Don't be put off by the rather severe-looking flint exterior of this solid Jacobean house on the North Norfolk coast. Inside, the rooms are unexpectedly bright and airy, painted in summery colours and overlooking a sweet garden, where a fountain plays in a lily pond and roses flourish.The raison d'être of Morston Hall is its dining room, the responsibility of Galton Blackiston, who shot to fame as a finalist in ITV's 'Chef of the Year'. He has since won huge acclaim for his outstanding modern European cuisine and, the icing on the cake, a Michelin star in 1999. His set four-course menu changes daily and might feature: confit of leg of duck on sautéed Lyonnaise potatoes with thyme-infused jus or grilled fillet of sea bass served on fennel duxelle with sauce vierge. The carefully-stocked wine cellar offers a comprehensive selection of (not overpriced) wines from all over the world.
Galton and his wife, Tracy, also organize wine-tasting dinners and cookery lessons. He gives a number of half-day cookery demonstrations and runs two three-day residential courses each year. Most of the large bedrooms are decked out in chintz fabrics, with armchairs and all the little extras, such as bottled water, bathrobes and large, warm, fluffy towels.