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I made the BBC Solent Radio studios in time, and was soon on air plugging the delights of Milford on Sea and our fabulous Food Week. Next, it was time to review stories from the Sunday papers, I had picked stories on Prince Harry’s newly found maturity, the budget smallprint adding VAT to takeaway food, and a bit of a rant about the architectural carbuncles caused by government interest free loans for house cladding, together with an impromptu moan about how solar panels are a blot on the aesthetic environment. My wife’s stern warnings had worked, and I did not swear, or get into an inane rage. It looks like next Tuesday's radio interview is still on.
On the drive back, I was unable to navigate through Lyndhurst, as my car was involuntarily drawn to the Local Producers Farmers Market. As I was alone, I gave in, parked, and made my way straight to the cake stall. A few minutes later, I was the proud and drooling owner of an unusual Bakewell tart cake and a scrumpious Chocolate sponge cake. I then remembered that I had to explain how I got them when I returned home. To eat them before getting to the door was a bridge to far even for me. Back home, my cover story of how it was traditional to give radio guests a cake or two fell on deaf ears and a stoney face. The lecture on why I didn't need them, was far outweighed by my delight that I was going to enjoy them all week!
It was soon time to make a decision about where to go for Sunday lunch. The glorious weather swung it for The Marine, just down the road on Milford on Sea seafront. As you might expect on calling to make a reservation, the restaurant was fully booked, but we were offered, and accepted, an outside table on the balcony. The first pint of San Miguel went down so well, as we sat and took in the fabulous views to The Needles, along Hurst Spit and across Christchurch Bay to the Purbeck Hills. Having dined on the Côte d'Azur, the Venice Waterways, alongside The Thames and on the QE2 to name but a few, it is easy to say that the location of this grand Art Deco building is just as spectacular on a warm sunny day. The complimentary home-made brown and white bread with fresh butter sprinkled with salt was a great way to get the tastebuds going. My wife’s starter was Crab and prawn cocktail with crusty bread. Her silly grin showed she had enjoyed it. I had chosen a Grilled rosary goats cheese crostini with pear, walnut and honey salad. For once the green leaves on the plate had a purpose other than just getting in the way of the real food. The combination of goats cheese, chopped walnuts and a delicious salad dressing created a taste and texture that was a delight.
If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.