This party is both one of my most memorable and one of my most challenging. The recreation of a medieval banquet while appeasing modern taste required a lot of recipe research. This dinner party was hosted in full theme with rich medieval characters, we decorated in a medieval style with rich fabrics and tapestries, the dinner party included medieval games and a medieval puppet theatre.
This party includes a 6 course banquet plan for 8 people with recipes and free printables.
Creating a medieval table
I went with an opulent table of dark reds and gold, reminiscent of a regal banquet. The table cloth was a baroque upholstery fabric with a rich floral and stipe pattern. The central candelabra was gold with vine leaves to which I added red berries and greenery from my Christmas box.
Banquet tables were often decorated with exotic fruits - or meats disguised as fruits. For this party I went with real fruit placed in vintage colourful carnival glass pedestal dishes.
Fresh flowers also graced our table, these were placed in vintage copper urns, the centre of the table was full of berry garlands and small gold tea lights. Dark red velvet tie backs were used on the chairs to add richness.
A Medieval menu was created for this party, all recipes are included below. The party started with a warm mead served in vintage gold and red glasses.
The place settings used a gold charger with a vintage red and gold dinner set and gold flatware. Napkin holders were created with wide floral craft ribbon and gold metal napkin rings. A red berry and place name topped the plate. Our guest name cards can be downloaded here. (Set 1) and (Set 2)
Medieval gold goblets with gemstones graced the table with small brass deers.
The most challenging part of this party was the menu. Just what did the nobility eat in the middle ages? They ate a lot of meat, including a lot of game. Salads, fruits and nuts when available and a lot of soups. Hosts liked to be creative in the presentation of meals and great banquets went for many hours with many courses. This was also a time of plague with many people opting for herbal elixirs to combat the flux. Our recipes are all included below and you can download our menu
Our first course was Salad with herbs, fruit and nuts. In medieval times salad was called "salat". We served a version of a Waldolf Salad with edible flowers, this helped make this dish quite striking.
Our second course was Pottage with trenches. Pottage is a soup style dish to which you added anything that was available. We made a hearty winter soup and added purple cabbage to provide a striking purple broth. Given the number of courses served this day I went with Grissoni rather that a heavy trench of bread.
Our third course was scallops on the half shell with sage butter. We served these using each houses banner. You will read more on this later.
Our fourth course was a herbal plague elixer. This was a lovely basil and lime sorbet, a perfect fourth course. This was served in a vintage champagne glass with vintage ornate Asian spoons.
Our fifth and main course was a crown roast beef served with potatoes and green beans. You will require a good butcher to create the crown. The beef was served with a rich gravy, roast potatoes and garlic and a green bean and pomegranate side.
Our sixth and final course was spiced poached pear with mead. The mead was served warm in a petite glass
The trick to this style of party is to plan well ahead so you can slowly collect objects to help transform your home into a medieval castle. It's amazing the effect that plastic stone wall has on a room, while tricky to get in place it really helps to create a medieval castle ambience.
An alter was created for meal serving complete with tall wooden candles, tapestries, rich vintage fabric and faux hides. Our Hosts were of viking decent so we included horned helmets. The medieval people were also deeply religious so a small shrine was included, complete with bible
Our deer (bob) fit in really well for this party.
The party was held in character with the hosts Ragner and Lagetha inviting three formidably medieval couples to a winter solstice banquet. The night evolved often in character with each couple performing a puppet play and trying to murder the opposition using a "find the card game"Prior to the party each guest was sent specific party instructions, these included formal character descriptions for the evening, a brief bio on the other guests, some puppets to form a play and a house banner to make. The party games can be downloaded using the following links: Game instructions and character overview, Large Banners, Banner cards, Game Cards one, two & three,
The arrival of the house banners represented the arrival of our guests. Each house was asked to prepare a play for the medieval puppet show, our puppet theatre was made using cardboard boxes, pane velvet and a hand pained backdrop of the country side. House banners were displayed on tall candelabras.
Medieval card holders were made with vintage style jewellery and velvet. These were used for a game of medieval guess who. The game included medieval occupations, such as “Master of the Privy” and a “cupbearer” and items found around the standard castle.
