~~~our dreams unfurl into realities of a future as yet unknown~~~ ©AHR

To grab a copy or find out more, please visit:, or call Alan on: 01590 630442 - 07923 050053.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Calamity at Milford Zoo

The new Milford on Sea Zoo has suffered a major calamity before it has even opened.

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Following the February Valentine Night Storms, the council had been struggling to make a decision on the long-term future of the former beach huts on Milford on Sea seafront. Well, that was until district councillors came up with an ideal solution.

Putting their ideas into swift action, a recent NFDC planning meeting approved the proposal to create the long required Milford on Sea Zoo on the bases of the former Milford on Sea beach huts. The few remaining standing beach huts are going to be reformed into a row of Reptile Houses.

Fred Up, of the Milford on Sea Beach Hut Owners Association said: "As we can no longer enjoy the glorious sea view, we hope the animals appreciate it, particularly the one's from jungle or desert habitats."

Moving swiftly to catch the tourist season, the council erected the animal enclosures within a matter of days, with animals arriving at their new home during last week from zoo's across the UK. Everything was coming together nicely in ready for the grand opening on 30th April 2014.

Then, last Thursday evening, witnesses allege that they saw members of the Milford Animal Liberation Front releasing the animals that had arrived.
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Mr C Lyon, the new appointed Milford Zoo Keeper, commented; "Oh bum, this has not gone well."

All residents of the village are now asked to be vigilant, and to keep a sharp eye out for the animals now on the loose.

Please report any sighting of the Siberian Tiger, Indian Elephant, Giant Aardvark or the star attraction of the 'Push Me-Pull You' to Mr G. Raff at the Milford on Sea Parish Council Office.

Milford Author Completes Trilogy

Local Milford on Sea author, Maureen Farenden has published Quatrain 77, the final book in her Trilogy.

Quatrain 77: In this final part of this supernatural trilogy, Charity Holmes, psychic investigator (the Inceptor) faces her greatest challenge yet. Charity and her trusted RING of friendship have come face-to-face with the darkest powers in the world and the world beyond. Charity is caught in limbo, unsure of her true identity or her ultimate destiny. All around her Lucifer's legions are assembling, and there are so many clues to an ever more complex puzzle. Who is Hecate, the triple goddess? Or Lilith, the mercurial shape-shifter? The vacuous spirit? The Emulating Soul? The withered child? And what sinister secret does Charity's Aunt Lizzy harbour that will threaten to break the RING? Quatrain 77 (a reference to Nostradamus's infamous millennial prediction) is a classic tale of duelling forces. Can Charity summon the strength to face her ultimate nemesis, as all hell literally breaks loose around her?

The Patient: Charity Holmes, psychic investigator, is back. In another psychic thriller, the Inceptor and her intrepid team of adventurers - Sam, Robyn, Aunt Lizzy, Jack and Charity's beloved husband Monty - are about to do battle with the forces of evil. Following the death of an anonymous old street beggar, Charity is charged with discovering her true identity. But who is she, where did she come from, what is her past and what secrets does it conceal? Soon Charity and her trusty Ring of Power are embarking on a treacherous journey back into the past and deep into the heart of darkness. Back to 1940 and a covert operation to evacuate the nation s riches to the safety of Canada. Back to the scene of a brutal murder aboard a British battleship in mid-Atlantic. Back to an evil plot to steal £2 million of wartime bullion. Once again Charity is forced to call upon her extraordinary powers to help fight her erstwhile adversary, Lucifer. Will Charity outwit her arch nemesis and bring redemption to her charge? Or has she, at last, met her match? The future of the universe hangs in the balance as the Inceptor prepares to do battle once more...

The Spirit is the first book in The Inceptor Trilogy. The story feature intrepid psychic investigator, Charity Holmes, this classic tale of good versus evil is played out against a backdrop of paranormal phenomena. When ruthless American businessman, Stephen Mallon, is brutally murdered the crime scene shows signs of a ritual slaying. What is more remarkable is that, a few hours after his murder, the dead man makes a phone call to the offices of Charity Holmes seeking redemption and justice for his soul. Can Stephen Mallon be freed from the tyranny of purgatory? And how does Charity's own destiny become inextricably linked with the unfolding events? As time ticks steadily on towards the day of reckoning, the legions of the underworld are gathering strength. Only one person has the power to halt their deadly march - and that is the Inceptor: Charity Holmes, psychic investigator.

