The Beach House appears behind a line of protective evergreen trees as you approach Milford-on-Sea.
At last I have been inside.
When on the path running down to The White House turn off on the second rough path to the left to walk up to the terrace.
What is now a Hall & Woodhouse pub was until recently one of the UK’s top fifty hotels. But it was not easy just to walk in and look around.
The house was built in 1897 for electricity pioneer Alexander Siemans. He called it Westover but the family referred to their holiday home as ‘the beach house’.
The architect was Arnold Mitchell. After Siemans died here in 1928, the house was bought by motor pioneer Lord Nuffield who stayed in 1930 to 1932.
The building became a pub in 2012. The atmosphere is informal.
The bar is in the hall beneath the stained glass which Siemans’ wife preferred to net curtains. In the front room there is a huge fireplace decorated with de Morgan tiles.
The best place to eat is on the terrace with a view of The Needles. You order at the bar and the food arrives at your table.
The menu includes sandwiches with honey and mustard coleslaw from £3.99. Soup is an extra £2.75.
From the blackboard I chose grilled sardines with new potatoes, rocket and roast tomato sauce (£9.95).
And there are plenty of puddings from £4.55.
Food is served from noon to 9pm. Breakfast is 8am-10am.
Seeing the cakes on the counter as I left it might be worth calling in for tea if you cannot wait to get to the Needles Eye Cafe on the promenade or Polly’s Pantry in the village.
The Beach House at Milford-on-Sea is open daily.