Feasts! That’s one of the first things people think about when you say “medieval” (after knights and armour of course!).
BOOKING FOR A FEAST
The first and probably most important thing (especially for the organisers) is to make your booking for the feast that you wish to attend as soon as bookings open. That way the cook knows how much food to prepare. Always remember to let the bookings officer know if you have any allergies or special dietary requirements.
We can easily cater for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian needs, as long as you let us know about it. As for allergies: onions, mushrooms and spices do find their way into many medieval dishes. If you are allergic to them (or anything else), please make sure to let us know!
We do provide all of the food at a feast, but you will need to bring your beverage of choice.
When attending a feast your personal eating utentils will not be provided. These are commonly called “Feast Gear” in the SCA, and you will need to bring your own set along to every feast. You might not want to buy or put together a set before you’ve been to your first event so we have feast gear that you can borrow! If you would like to borrow some, please contact our Chatelaine.
If you would like to get your own feast gear together then Op Shops (and the ’70’s) are your friend! We try to avoid plastic, bright colours and obviously modern looking dishes, and tend to try to re-create a medieval look by searching for things made out of metal, earthenware, wood, pewter and pottery. They don’t have to match – they just need to look the part.
Feast Gear Essentials
- Dinner plate
- Jug or Pitcher
- Bottle Opener
- Cloth bag or basket to carry it all in
Please note: If you are bringing your own candles, they must be un-scented, and must be in an enclosed container.
If you are bringing bottles of wine, beer or soft drinks, please hide them in a cloth bag, wrap a tea towel around them, or decant into a jug and put the bottle away in your basket. We try to keep mundane (modern) items out of sight in an attempt to maintain the medieval atmosphere.
In the SCA, we try to re-create the Middle Ages as it would have been, and this also extends to our food. Therefore we only serve foods that would have been available in those times, using our interpretations of original medieval recipes.
We’ll have lots of meats, chicken, bread, root vegetables, herbs, spices, eggs, cheese, nuts, salads (sometimes including edible flowers), fruits and pastries. We don’t have potatoes or tomatoes at our feast as they are considered “new world” foods, but we do sometimes make an exception for chocolate!
A medieval feast is not generally in the form of entree, main and sweets. Instead, three, four or more “removes” are served throughout the evening. A remove may consist of three, four or more separate dishes – sweet and savoury. Typically, there might be entertainment, dancing or Court in between each remove.
We don’t have individual table service. Instead, the dishes are served on platters or in large bowls for each table, and are shared amongst the 6 or 8 people seated at your table.
As in medieval times, for every remove, the dishes are presented to the King and Queen, or the Baron and Baroness first. When they have partaken of the food, then the populace are served.
If you’d like to wash your dishes between removes, you can usually find a wash station set up outside, or out of view (not in the kitchen as they are busy preparing the next remove). This is usually just two large tubs full of hot water – one soapy and one for rinsing. Please feel free to use it as often as you wish.
Willing hands are always welcome. If you have time, helpers are always needed to set up the hall for the feast. This involves setting out tables and chairs, putting on tablecloths, hanging banners, setting out candles and other decorations.
Sometimes the Feastocrat (the person in charge of the kitchen) will ask for helpers to pre-cook dishes before the feast, and on the night there will be calls for servers to help serve a remove.
And of course, at the end of the evening, it really helps if you can stay back a little to help clear up the hall, put the chairs away, wash dishes, or sweep the floor. Any help that you can offer is always greatly appreciated.