The Patient, The Spirit and Quatrain 77 are now published in e-book format and can be downloaded on to your Kindle from Amazon for only £2.99.

Monday, 21 April 2014

MCV: April Newsletter

Birds, Butterflies and Wildflowers
by Keith Metcalfe

Just returned from a lovely spring walk on Studland Common and the Pleasure Grounds, which are full of bird song, butterflies and wild flowers.

The four Dexter cattle are munching away and look content with their new surrounding environment. Seeing the cow pats spread around much of the grounds, they are obviously managing to get into most nooks and crannies of the Common, which will be good for invertebrates and ground flora, but make sure that whilst you are looking up into the trees and sky for the many returning summer migrants, you don’t accidentally step where it is best not!!

There were four different butterfly species in the ½ hectare of scrub recently cleared; Brimstone, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Orange Tip.

The following summer migrants were also seen or heard; Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff and resident Bullfinch (pr.) and Green Woodpecker whilst a single Black-tailed Godwit and two Mediterranean Gulls flew over.

Bluebells, Lady’s Smock, Common Dog-violet and Meadow Buttercup are just some of the many wild flowers coming into bloom, as is the cliff-top Thrift.

Now is a very good time to get out into Milford-on-Sea’s Nature Reserves to see the plethora of wildlife we are so lucky to have.

Call into one of the two Village Newsagents, Inger-lises or the Community Centre to pick up a copy of the Nature Reserve Walks Maps (cost £1) and plan your route through the Pleasure Grounds (woodlands) Studland Common (including the Meadow and the developing community Orchard) and Sturt Pond (reed-beds, saltmarsh and bird scrape).

Vandalism at The Bird Hide

We regret to say that rest of the school holidays, the Bird Hide is not open due to vandals once again destroying much of the facility. Birdwatchers and families can hire the Key (£20 returnable deposit) by telephoning 07771 918449.

To find out more about Milford Conservation Volunteers, please visit;

Village Website Hits 1,000,000
The local Milford on Sea village website ( has now smashed one million visitors since its launch in May 2008.

This site provides local information for locals and visitors alike.

What started as a small project to promote Milford on Sea, has now grown almost unbelievably, and spawned numerous other village projects and events.

This includes a Village Calendar:, The Great Dining Bus:, and Milford on Sea Food Week:

Plus of course, there is also the free Milford on Sea News Bulletin: This contains new from the village, events and a smattering of ridiculous stories! We are now up to edition 230. (If you, or anyone you know would like to receive the weekly e.mail News Bulletin, please send your name and e-mail address to:

In the coming month's a printed Village Guide, featuring just about every business and activity in the village, will be delivered to all residents, and the online Milford on Sea Directory will be rebuilt and relaunched. 

As Food Week is held in each 'even year', a new project is now underway for 2015. Once again it will give the village a chance to celebrate and appreciate this wonderful village and all it has to offer. - More to be revealed soon.

The term 'creating a monster' has never been truer!

Stars for The Bay Trees

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Mark & Sarah at The Bay Trees in Milford on Sea High Street, are pleased to announce that in their recent food hygiene inspection they we were rated at 5 stars ( very good ) by the food standards agency.

Anyone who has had the pleasure to enjoy one of their wonderful breakfasts will not be the least surprised.

Added to this, The Bay Trees also hold the New Forest Marque - awarded for serving locally sourced and produced products on the breakfast menu and other local products in the rooms. Who can resist a great breakfast!

Sarah said: "We are delighted about this as we have had a lot of guests to stay who enjoy our food & in particular our breakfasts."

The Bay Trees also have a Visit England Four Star status with a Gold Award for a very high standard. This is the forth successive year since the arrival of Mark & Sarah as owners in 2011 that the prestigious award has been received.
The Bay Trees Garden
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To see photographs of the Bay Trees luxury bed & breakfast bedrooms and beautiful garden, please visit their web site below.

The Bay Trees
High Street, Milford on Sea

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Sneaky View of The Beach House

Over the past months I suspect that we have all spotted the colourful hoarding around The Beach House in Milford on Sea (Formerly Westover Hall) and wondered about the changes that were taking place inside.

The refurbished Beach House will re-open on the 30th April, but my curiosity could not wait that long.

