Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Totally F****d

My laptop that is (and yes, it was a incredibly childish excuse to get swearing into the blog, and quote some more Spring Awakening... more on the latter later)

Possibly in protest at the amount of use it got, or as a refusal to play last year's Patti LuPone Gypsy revival one more time, said laptop sat down and point blank refused to switch on. Ever again. What can I say? There was weeping. Cursing. Small tantrums were had. And there may have been some more weeping. Just a bit. Anyway, so I gave up all luxuries - until I had enough money set aside to purchase a new, shiny 'puter, which has just been introduced to the blog. And hasn't turned it's nose up at musical theatre. Yet. Give it a few years of endless repeats of Touch Me and it may change it's mind. So, the break in blogging now explained, I should also explain that despite being horribly retentive I blatantly failed to back up my most recent food photographs (I can hear some of you sighing with relief at being spared my forays into food photography) so am now without photos for several posts I had planned.

However, that doesn't mean I haven't been on some exciting foodie excursions of late, for my birthday, my boyfriend took me on a weekend away to Morston Hall, which is home to Galton Blackiston's Michelin starred restaurant. The hotel itself was beautiful, set on the North Norfolk Coast, which was stunningly bleak, on the bright, yet cold weekend in February we and the dog visited. We spent much of our weekend taking long walks in the nearby countryside (the beach that the closing scene of Shakespeare in Love was filmed on is just down the road) and curling up in front of the many open fires in the hotel with a good book (The Forgotten Garden since you ask... and it was brilliantly gripping) a glass of sherry (apparently in this respect at least, I'm old before my time) and of course a slightly muddy dog. Of course, enjoying the outdoors and roaring fires aside, it was truly the food that we were both there for (apparently the dog was happy with her Iams, but I'm not so sure she wasn't hoping for leftovers! I have to say, that this is easily the best food I have ever eaten, the attention to detail meant that each plate or dish was beautiful, as well as tasting amazing. I think my favourite dishes of our two evening meals (we had to cancel our booking for Sunday lunch as we were sooooo full) were the pork belly dish on the Saturday night, and the skate on the Sunday. Both meals however were amazing, flavours balanced impecabbly and never feeling rushed. On the Saturday night (being Valentines day) all the women were given a potted primrose to take home, mine is now planted in our front garden and is flowering beautifully despite the cold.

It feels almost blasphemous to suggest this, but the evening meals were nearly eclipsed by the breakfasts, amazing slow cooked porridge, creamy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and melt in the mouth black pudding, and of course pots and pots of fabulously strong, hot tea. Setting us up fabulously for more long walks and investigations of the snowdrops who were just starting to peek out when we were there.

I've asked for copies of the menus we had, as it changes daily depending on what can be sourced locally from butchers, fishmongers etc (yes it did feel as if the whole ethos of the meals had been put together with me in mind!) As soon as I hear back I'll update this post, or add another, I must say the format of a set tasting menu as it were encourages to try things that you wouldn't order in a month of Sundays, I certainly wouldn't have ventured into the territory of blood orange sorbet which was out of this world! On a more serious note I did talk with the Head Chef on the Saturday night about produce sourcing, and everything is from within a 30 mile radius of the hotel itself which I think is pretty amazing.
So for my first post back, we have a little swearing, and quite a lot of excited rambling about Morston Hall, I hope it's up to scratch... next time a quick review of the York and Albany's Sunday lunch menu! Then I promise, back to the usual combination of cooking and random musical theatre references. Guides honour!
Oh and after an immediate 2 week extension of the run at the Lyric, Spring Awakening will be transferring to the Novello theatre from the 21st March 2009, if you have a chance do go... it's not just me, the critics loved it too (although possibly not to the extent of my devotion).


Jules said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Happy Belated Birthday.

Pen said...

It was lovely, I was a very spoiled girl really. :-) Thank you

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Morston Hall sounds amazing :) you're making me hungry! Sorry to hear about your computer woes, it's not till they crash that I realise how attached I am to them.

Lucky you having Spring Awakening at your fingertips. My play count for Touch Me is ridiculous :)


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