Prior to the party, small images of the house banners were hidden through the dining and lounge area, as they were found they were placed on the corresponding house banner, the first couple to receive 12 cards on their banner met an awful death.
The invitations were delivered a few weeks in advance, I dressed my children as young vikings for the occasion. The invitations were secured within ornate flocked paper and sealed with a ribbon and wax seal. The invitations were in a box with party instructions, banners and puppets.
For this Medieval Dinner Party we did a lot of research on medieval banquets and the meals consumed by the wealthy in the middle ages, we then applied a modern overlay to transform some potentially unpalatable options to modern times. The menu also took into account what can be achieved in a normal domestic kitchen and served while entertaining guests, recipes are for 8 guests.
While the recipes were not difficult it did require a good plan to ensure the meals hit the table on time. I also asked different guests to assist with plating the various courses and this was invaluable help.
How I approached the cooking.
Some of these ingredients will not be available at your local supermarket, specifically edible flowers and micro herbs, find suppliers well in advance
Start the soup a day in advance
Order the crown roast a month in advance and ask your butcher to age the meat
Start the plague Elixer a day in advance
Prepare the dressing for the Salat a day in advance
Ensure the table is all set at least a day in advance
Have all the serving ware close at hand and ready to use
Salat with Herbs, Fruit and Nuts.
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
200g creamy Blue Cheese
Salt & Pepper
4 tablespoons lemon Juice
200 ml Olive oil
400ml sunflower oil
4 tablespoons warm water
8 Granny Smith apples
4 Celery Sticks
50 grams creamy blue cheese
Edible flowers (Pansies)
For the dressing, cream the egg yolk, mustard, cheese, lemon juice and salt and pepper until smooth
Slowly add the two oils while slowly whisking the mayonnaise to form an emulsion, If the mayonnaise becomes thick half way through add the water and continue adding the oil while whisking. Season if required.
Roast the walnuts in a preheated oven at 180 C for 6 minutes cool completely
Wash and peel the celery, cut into 5 cm long thin sticks, keep them in a zip lock bag in the fridge until needed.
Wash apples and watercress.
When you are ready to serve remove the core with an apple corer, then use a mandoline to slice the apples into 2 - 3 ml thick slices. Keep the apples together to make them look as if they are whole again.
Lightly dress each slice with the dressing and place the apple in its natural shape in the centre of a plate.
Arrange the apple in the centre of the plate in its natural shape
Arrange the celery, walnuts and watercress around the apple and crumb the cheese. Spoons the dressing lightly around the plate and add some of the dressing. Place some edible flowers around the plate as a final touch
Pottage with Trenches
3 lamb shanks
4 litres of water
1 stick celery
1/2 small purple cabbage
1 stick extra celery
Salt / pepper
Packet Grissini sticks
Chives as a garnish
For the stock, place lamb, water, roughly chopped onion, celery salt and pepper in a pan.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook cover for 1 1/2 hours.
Cool the stock and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, strain stock and discard any fat, return the stock to the pan, add the roughly chopped meat from the shanks and ring to a boil
Add chopped carrots, potatoes, turnip, extra celery and cabbage and simmer covered for 1 hour.
Season as required.
Place two Grissini sticks and long chives on the side of a vintage bowl..
Scallops on the half shell with sage butter
24 scallops on the half shell
1 tablespoon olive oli
40 grams buter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Lemon wedges to serve
Micro herbs to serve
Heat a medium frying pan over high heat. Add oil, butter, sage and garlic and cook for 1 minute
Remove the scallops from the shells, reserving the shells.
Add the scallops to the pan and cook for 30 seconds each side.
Place cooked scallops back on the shells.
Add lemon juice and cook for a further minute, then add the chives.
Spoon the pan sauce over the scallops to serve
The scallops were evenly arranged on the plate with a lemon wedge and micro herbs.
A house banner was inserted into the lemon - you can read more about house banners in the Medieval Games section.