Having already met the new friendly managers, Marina Schulz and Christos Constantinou, together with quite a few of the Hall & Woodhouse team at the Badger Beer MasterClass hosted by company Chairman, Mark Woodhouse during Food Week, it is clear that a warm welcome will be had by all when the doors open.

Having seen the building work progress & most recently a painting makeover take place, I decided it was time to find out exactly what was going on. 

I then had a brilliant idea, and decided that I would carry out a ninja operation in a ‘milk tray’ style. I had a black shirt & tight black trousers in the wardrobe, a black briefcase, a torch & gaffer tape, which I could use to stick the torch to my head. (I am not sure what I needed the briefcase for?!) I was now only missing a balaclava, but a few holes in a pair of my wife's tights soon sorted the final part of my attire.

To get over the hoarding I decided to take our two dogs, then when in position I would stand one on the other, to create a canine ladder to scale the wooden obstacle.

My wife had decided she wanted no part of this particular escapade, and just said she wouldn’t visit me in hospital (or prison) when it all went wrong.

Undaunted my plan remained intact, but I decided that I had better add some gloves ‘so I left no ‘dabs’. To complete the outfit for my undercover spying raid I decided the final component was to wear a pair of my wife’s shoes to leave confusing footprints. (Which should be fun as she is a size 6, & I am a size 12).

Once my mission was complete, I would then report back to you all without anyone knowing I had even been in there. 

I was proud of my meticulously thought out plan, but to carry out such an operation it was obviously necessary to ‘case the joint’ as soon as possible. Once over the fence, I could then quickly see the results of the building work & then quickly return the way I came. (That is as long as I didn’t break a heel).

As I made several scrambling attempts to get over the fence a certain amount of commotion ensued, with my dogs manically barking and a rather loud rip as the crutch of my trousers gave way.

Then, Marina appeared from the open gate, smiled, and asked if I would like to look around. (Damn, I hadn't thought of simply asking to have a tour.)

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Once inside, I cased the joint using the secret camera in my lapel. The new bar in the main hall looked ideal for enjoying a pint of Badger Beer in grand surroundings, and the 'Cluedo Library' felt a great place to relax as you traced the Hall & Woodhouse Cluedo characters on the wall, mixing history with a fun theme.

I spotted some new doors at the back, which now open onto a new terrace with central steps down into the garden. The dining rooms and front lounge have new furniture and the original decorative features gleam once again.

A new staircase now takes you downstairs to a very impressive toilet block. Everywhere you look there is fine detail and humorous additions.

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As we went upstairs to see the bedrooms, my feet were throbbing and the heel on my wife's shoe snapped, so I was walking with a rise and fall perfect for a Come Dancing waltz.

The very comfortable bedrooms were each individually themed, and the seaside feel in each room was delightful. Many of the bathrooms are mega impressive, and each have a mirror with lights that turn on with a swipe of the hand. In each room the wall mounted large screen TV's welcome you with a live webcam from the terrace to The Needles, so even in the road facing rooms you have a sea view. (Nice idea!)

Throughout, the special little touches are clear to see and the quality of the furnishings shine through loud and clear. 

There is no doubt a lot of thought and love have been put into restoring this wonderful building. I was particularly impressed to hear that the designers worked closely with the local team to ensure that their own ideas and little touches were incorporated in the final finish.

So ultimately, all of my 'ninja plan’ was for nothing, plus I had to find an explanation as to why the heel on my wife's shoe was broken.

When the Beach House opens at the end of this month it is going to be a great addition to the Foodie Heaven of Milford on Sea, and I can't wait to go back in more comfortable clothing!

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The Beach House
Park Lane, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PT
01590 643044 

Food Week: Bird Walks

Milford Conservation Volunteer officers Tony Locke and Keith Metcalf had two delightful family walks around two of Milford-on-Sea’s beautiful nature reserves as part of the Food Week festivities. On Tuesday 8th April, 25 children (aged from 2 years to 9 years) and their parents and grandparents joined Tony and Keith at Sturt Pond nature reserve for the first of the nature walks.

Peacock butterfly 
Starting at Sea Road car park, Keith explained that the group would probably hear more birds than they saw, so it was important to walk as quietly as possible – have you ever rambled with twenty kids trying to keep quiet? Anyway, the very first bird we heard was a cockerel in one of the nearby back gardens, which we excluded from the total number of bird species seen or heard during the walk.

