Going one step further than the standard ‘restaurant with rooms’ function, Morston Hall – a hotel and eatery located in a refined and pleasant 18th century manor house – offers its guests a number of options for entertainment and diversion when they arrive.
These include cookery ‘demonstrations’ with a bit of celebrity chef pizzazz, courtesy of Galton Blackiston. The hall aims to provide a base from which Norfolk’s coastline, glassworks and other sights can be explored.
This is not to undermine the quality of the restaurant itself, which has won a slew of awards and a Michelin star. Decked out in a pleasantly nostalgic style, with a conservatory offering views of the grounds for visitors, the atmosphere is relaxed and relatively informal – although there’s no slouching on the part of the people who work there.
A busy calendar of events and offers keeps the appeal for visitors high, and Morston Hall definitely presents itself as a true stay-over destination rather than somewhere you’d simply visit for dinner.
Blackiston is well-known for his home-grown approach to cookery and the menus at Morston Hall bear full testament to this. The emphasis on local produce – which, again given the location, is renowned for some of the country’s most sought-after foodstuffs – is strong, and the menus cover all aspects from fine dining to breakfast (with highly-praised smoked haddock and kippers available) and afternoon teas, for an extra civilized touch.
There’s an international slant to many of the dishes on offer. So you might find confit duck and a ballotine of the leg served with ginger-infused vegetables, or a Parmesan terrine served with a salad of local vegetables on offer. Invention is also key – in the form of bacon and lettuce ‘gazpacho’, perhaps, or a piece of battered cod served with onion and caper jam. Prestige ingredients like Tamara duck also seal the ‘fine dining’ tag.
The acclaimed wine list has been classified ‘outstanding’.
There can't be many Michelin-starred chefs who started out selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on a market stall in Rye in 1979. Yet, the quietly spoken, endearingly eccentric Galton Blackiston isn't like other chefs.
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Awards & accolades
Good Food Guide
Country Restaurant Of The Year
The Michelin Guide
One Michelin Star