Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Morston Hall, Norfolk - Cookery demonstration and lunch

Morston Hall is situated 2 miles from Blakeney on the picturesque north Norfolk coast. It's the creation of the extremely talented Galton Blackiston and his wife Tracey. I had ridiculously high expectations as we pulled up the drive on a sunny morning to attend one of Galton's cookery demonstrations and dine there that evening. My girlfriend had attended one of his residential cookery courses last year and couldn't speak highly enough of the amazing time she had. It lived up to expectations and surpassed them! I'm going to do this blog in two parts, the first on lunch and the second on dinner.

We attended the May cookery demo which was a 'morning of fish and summer cooking'. The day started around 10am with coffees and some delicious macaroons. We then all assembled in the Morston kitchen to watch Galton at work. It's a brilliant way to spend a morning. Galton guided us through the dishes in a relaxed and informal way with plenty of opportunity to ask questions along the way. It's great watching him and the other kitchen staff at work as they effortlessly make lunch for 25 people right before your eyes. It was also great as a coeliac to see the precautions they take in the kitchen to avoid any cross contamination. Where my dishes required any modifications these were kept and cooked separate. Morston is by far the best place I've been in terms of their ability to modify dishes for those on a gluten free diet. You also come away with recipe sheets for each of the dishes to create at home.

Each dish was absolutely exquisite, the highlights for me were a poached fillet of turbot with tarragon butter sauce and tomato fondue. It was beautifully balanced with the tomato cutting through the buttery sauce and fish cooked to perfection. The fish curry was also great, made with apple, banana and pineapple the subtle fruity flavours really lifted the curry and with chunks of monkfish, salmon, scallops and prawns it was a fantastic dish. Gooseberry and mackerel is not something I'd have ever put together but this worked really well. The gooseberry jelly was beautifully smooth and really lifted the mackerel to new heights.

I'd definitely recommend one of the cookery demonstrations. They also had the best gluten free bread rolls I've ever tasted! Take a look at the pictures of all the dishes:
Delicious gluten free bread rolls
Fish curry with sautéed spinach
Crab cakes with avocado cubes
Poached fillet of turbot with tarragon butter sauce and tomato fondue
Fillets of mackerel with gooseberry jelly and horseradish mayonnaise and
pan fried fillet of sea trout with champagne sauce
Morston's own honey ice cream 
You can find our more about the Morston Hall cookery demonstrations here and there's more to follow soon on dinner at Morston Hall!

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