We heard one summer visitor, when a Chiffchaff conveniently and repetitively called out his own name ‘chiff-chaff, chiff-chiff, chaff-chaff, chiff-chaff’. I think you get the idea. Birds we saw on our walk included; Little Egret, Common Gull, Turnstone, Reed Bunting, Redshank and Meadow Pipit.

During the walk, we played recordings of some of the bird songs of birds we were seeing to encourage them to come closer so that the children got very good views of the birds. The most obliging being a male Chaffinch who came to investigate why his territory was being invaded by a rival. After a brief viewing, the group quickly moved on so that the chaffinch could return to keep guard of his wife and territory.

A little further along the Solent Way footpath, which had been cleared of more debris by the volunteers a few days before, we were able to hand out special duck and swan food pellets so that the children could feed the birds on the pond. We explained that whilst it was nice to feed the birds with bread, it really is not what they should feed on and we were able to distribute proper grain pellets, which the birds were happy to pick up from the surface of the pond. Sometimes there are so many people feeding the swans with bread that much of it is left over and rats quickly start infesting the reserve.

Stopping at the ‘crabbing bridge’ we were also able to explain that the children didn’t need hooks on the end of their lines to catch the crabs and that a cotton bag of food, or a piece of bacon tied to the end of the line catches just as many crabs. Unfortunately, some lines are still supplied with hooks attached and we suggest that these are removed before the children start crabbing.

Over the years, we have seen many swans; mallard and gulls swallow hooks, which can lead to a very unpleasant untimely death!

On a happier note; the group moved along to the Bird Hide, where at one point we had 23 children and their parents crammed into it ………… it normally comfortably seats 6 – 8 people! Here, Tony and Keith were able to point out some of the birds closest to the hide and played more bird recordings of the birds the children were viewing from the hide.

The following day, the MCV bird walk guides (Tony and Keith) were joined by teenage group member, Emily-Jane who has been visiting the Pleasure Grounds with her granddad on Task-Team sessions since she was six-years old. Numbers of visitors were however significantly lower that at Sturt Pond, with just one Milford resident, with his grandson from Reading. Despite this, we enjoyed a lovely walk around the Grounds and were encouraged by the grandson who was extremely inquisitive to find out as much as he could about birds from his three guides.

Goldcrest - Smallest British bird
Using the bird recordings, we were briefly able to see Britain’s smallest bird, the Goldcrest at very close quarters and were even able to see his gold stripe down the centre of his head opening and closing as he tried to out-call the recording while he tried to figure out which one of the five of us was impersonating him!

The group were also privileged to see a family of 4 Buzzards being mobbed by rooks about 100 foot above the tree canopy and a male Sparrowhawk in display plummeting towards the ground.

Additional birds seen during the walk included Nuthatch, Feral Pigeon, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Jay, Rook and Song Thrush. A Great-spotted Woodpecker was also heard calling, making a total of 40 different species seen or heard over the two days.

During the walk we were also able to point out many of the more common wildflowers in flower, including, Lady’s Smock, Kingcup, Dog-violet and Bluebells, three species of butterfly – Comma, Peacock and Orange Tip, plus a Queen Buff-tailed bumblebee prospecting for a new home on the woodland floor.

Tony, Keith and Emily would like to thank the parents and grandparents for bringing their children on the two walks, which appeared to have been enjoyed by one and all.

See you at the next Food Week nature walk in 2016. 

Keith Metcalf - Conservation Officer

To find out more about MCV (Milford Conservation Volunteers), please visit;

Friday, 18 April 2014

We know what's coming!

Psst, can you keep a secret?

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A little bird has told us that a ladies clothing boutique and gallery will be opening in the village on the 28th June.

The new shop will be on the site of the old 'Salad Bowl' at 1 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, next to The Cave.

The previously dilapidated building has undergone an impressive and complete transformation by new owner Alan Jupe of AA Jupe Developments. The shop is now a credit to the village, and a nice welcome as people arrive at the village green.

Alan with not be running the clothing boutique, as builders and ladies clothing are not a natural fit.

The new boutique and gallery is going to be called Moss on the Green and run by Trish Ray, Trish is a keen artist and she is also passionate about fashion, so what better than to combine her two passions.

There you go, you now know a secret, but don't tell anyone!

Moss on the Green
1 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
01590 64386 (To be confirmed) (Coming soon)

Short, Bark & Sides

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A new dog grooming services has opened in the village.