Herbal Plague Elixer
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 whole star anise
1 1/4 cups fresh lime Juice
30 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Extra lime for plating
micro basil for plating
Bring sugar and water to the boil in a small saucepan; allow to boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Combine the above, lime juice and basil in a blender until they are a fine puree.
Pour the mixture into a container deep enough to allow you you to use an ice cream scoop
Ensure the container is completely covered to avoid icing, then place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Remove from the freezer and place in the blender for a second time until very smooth. Return to the container, cover and freeze until ready to use.
I used vintage champagne glasses with a gold pattern around the rim, these were placed on a set of three graduated plates. The spoons were a vintage set from Thailand with a wooden handle and brassy coloured metal spoon.
Using an ice cream scoop, place one scoop per glass
Place a wedge of lime on the glass and some micro basil
Crown Roast Beef
You will require a good butcher for this roast. I ordered this roast a month in advance so our wonderful butcher reserved and aged the beef. I used a wing-rib sirloin which the butcher secured into a crown with string. You will require approximately 12 ribs to form a crown. Ensure you ask your butcher to chine the beef joint between the upper spine bones so you can easily slice between the ribs.
Remove the meat from the fridge a good hour before cooking
Preheat oven to 240c
For medium/ rare roast at 240c for the first 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180.
Calculate time using 17 minutes for each 500 grams. If using a meat thermometer cook until internal temperature reaches 65c
Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes in a warm place or double layer of foil
We served the roast on a large platter and carved between each rib at the table.
The roast was served with sides of roast potatoes and garlic and green beans and pomegranate and a rich gravy.
Spiced Poached Pear with Mead
750 ml dry red wine
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
8 Just ripe pears, peeled with the stem attached and base trimmed to stand straight
Combine wine, sugar, star anise, cinnamon and vanilla bean in pan large enough to hold the pears.
Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves
Add the pears and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, turning occasionally for one hour or until pears are tender (note: this can take longer if the pears are very firm)
Place the pear in the centre of the plate
Drizzle with the cooking juice.
Add vanilla ice cream
Decorate with small African violets.
Serve warm Mead to accompany the dessert.
We hope you enjoyed our GOT Medieval Dinner Party and games, it was a lot of fun, our guests fully participated with lovely dresses and great banter on life in the medieval ages. While we all enjoyed the games, it would also be a lovely party with decorations and food alone.
Credits: Ornate Medieval frames were purchased from Digitalya
Meat and fish were the most important dishes on the menu. If served roast or boiled, they were always accompanied by a sauce, and Chiquart gives 15 recipes for them. The value placed on sauces is indicated by the name given to a cinnamon sauce in a German cookery book, called a “sauce for lords”.What was served at a typical medieval feast? ›
While some great medieval banquets had up to seven courses, with 20 or more dishes in each course, the norm for a English feast was three courses. Each of the courses could have a mixture of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes, and sweets and savoury foods were served side-by-side.
To make a medieval feast, start with a course of soup and salad, like beef and barley soup with mixed greens. Then, serve some medieval-inspired appetizers, like cheese, cured meats, and loaves of bread. Next, serve a rich, heavy main course, like meat pie or a roasted pig.How many courses are in a medieval banquet? ›
Wealthy medieval diners relished variety and novelty. They would have enjoyed two or three courses with seven to ten dishes served together. It was usual, at these great events, to mix sweet and savoury delicacies, and to serve spectacular 'subtelties' between courses.What food is served at a banquet? ›
2. Western buffet menu
- Fish or seafood.
- Pork or beef.
