Morston Hall has always been one of my favourite places to stay and dine on the north Norfolk coast. My husband has kindly taken me there to stay for birthday treats and it was also the place we spent our wedding night.
Situated near the famous marshes, just two miles from Blakeney, Galton and Tracey Blackiston launched this wonderful Michelin starred and award-winning hotel and restaurant nearly 25 years ago and it’s still going strong today.
Galton took some time out to talk to me for my first Chef’s Life on a Plate interview for Love To Eat To Travel and has kindly offered a COMPETTION give away his book, ‘A Return to Real Cooking.’
For your chance to win his signed book see how to win on Twitter @Love2Eat2Travel.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I’m from Norfolk and I attended Hainford Primary School just outside Norwich. My family and I moved to Kent but I suppose we always wanted to return to Norfolk one day. My parents eventually retired in Blakeney and Mortson Hall was up for sale so we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. That was 25 years ago!
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF?
I was on course to be a professional cricketer but it didn’t work out. I was good but not hitting the top professional scores I needed. My mother and I sat down and she prompted me to look at the talents I enjoyed, one of which was cooking! I wasn’t particularly academic at school and I didn’t want an office job, so I decided to start baking cakes, breads and biscuits and sell these at the local market stall in Rye. I really enjoyed it and my cooking career took off.
WHERE ELSE HAVE YOU WORKED?
I have been really fortunate to have worked all over the UK (Miller Howe), America (Union League Club and Pierre Hotel) and South Africa at the Mount Nelson with fantastic chefs.
WHAT IS THE FOOD ETHOS AT MORSTON HALL?
Everything we cook is seasonal, regional and simple. One of my favourite things to cook with is the sea herbs I gather from the Morston Marshes. These Sea Kale, Sea Purslane, Sand Hort, Sea Beets and samphire. We also have a wonderful herb garden and use trusted local suppliers of meat, fish and vegetables. We are delighted to have been awarded a place in the top ten Gourmet Hotels in the Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Awards 2016.
Throughout the year we run cookery demonstrations all based on seasonal flavours.
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO DINE OUT?
Locally I like going to my local The Anchor at Morston, my fish and chip shop and upstairs restaurant at the Number 1 in Cromer, Rocky Bottom, the new fish restaurant in East Runton and Benedict’s in Norwich. Further afield, I love the Waterside at Bray, Le Gavroche and The Ledbury.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I have inspiration from the chefs I know and the travelling I am fortunate enough to do. My new head chef Greg Anderson is an absolute breath of fresh air having worked at places as L’Enclume and Grayvetye Manor. Of course, I have huge respect for the Roux family and my close friends, James Martin and Tom Kerridge.
WHAT’S IT LIKE APPEARING ON SATURDAY KITCHEN?
I really enjoy it. I like cooking my own recipes, but presenting it would be another matter. James Martin has been amazing on this programme and he made it look so easy, which it isn’t!
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO HOLIDAY?
I love going to the Dubai Gold Cup. My dream is to have my own racehorse! Due to my love of cricket, Antigua in the West Indies is always a favourite and South Africa. The best thing about travelling whether it’s in the UK or abroad is picking up interesting ideas for the restaurant and hotel.
WHAT’S COMING UP AT MORSTON HALL HOTEL?
We have our special Afternoon Tea in the sun room which is always a special treat for friends and family to enjoy.
We have the Dine and Dream special offer, so guests can stay any night except Friday and Saturday during September, October, November and December. It includes a seven course dinner, canapes and petit fours plus a traditional or alterative breakfast.
On July 13th we are hosting a Summer Wine Evening combined with summer dishes and on December 31st, we are celebrating the start of a new year! This is going to be a glamourous black tie dinner with champagne on arrival, dinner with music.
Galton – thank you being my Chef’s Life on a Plate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Follow @ChefGalton and @MorstonHall on Twitter for their latest news and special offers.
For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01263 740419.