The amusingly named 'Short, Bark & Sides' is run by Simone Graham, and is next to the pet shop 'Jaws, Paws & Claws' which she runs with Pete Murphy at 4 Church Hill, Milford on Sea.

Short, Bark & Sides is now welcoming all our furry friends & their owners!

Jaws, Paws & Claws provide Pet Supplies, Food, Toys and Accessories. The pet food range includes many major brands and they also offer a home delivery service. 

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So if you are looking for anything relating to your dog, cat, fish, rabbit or horse why not pop down & take a look.

I will be seeing if I can book my wife in for a quick trim next Thursday.

Short, Bark & Sides
Jaws, Paws & Claws
Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
01590 641684

The Royal Oak Re-Opens

The Royal Oak in Downton have now reopened under new ownership.

The new landlady, Eileen Kilcommons, said "The team at the Royal Oak are working very hard, and the response has been fantastic since the doors opened. Customers are enjoying the new food as well as the service."

Along with Eileen, you will now get a warm welcome from the front of house team of John, Paul and Anita.

This charming country pub is now serving home cooked locally sourced food. The two chefs, Steve and Liviu have over 30 years experience in good kitchens and are now enjoying cooking a tasty new menu.

Eileen said; “We pride ourselves on great customer service, and look forward to welcoming everybody at the Royal Oak very soon."

The Royal Oak
Tel: 01590 644999

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Code Breakers at Hurst Castle

Easter 1944 and the South Coast has the feeling something big is about to happen. In complete secrecy at Bletchley Park men and women are hard at work decoding the top secret messages flowing between Hitler and his Generals. A huge new machine has been invented to help them with their colossal task, aptly named ‘Colossus’ it is the world’s first electronic computer and built from post office spare parts. It heralds the beginning of the modern computer age we live in.

After deciphering some vital information that enables Allied commanders to set the date for D-Day, it’s time for the code breakers to finish work and enjoy a drink and song at the pub.

That’s the scenario for the Home Front History event at Hurst Castle over the Easter weekend.

The event will now be staged in memory of Captain Jerry Roberts from Liphook who recently died at the age of 93. Jerry was part of the team at Bletchley Park that cracked German High Command codes ahead of the D-Day landings.

The Garrison Theatre will become the “Victory Arms” pub where the code breakers of Bletchley Park relax after a hard day’s code cracking. Hurst Castle visitors are invited to join them for a 1940’s sing song. The show is free and there will be one show on Saturday 19th at 14.00 and three on Sunday 20th at 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00. 

In between shows visitors can see a demonstration of the “unbreakable” Enigma code machine and have photographs taken with it and “The Code breakers”. Author Philomena Liggins will also be signing copies of her new Bletchley Park book available with a limited edition Home Front stamp issue from Bletchley Park Post Office.

Visitor information for the event can be obtained from Hurst Castle at or calling 01590 642500/642344.

Zaika Hygiene Award

Our fine local Indian restaurant, Zakia in Milford on Sea has been proudly awarded a Food Hygiene Rating of 4, which also coincides with the launch of  new menu.

The Food Hygiene Rating has six different grades (0 being the lowest and 5 the highest), There are currently only 125 businesses in the district rated as good or very good - grade 4 or 5. 

It may come as some surprise to you, but curry is something I know a lot about. My wife is very appreciative of how I coach her in adding new touches and flourishes to her home Indian cooking

New Forest District Council has adopted the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in a bid to help local residents and visitors to the area make an informed choice when eating out. Developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the new scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in local food outlets at the time they are inspected by New Forest District Council food safety officers.

Earlier this year, all food hygiene inspections of businesses across the New Forest that sell to the end consumer were included in the scheme and this month, the results were published on the FSA's website

New Menu: Zaika have also launched a new menu. Still there are the old favourites, plus new Zaika Specials such as; Marlbori Chicken, Goan Jinga, Kufta Palak and more. No, I'm not sure what they are either, but give me time and I will work through the lot!

Zaika Indian Restaurant
9-71 High Street, Milford on Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0QG
Tel: 01590 643084 - 01590 645073

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Food Week Raffle Winners

We are delighted to announce the Food Week Raffle Winners as below:

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Wow, What a Food Week!

After a wonderful Food Week it is time to put my feet up and to start annoying my wife again.

Throughout Milford on Sea Food week over 150 events provided eating, entertainment and education for foodies and families alike, and we hope some cherished memories have been created for both young and old.