-sweet dishes : pudding, tarts, crustards, patties, wafers, doughnuts, pancakes, marzipan cakes (almond cakes), compotes, creams and fruit cooked in hyppocras. -salt dishes custards, tarts, cheese pies (marzipan turnovers), doughnuts (ancestors to ravioli) wheat foods to go with the meats, venisons.What foods were eaten in the Middle Ages? ›
Everyday food for the poor in the Middle Ages consisted of cabbage, beans, eggs, oats and brown bread. Sometimes, as a specialty, they would have cheese, bacon or poultry. All classes commonly drank ale or beer. Milk was also available, but usually reserved for younger people.Which food item would medieval people have recognized? ›
Cereals remained the most important staple during the Early Middle Ages as rice was introduced late, and the potato was only introduced in 1536, with a much later date for widespread consumption. Barley, oats, and rye were eaten by the poor. Wheat was for the governing classes.What was dinner called in medieval times? ›
Supper (cena) was an evening meal, which was lighter than lunch. What time of day it was eaten depended on the time of year. In winter, it may have been eaten during daylight hours.What did people wear to a medieval banquet? ›
The medieval banquet was usually arranged for very special occasions and very important nobles such as Dukes and Barons were commonly invited family, and friends would dress in the best clothing for the occasion, fancy robes hats, and garments would be worn by all.
Medieval banquets and medieval feasts were very similar celebrations and both involved plenty of eating, drinking, and celebration, however, medieval banquets were generally considered to be more formal, important meetings of large groups of important people that marked very significant events.What were three different types of medieval entertainment? ›
Drama, Dance, and Tournaments
Songs and stories were very popular during The Middle Ages. People would entertain themselves with song, dance, music and stories.
MEDIEVAL BANQUETS. Banquets during the European Middle Ages were often given on such important ecclesiastical feast days as New Year and Pentecost. But the greatest ones for which we have records were given for weddings and the coronation of kings or installation of bishops.What did medieval people sit on? ›
If you were a very important person, seated at the high table, it's possible you might be given a chair; however, most people would have been seated on benches.What are the four popular styles of banquet service? ›
- Sit-down Service. Waiter with champagne. With sit-down service, your banquet guests receive their food at their seats. ...
- Buffet Service. Desert buffet. ...
- Station Service. Omelet station. ...
- Passed-tray Service. Waiter with food on tray.
- Standing Buffet.
- Passed-Items Function.
- Seated Buffet.
- Seated Banquet.
- Buffet. A buffet is a type of banquet where guests serve themselves from various dishes displayed on a table or sideboard. ...
- Sit down Banquet. ...
- Chinese banquet.
Ashure (Noah's Pudding) is thought to be the oldest dessert in the world, first made by Noah after his fabled landfall at Mt Ararat. It is a delightful mix of dried fruit, nuts, grains and beans (yes, beans!) made in Turkey and all over the Middle East. Give it a try - you'll be glad you did!Was there cake in medieval times? ›
Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. These foods could last for many months. According to the food historians, the precursors of modern cakes (round ones with icing) were first baked in Europe sometime in the mid-17th century.What was medieval bread like? ›
In medieval France, most people would eat a type of bread known as meslin, which was made from a mixture of wheat and rye. Wheat bread agrees with almost everybody, particular varieties made with a generous amount of yeast and salt and allowed to fully ferment and bake well. Such breads are lighter and digest faster.
Bread was the staple for all classes, although the quality and price varied depending on the type of grain used. Some people even used bread as plates: 'trenches' were thick slices of bread, slightly hollowed out, and served bearing food at meal times.What did medieval knights eat for dinner? ›
Knights often ate roasted meat (chicken, pig, rabbit, etc) and local vegetables like carrots, cabbage and onion. Most meals were also served with bread, dried fruit and an alcoholic drink like mead or beer. Since knights were a higher social class, they could also afford items like butter and cheese.What did medieval kings eat for dinner? ›
In a typical meal at a King's table, the first course may have consisted of a stuffed chicken, a quarter of stag, and a loin of veal which were covered in pomegranate seeds, sugar plums, and sauce. There could have been a huge pie surrounded by smaller pies forming a crown.What vegetables did they eat in medieval times? ›
- Carrots. The carrot, like other roots, was a vegetable of the poor until the Renaissance. ...
- Peas. In the Middle Ages, peas were a basic food, along with grains and beans. ...
- Cauliflower. ...
- Brussel Sprouts. ...
- Rutabagas. ...
- Parsnips. ...
- Squashes. ...
- Cardoons and Artichokes.
