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At first glance, the menu at Morston Hall – four courses, no choice – makes for rather conventional reading. However, in the hands of the talented Galton Blackiston, some kind of alchemy transforms
the mundane into culinary magic: consider, for example a springtime mousse of peas & smoked bacon, served with a hen’s egg poached for two hours at a steady temperature of around 65ºC, which
allows the white & yolk to set to a precise point of runny perfection. Blackiston’s skill also shows in sea-fresh, hand-dived scallops with local sea bass & delicately flavoured, rosy-pink
herb-crusted rack of lamb, while a light dessert of passion fruit tart with mango sorbet explores the balance between sharpness & sugar. The young sommelier displays a confidence beyond his
years when recommending wines, either by the bottle or the glass.
Good friends of ours moved to North Norfolk last year and when we planned a weekend visit, the first thing I asked our host was "How close are you to Morston Hall?" I know of Morston Hall from seeing chef/patron Galton Blackiston on various TV shows and I just love his approach to cooking. He is extremely big on seasonality and using the fantastic produce of his home county, Norfolk. And he just seems like a really lovely guy!Morston Hall has been owned by Blackiston and his wife for 22 years and for 15 of those they have held a Michelin star. It is a boutique hotel and they regularly run cookery classes too. Looking at the pictures on the website, I was expecting a huge country house in the middle of nowhere, so was quite surprised to find that even though the location is rural, it's not quite out in the sticks as I expected. It is still a grand old pile though...
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