The joy of Food Week is seeing so many smiling faces and satisfied tummies across the village all week!

Food Week is of course totally run by a large enthusiastic band of jolly volunteers, each of whom we thank for a sterling job in ensuring everything ran smoothly. The fabulous raffle team this year broke all records with sales of over £3000 and not too many twisted arms were reported! 

Around 20,000 people were entertained and catered for over the 150+ Food Week events, and many of these were visitors who shared and enjoyed our village for a short while.

It has also been great to hear that many of the villages' eating establishments had a week of record takings, and that the bar at the Elvis Show saw record takings for the Community Centre. (and seeing the way some of the audience walked out, I'm not surprised!)

We were also fortunate to enjoy national celebrities such as Angela Hartnett, Henning Wehn, Shappi Khorsandi, Sean Wilson (Martin Platt from Coronation Street) and many Michelin Star and head chefs from top restaurants across the New Forest. Our fabulous local restaurants were full all week delighting diners, local home cooks did their thing in the Cookery Theatre, the Kids had lots to entertain and educate them, and so, so much more....!

Food Week is a true community team effort, with many fantastic people joining in by helping, arranging events or doing demonstrations, plus scores of wonderful volunteers, each committing their time, energy and happiness, - without them all it could never be a special as it is.

We also want to thank everyone that came along and enjoyed themselves, no point having an event with no visitors! In fact, the fantastic atmosphere everyone created in the village all week could be felt by everyone.

Food Week is not a fundraising event or charity, our pure purpose is to promote the village as a Foodie heaven, boost local trade and provide a lot of fun for everyone. To do this we raise money through generous sponsors, Friends of Food Week, show tickets, merchandise and raffle tickets. 

Should we have any cash remaining we plough it back into the community in various ways, and this year we are delighted to have donated a total of £3500 to local causes. This was shared between Milford on Sea Pre-School, Milford & Keyhaven Sea Scouts, Milford Girl Guides/Brownies, MiCO, Milford School 'Science Hut', Milford Dementia Awareness, Lullaby Trust & Childrens Cancer Research. Action Against Hunger has also received £250 thanks to Angela Hartnett & Luke Holder who waived their fee and asked us to donate it to their favourite charity. We have also given the Community Centre £1500, in return for the use of the centre all week. 

A number of village charities also did events as part of Food Week and they will have raised around £2000 for their own good causes.

All in all, I reckon we can say it was pretty good job all round!

FOOD WEEK in PICTURES: Adam, our professional village photographer from Adam Lynk Studios in the High Street, has been running himself ragged this week snapping at many of the events. A good number of his photos are already online, but keep revisiting his site as he still has more pictures to upload! Click here to see the Food Week photos.

PS: A curious thing also happened, we have just discovered that there is a Milford on Sea Food Week Facebook Page (click here to view), the reason this is curious, is that it is not us that has done it!  Whoever has created it, has done a good job in helping to promote Food Week, so let us know who you are - you can also do our twitter next time!

FOOD WEEK is back from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th April 2016, plus we are now working on something completely different for the village to enjoy for next year - watch this space!

Milford on Sea Food Week

Stalag Milford Liberated

Since the Valentine's Night Storm devastation on Milford on Sea seafront, the beach has been obscured by fencing that would not look out of place surrounding a prison.

click image to enlarge
The New Forest District Council, along with many of the emergency services, did an excellent job on the night of the storm, and immediately after, clearing the havoc along the front. Since then, there has been heavy machinery removing the severely damaged concrete beach huts and men in florescent jackets inspecting the scene and occasionally scratching their heads.

It is clear that the council guys are on the case, and it is pleasing that they see the rebuilding of the seafront as important, which it is of course is for the village tourism trade and enjoyment of all.

However, and inevitably, there is no doubt that numerous NFDC committee's are being consulted to decided the final plan for the seafront, so as we speak the beach hut owners still remain in the dark as to what will be decided. Whether many of the huts are lost forever no one yet knows.

Even Taz looks sad!
Having just be through the process of getting a road closure for the Food Market, I was amazed to see over a dozen people from various bodies were consulted for our £130 fee. You can only imagine how many people are involved in deciding what to do with the extraordinary situation everyone has found themselves in after the storm.