Food for a King
Dishes included game, roasted or served in pies, lamb, venison and swan. For banquets, more unusual items, such as conger eel and porpoise could be on the menu. Sweet dishes were often served along with savoury.
In Mediterranean regions, citrus varieties were common, including lemons, citrons, and bitter oranges. They also enjoyed pomegranates, quince, grapes, and dates. In more northerly climes, apples, pears, plums and strawberries were all available. In northern and central Europe, dairy was ubiquitous.What did Nobles eat for dinner? ›
- ate rye bread, oats, barley bread/soups, eel, fish, deer, birds, hare, rabbit, chicken, vegetables, fruit, and honey.
- fancy foods such as meat(beef, pork, boar, mutton, etc) and grains.
- drank wine.
- very high nobles had spices in their food.
For the average person, pottage (a stew made up of boiled vegetables and grains) was a staple during the cold winter months. Everything went into the pot, including fruit if they had any, since it was considered unhealthy to eat fruit raw.What happens at a medieval banquet? ›
Medieval banquets and medieval feasts were very similar celebrations and both involved plenty of eating, drinking, and celebration, however, medieval banquets were generally considered to be more formal, important meetings of large groups of important people that marked very significant events.What was the great banquet in the Middle Ages? ›
The Feast of the Pheasant (French: Banquet du Vœu du faisan, "Banquet of the Oath of the Pheasant") was a banquet given by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy on 17 February 1454 in Lille, now in France. Its purpose was to promote a crusade against the Turks, who had taken Constantinople the year before.
The medieval banquet was usually arranged for very special occasions and very important nobles such as Dukes and Barons were commonly invited family, and friends would dress in the best clothing for the occasion, fancy robes hats, and garments would be worn by all.Who served at banquets in medieval times? ›
Only the host and any exceptionally high-ranking guest got an individual serving; other high-ranking guests shared dishes (messes), usually two to a mess.What were three different types of medieval entertainment? ›
Drama, Dance, and Tournaments
Songs and stories were very popular during The Middle Ages. People would entertain themselves with song, dance, music and stories.
All classes commonly drank ale or beer. Milk was also available, but usually reserved for younger people. Wine was imported from France and Italy for those with money. The wealthier you were, the better you ate.How are guests seated when they come for dinner in the medieval castle? ›
The VIPs at the high table would be seated next to each other, facing the hall, not across from each other. The lord would have seated himself at the middle of the high table, and the rest of the people at the table would have been seated in order of importance – just like at a modern wedding.What did the rich eat in medieval times? ›
Aristocratic estates provided the wealthy with freshly killed meat and river fish, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Cooked dishes were heavily flavoured with valuable spices such as caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper.How were guests seated in a medieval castle? ›
The guests of honor were seated in front of the hall, near the Lord of the castle and his wife. Seating arrangements were strictly controlled, with the most important guests seated closest to the Noble Lord. The further you were seated from them, the less important you were.How should I dress for a medieval dinner? ›
Dress in general is casual, so just come comfortable. Kids may enjoy wearing dress up items so they can look like knights and princesses, but even if you don't have the energy for all of that don't worry. Everyone will receive a paper crown upon their arrival to the castle.What is the dress code at Medieval Times? ›
The dress code for our Castles is casual – please feel free to come ready for feasting, fighting, and fun!Do you dress up to go to Medieval Times? ›
Not many folks dress up. Children are welcome, but ot so much adults ( or so I observed. Yes, you can get dressed up!
Food was mostly served on plates or in stew pots, and diners would take their share from the dishes and place it on trenchers of stale bread, or plates of wood or pewter with the help of spoons or bare hands. ( In lower-class households it was common to eat food straight off the table).Why did medieval people have feasts? ›
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance time feasts have been celebrated for very different occasions: on the celebration day of a saint, for a wedding or a funeral, during the adventus, the arrival of a king or within a chivalrous or also bourgeois tournament.What fruits were available in medieval England? ›
The fruits of choice in the south were lemons, citrons, bitter oranges (the sweet type was not introduced until several hundred years later), pomegranates, quinces, and grapes. Farther north, apples, pears, plums, and wild strawberries were more common.