Galton Blackiston, so named because of his relation to acclaimed 19th Century anthropologist Sir Francis Galton, had initially planned on pursuing a career as a professional cricketer but it was adolescent entrepreneurship that made him realise the culinary world beckoned. When he was 17 years old Galton Blackiston ran a stall selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on at a market in Rye to make extra money, and the range of ‘Galton’s Goodies’ proved such a success that he would frequently sell out by lunchtime. Realising that his talents lay in cooking as well as sport, he decided to focus on a career as a chef.
Swapping wickets for chef’s whites and with no formal training under his belt, his first job in catering was with the legendary John Tovey at Miller Howe, the world-renowned Windermere hotel. While this may have been a rather spontaneous decision – his parents were on holiday at the Miller Howe when they discovered there was a position vacant in the kitchen – Galton Blackiston spent four years working in the pastry section, gaining creative skills and indulging his love of desserts. He flourished under Tovey’s tutelage, eventually becoming the hotel’s head chef.
After periods of work experience in London, New York, South Africa and Canada Galton Blackiston and his wife, Tracy, looked for somewhere to settle and run a business. Eventually they found Morston Hall, a picturesque Jacobean country house with 4 rooms and a 20 cover restaurant located just a stone’s throw from the North Norfolk coast. Since Galton and Tracy Blackiston opened Morston Hall it has enjoyed an impressive 22 years in the Good Food Guide, more than doubled its number of rooms and covers and is widely considered to be a jewel in the crown of Norfolk’s up and coming food scene. In 1999 the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, an accolade it has retained ever since.
Galton Blackiston offers diners a set menu prepared from fresh, seasonal produce sourced from premium local suppliers – menu stalwarts include Morston mussels, Blakeney lobster and Norfolk duck – and, as if county-wide produce wasn’t quite local enough, Morston Hall also boasts its own kitchen garden where herbs and salad are grown throughout the year.