There is some good news though, the NFDC Head of Environment Services recently wrote: "I met this morning to look at the possibility of opening up some of the Beach which is currently fenced off for the Easter weekend. The good news is that we will tomorrow start removing some of the fencing at the White house end of the Beach, opposite the Toilet Block and the Needles Eye Café to allow further access to the Beach. Some areas of the lower prom will still remain out of bounds due to the concerns regarding the Beach Hut stability. Hopefully this will improve access to the Beach for the Bank Holiday weekend."
click image to enlarge

With the holiday season about to get underway this is good to hear, and many people in Milford on Sea now await the announcement of what will happen permanently, so that we can get our beach back and once again enjoy the view of the sea without having to look through a mesh grill!

James Durrant on Great British Menu

Anyone who was fortunate enough to come along to James Durrant's free cookery demonstration during Milford on Sea Food Week will know what a fabulous chef he is, and if you missed him, or would like to catch more of his cooking, he is appearing on BBC2's Great British Menu every evening this week.

James Durrant
Pic by: Adam Lynk Photography
James appeared in the Milford on Sea Food Week Cookery Theatre, as the headline demonstration organised by Hampshire Fare.

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 with Jason Atherton.

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. 

In March 2012 James took over The Plough Inn, Longparish with his wife Louise. Only six months after opening, The Plough Inn was awarded the UK Pub of the Year Award by the Good Food Guide. It now holds two AA rosettes and has been included in the 2014 Michelin Guide and awarded a BIB Gourmand rating for the second year running.

James’ menu on the Great British Menu Show celebrates the bravery shown during the war and how we have progressed as a nation with what is available to us now. While researching his menu for the competition, he discovered that his wife’s grandfather served in the army during the war and, aged just 17, was one of the first to land on the beaches on D Day.

The Plough Inn

Hampshire Fare

Milford Author Publishes The Patient

Local Milford on Sea author, Maureen Farenden has published The Patient, the second book in her Trilogy.

The Patient: Charity Holmes, psychic investigator, is back. In another psychic thriller, the Inceptor and her intrepid team of adventurers - Sam, Robyn, Aunt Lizzy, Jack and Charity's beloved husband Monty - are about to do battle with the forces of evil. Following the death of an anonymous old street beggar, Charity is charged with discovering her true identity. But who is she, where did she come from, what is her past and what secrets does it conceal? Soon Charity and her trusty Ring of Power are embarking on a treacherous journey back into the past and deep into the heart of darkness. Back to 1940 and a covert operation to evacuate the nation s riches to the safety of Canada. Back to the scene of a brutal murder aboard a British battleship in mid-Atlantic. Back to an evil plot to steal £2 million of wartime bullion. Once again Charity is forced to call upon her extraordinary powers to help fight her erstwhile adversary, Lucifer. Will Charity outwit her arch nemesis and bring redemption to her charge? Or has she, at last, met her match? The future of the universe hangs in the balance as the Inceptor prepares to do battle once more...

The Spirit is the first book in The Inceptor Trilogy. The story feature intrepid psychic investigator, Charity Holmes, this classic tale of good versus evil is played out against a backdrop of paranormal phenomena. When ruthless American businessman, Stephen Mallon, is brutally murdered the crime scene shows signs of a ritual slaying. What is more remarkable is that, a few hours after his murder, the dead man makes a phone call to the offices of Charity Holmes seeking redemption and justice for his soul. Can Stephen Mallon be freed from the tyranny of purgatory? And how does Charity's own destiny become inextricably linked with the unfolding events? As time ticks steadily on towards the day of reckoning, the legions of the underworld are gathering strength. Only one person has the power to halt their deadly march - and that is the Inceptor: Charity Holmes, psychic investigator.

The final book in the trilogy will be out soon.

The Patient and The Spirit are now published in e-book format and can be downloaded on to your Kindle from Amazon for only £2.99.

New Greeting Card Venture

Another new business venture is starting out in the village. Ellie Whitehall is an Independent Phoenix Trader selling quality UK produced, Forest Stewardship Commission (FSC) accredited greetings cards, gift wrap, note cards and stationery which are not available in the shops.

Ellie offers her range through informal in-home events called ‘Coffee and Cards’ where a few friends are invited or she can just bring some cards and brochures. Ellie also provides baskets of products/samples or brochures in the workplace, and attends Craft markets, Christmas fetes, mother and toddler groups, school fairs, fundraising events etc. 

