Local Milford on Sea News Story Archives
12th February 2010: Join in Food Week with ‘Come Dine with Me!
Come Dine with Me! is an opportunity to have a bit of culinary fun with friends, family or neighbours, or even to get to know someone new, - & at the same time enjoy your own home entertaining skills!
Milford on Sea has an exciting & fun addition to the Food Week events calendar, and you can easily join in. Come dine with Me is a fun competition amongst the keen amateur cooks & hosts in the village. This one really is ‘not about the winning’, taking part is the bit that counts. Come Dine with Me! is an opportunity to have a bit of culinary fun with friends, neighbours, or to get to know someone new, - & at the same time enjoy your own home entertaining skills! Entering is simple, we need one 'Head Chef' to find 3 other people to be in their 'Come Dine with Me! Group. Each member of the group takes a turn to entertain the other 3 at home with a three course meal which is made from produce purchased in the village shops. The group can be made up of 'individuals', or 'couples'. All couples must cook individually on 'their own hosting night'. At the end of all dining evenings each invited guest scores each evening out of ten & gives their scores to the 'Head Chef'. The winner will be the host with the highest final score, & the winners of each group will get to be featured on this website! The scoring is just a bit of fun, the real idea is to have some great nights dining with friends!
How to Enter Come Dine with Me!
1. The 'Head Chef' to e-mail names & e-mail addresses of themselves & the 3 other people to be in their 'Come Dine with Me! Group' to email@example.com
2. The 'Head Chef' then arranges the dates for each of the dining evenings, which must be completed between 1st March & 11th April.
3. Each cook in the 'Come dine with Me! Group', must send a copy of their nights menu to the rest of the group no later than one week before your entertaining date.
4. For all meals the produce should be purchased from the Milford on Sea village shops.
5. At the end of the dining evenings the 'Head Chef' sends the groups results to David for the winners to be featured on this website. | firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Closing date for entries: End of February
7. Any groups that do not enjoy themselves will be disqualified! Come Dine with Me! is fun - Come on, join in now! | www.milfordonseafoodweek.org/come-dine-with-me
16th February 2010: Verveine Restaurant opens to rave reviews
Our new local fine dining fish restaurant has now opened to rave reviews in Milford on Sea. Already people who have dined there are saying it is even better than Pebble Beach at Barton on Sea, & that is quite an accolade. Now of course you should not take my word for it, particularly as Stacey & David are friends of mine. Having visited the build on numerous occasions the transformation is extraordinary, Stacey’s eye for design is very impressive. However, as with most projects of this kind there was blind panic in the run up to opening. I would have course lent a hand personally, but I am more of the cerebral & arty kind. My wife however is the practical one in our family, so I sent her along to do a few hours of painting alongside Uncle John & several others. The end result was staggering as you will find when you visit. (Particularly the painting of the ‘arched window’ I have been instructed to tell you.)
I do have one complaint though. ‘My friends’ had sold out on the night we wanted to go, friends eh! Anyway, to keep myself happy I decided to gate crash their ‘opening reception’ for local hoteliers & B&B’s on Tuesday night. Free drinks & canapés is my kind of evening. (My wife couldn’t make it as she was still trying to get the smell of white spirit out of her hair.) As I had no formal invitation I told the guy on the door that I owned Chewton Glen, & he happily let me in. The amassed gathering were having a great time, so I just blended into the background & tucked into the canapés. Did you think that smoked salmon & granny smiths apples would go?, what about chocolate truffles with peanut butter? No, I didn’t either but they were amazing & the hot smoked salmon & mackerel pate was fantastic. (Yes, I did eat them in that order.) It will come as no surprise that everyone else was equally impressed & the bookings taken proved this. It was also great to have a chat with Chris Monk who had run the original Monks Fishmongers on the site for many years. Chris was thrilled with the transformation, & he was more than pleased that not only have we retained a great wet fish shop in the village, but we have also gained a great restaurant.
Last Saturday my son Matthew, took his girlfriend Kayleigh to Verveine’s for an early Valentines treat. You would think that I would be pleased when he confidently told me that they both felt it was the best meal they had ever had. However, when I considered all of the expensive restaurants I have taken him to over the years, I was slightly annoyed that Verveine hadn’t opened sooner. Dave is without doubt an amazing chef & Stacey is passionate about ensuring everyone has a great experience. One day we will get to dine there, - that is if ‘my friends’ can fit us in, & my wife can eradicate the white spirit from her hair! www.verveine.co.uk
16th February 2010: Milford Croft goes gold!
Milford Croft Self Catering bungalow, just off the seafront in Hurst Road, Milford on Sea, has recently undergone its annual assessment by VisitBritain and has now been awarded their five star status for the accommodation being ‘exceptional with a degree of luxury’. To add to this Colin & Tricia have also received the Quality Assessment Scheme Gold Award. This award only became available for self catering establishments during 2009 and is used sparingly. There’s only one other self catering cottage in Milford on Sea that has been assessed to this level and just a handful in the New Forest area. The owners, Tricia and Colin are understandably delighted. www.milfordcroft.co.uk
16th February 2010: A lunchtime surprise at Zaika
Anyone who reads the nonsense I report on these pages will be well aware that I am partial to a great curry. Fortunately, I know a lot of you are as well. As part of my research for the Milford on Sea Food Week I decided that it would be good to get a picture, and a bit of background on all of the chefs, or owners of the eateries in the village. To find out about the chef at Zaika I called Kalam & arranged an appointment to call. On arriving I had no idea that I was about to enter my own personal heaven. I soon met Souel Bodrul, who I was to discover was trained at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel in his home country of Bangladesh, and that in the UK, Souel has been a specialist tandoori chef at the Bombay Brassiere, & Chutney Mary in London. He now loves creating unique dishes at our own local Zaika restaurant. After taking some photos to accompany the pen pictures on the website, Kalam asked if I would like to see the dishes from the new menu he will be launching in a couple of weeks. Would I?!!
In no time the kitchen was in full flow & one incredible dish followed another, & each was art on a plate. You of course know what I was now thinking. Four exquisite dishes on the table that had only been touched by the flash from my camera, - they looked lovely, but very lonely! Right on cue, Kalam asked if I would like to taste them. Now, my desired answer was of course a foregone conclusion, but like most things in my life, situations are not simple. To explain, just before coming to Zaika my wife had said ‘don’t be too long, I am doing tomato soup with homemade bread for lunch’. You can see my dilemma, I was now faced with the wrath of my wife, or a fantastic meal. I decided that I have survived most misdemeanours in the past, all that I needed was a good story for getting home late. Again looking at the table ladened with glorious food, I decided my excuse would wait. So, not wanting to eat alone I said to Kalam, ‘only if you join me’. I know, a risky strategy, but luckily it worked. Kalam & I then sat down & tucked our way through a new starter of Kurkure Stuffed Mushrooms, a breadcrumb coated ball containing mushroom, potato, sweetcorn & cottage cheese, served on a bed of vegetable curry. Then we tucked into the first new main course, which was a Cinnamon Tossed Grilled Chicken Breast, made with free range corn fed chicken stuffed with spinach & flavoured with spices & garlic, served on a sweet & sour sweet corn sauce, still going, we then had Chicken Chameli, tandoori free range corn fed chicken breasts stuffed with spiced peas & carrots, served on a black lentil & homemade mango sauce. Finally we reached the Dipped Chocolate Strawberries & mango pulp! As we ate, Souel & his team watched us intently, & we could see their satisfied smiles as we savoured each different taste.
Hard to believe that things could get even better, but Kalam then told me the dishes will be on his menu in a couple of weeks, & that they were starting an ‘All You Can Eat Sunday Buffet’ at the same time. I just love living in Milford on Sea! On leaving, and having said my thanks, I remembered I had to explain why I had been out for two hours. So walking back I bought some mints, & then rolled in the muddy grass by the Danes Stream. As I arrived home there was no welcoming kiss for me, just a slightly uncomfortable feeling, as my wife look up & down at my muddy clothes. Things were not going so well now. I endeavoured to explain how I had been mugged in Sea Road by a gang of four old ladies on motorised scooters, but she was having none of it. Worse still, she recalled the time I had been mugged by a gang of particularly large girl guides, & a few months later by a troup of vertically challenged guys from the local circus. It then occurred to me that it was probably time that I now thought of a more creative line of excuses. Looks like I will be getting my own tea tonight, but I’m a bit nervous to ask if there is any tomato soup left. www.zaikanewforest.co.uk
16th February 2010: Duncan is back!
A familiar face has returned to the Milford on Sea estate agent scene. Duncan Broomfield is now managing Sullivan Mitchell having returned to work in the village. Previously Duncan has worked at Murray Hayward for 7 years & before this he spent 7 years in the RAF Police serving on overseas detachments and UK based. Duncan is married to Charlie who runs Purple Paperclips IT services and they have two children Holly 15 and Archie 5. When not working around the village, you will find Duncan indulging in his favourite pastime of enjoying his 1969 mk2 Mini Cooper. Following Duncan’s arrival the Sullivan Mitchell office will be open 7 days a week from 1st March 2010. www.sullivanmitchell.net
19th February 2010: More Awards for David’s Sausages & Bacon!
Our local butcher, David Gates from The Butchers Shop in Milford on Sea, has won more awards for his already substantial trophy cabinet. Impressively, David has been awarded the title of ‘Hampshire Home Cured Bacon Champion’ at ‘The Great Hampshire Sausage, Pie & Ready Meal Competition’. David was also awarded with six gold awards for his village made sausages, plus he also won another two gold awards for his bacon. Sounds like these could be worth a try!
The Great Hampshire Sausage, Pie & Ready Meal Competition is organised by Hampshire Fare, and was held at Sparsholt Agricultural College near Winchester. The event is the biggest county competition of its kind, with the competition attracting around 200 individual entries from 30 Hampshire butchers and livestock farmers.
David is also celebrating 25 years of trading in Milford on Sea during Food Week. To mark the occasion he is planning to offer ‘One pound of Sausages at the 1985 price’ during his anniversary. Congratulations David, it great to have the ‘Hampshire Sausage & Bacon King’ in our village!
27th February 2010: Our MP joins in Food Week!
Desmond Swayne, our local MP has generously donated ‘A Tour of the Palace of Westminster & Lunch for Two - hosted by Desmond Swayne MP’ to Milford on Sea Food Week. Anyone over 18 can place a bid, so why not bid to experience a visit inside the Houses of Parliament & enjoy a meal as a guest of Desmond Swayne, our local MP. You can also take the opportunity to ask him about the forthcoming election! Your own political persuasion is irrelevant, as Desmond says that his mission is to represent all my constituents irrespective of how they voted or intend to vote. Online Bidding Closes: 6pm Friday 9th April 2010. Final Bids: 8pm at Five Course Gourmet Evening at Westover Hall, Non diners can come along to place bids if they wish. Thanks go to: Desmond Swayne for the generous donation to support Milford on Sea Food Week & also to Tricia, for having the gumption to ask him! Auction Web Page: www.milfordonseafoodweek.org/auction
Farmers Market at Braxton’s Next Saturday
The New Forest Produce Farmers Market is coming to Braxton Gardens in Lymore Lane, Milford on Sea. The first farmers market will be next Saturday 3rd March from 9am to 3pm. The market will then run monthly thoughout the year on the first Saturday of every month. In addition to this, Braxton Gardens will also be holding additional farmers markets on Tuesday’s from 3pm to 7pm from May to August. This sounds a great chance to buy some tasty local produce, & a good warm up to our own village Food Market on Sunday 11th April. Neil & Emma have really revitalised Braxton Gardens since taking over last year. If you haven’t been up there recently it is certainly worth a visit. The gardens have had a substantial makeover and the tea rooms are really inviting. In additional to this they now sell an interesting selection of wines for you to take away, or you can simply enjoy a glass on the terrace. During Milford on Sea Food Week they are also putting on a number of events, including ‘An Introduction to Wine Tasting’, a ‘ Choir & Cocktail Evening’ and a ‘Teddy Bear Picnic’ for the kids. Looks like Braxton’s is certainly worth a visit if you haven’t been there for a while! | You can see all of Braxton Gardens Farmers Market dates at: www.milfordonsea.org/farmers-market-calendar
27th February 2010: Milford Tennis & Squash Club rises from ashes
Following the devastating fire at Milford Tennis & Squash Club on Boxing Day, rebuilding work is now underway. The damaged building and asbestos roof are now being removed & reconnection of the electricity is being scheduled. The planned new layout for the building will be on display at the club very soon. The club is a great part of the Milford on Sea Community, and they cater for a lot more than the energetic amongst us. In addition to lawn tennis, squash & table tennis, (all games where people choose to run about for some reason), they also host more sedate activities, such as Bridge, Mahjong and even an Art Club & an active social scene. I suspect that a lot of people can’t wait for the club to be back in full flow. Milford Tennis & Squash Club website www.milfordtennisandsquash.net
27th February 2010: New Flood Defences at Danes Stream
Milford on Sea is to get New Flood Defences at the Danes Stream. The Environment Agency is investing in excess of £700,000 into three New Forest Flood Zones. Our own sheet pile flood defences will be replaced at a cost of £60,000 sometime during this year.
27th February 2010: Need any odd jobs done?
Time are pretty tough out there for many trying to make a living, but thankfully things still need to be done around the home. If you are looking for a local service of any kind it is worth taking a look at the ‘Village Business & Home Services’ page on the ‘Our Village’ tab. We have information on some good local handymen & other trades that could come in useful. Local services: www.milfordonsea.org/village-businesshome-services