Originally from Nottingham, Ellie moved to Milford on Sea in November 2013 as she had wanted to live by the sea for a long time and Milford of course seemed to be the perfect place. She loves being part of the village, and with her partner David, enjoy walks along the beach and tasting the culinary delights in the restaurants and pubs. she is also now a member of the village choir, and looking forward to being more involved in village life. 

Ellie will be having a stall at the Milford on Sea May Fayre on Monday 5th May where you can buy some of the Phoenix range and she can also be found some Saturday mornings at St. Thomas’ Church hall in Lymington.

Ellie says that Phoenix is a business that is fun, flexible and family friendly, and she is always looking for people to join her team as way to earn some extra income, be part of a team and meet new people.

If you would like to get in touch, Ellie's details are below.

Ellie Whitehall
Independent Phoenix Trader 
Tel: 01590 643096 / 07712 484852

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Food Week Launches on Radio Solent

Click here to hear radio interview

If you missed Milford on Sea Food Week being launched on The Nick Girdler show on Sunday 6th April, you can still hear it below now.

The interview was live on air between 9.35am and 9.50am on Radio Solent. As well as promoting the great Food Week we have starting tomorrow, I was also asked to review the Sunday newspapers. 

We managed to cover; a political observation on the European Union Debate, a view on the great news that 'Fat Pensioners Live Longer', Jermaine winning The Voice, and a chat about the Hurst Bridge April Fools Day story on Milford on Sea News. All of this was done without swearing, coughing or eating. Well, I did cough a bit once!

To hear the Food Week Interview & Sunday Paper Review on Nick Girdler Show - click here. | *Scroll in to 35mins of the programme to get directly to the interview. *Please note ths recording only stays online for 7 days.

and there is more..................................

Click here to hear 2014 Food Week Mix
Strangely, we also have the 2014 Food Week Mix.

This was created by a weirdly creative, and good friend of mine, who took as many strange bits from the interview as he could, and then mixed them into a soundtrack.

Steve 'Carrots' Carroll's mind obviously works in a funny way, but the results are amusing!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Have You Got Your Tickets?

Milford on Sea Food Week is now getting under way and there is still time to get the last few tickets for lots of great events. Also, many of the 100+ events are free of charge and perfect for enthusiastic cooks, foodies, families and the kids.

The celebrity shows are pretty full or sold out, but still worth checking the website, as some cancellations do come through.

Our fabulous range of restaurants and cafés are all putting on something for you to enjoy during the week, so don't dine at home, get out and check out the great food in the village!

Food Week has lots things for you to enjoy, such as foodie events, tastings, demonstrations, educational talks and so much more. Everything is listed in the Free Programme, so please pick up your copy in The Village News newsagent (opposite the village green), at the Community Centre or in many of the shops.

When you are next in the village why not pop into the Food Week Information Centre on the village green for a chat, and perhaps even buy a few raffle tickets to help our coffers, together with the chance to win a scrummy raffle prize! 

Whatever you do - Enjoy Food Week! 


Milford on Sea Food Week
Monday 7th to 13th April 2014

Food Week in Pictures as it Happens

Local village photographer, Adam Lynk is on a mission to capture as much of Milford on Sea Food Week as he can in pictures.

Quite a challenge, with over 100 events taking place during the week!  But if anyone can do it, he can.

To make his life a little more difficult, Adam will be loading all of his Food Week photos to a website, where you can view them, download free small images, or even but larger print quality shots.

From Tuesday onwards, see what is happening in Food Week, as it happens by clicking here.

click image to enlarge
Adam is also soon to open Lynk Photography Studios in the village.

His new studio will offer the opportunity for you to get personal family portraits as a forever keepsake. His style relaxed, personal and creative to ensure you get something very special.

Adam is also experienced at taking many forms of excellent photography, so if you have any type of commission, be it wedding, commercial, publication or anything else, simply give him a call.

click image to enlarge
As a passion, Adam also loves to record local scenes and landscapes, each are spectacular and made great feature for any wall. Indeed, you may have seen his creations before when he had the 'Pop Up Shop' in the old 'Salad Bowl' shop just before Christmas. 

Lynk Photography Studios can be found in the attractive High Street timber framed buildings, in what was previously Ashtons Estate Agents, next to Peg's beautiful Laundrette and opposite The Red Lion.

If you would like to speak to Adam about any photography you may require, or just for some advice, his contact details are below.

Lynk Photography Studios
25 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF