The do’s and don’ts of feasting (Part I)

Today on Medieval Eye for the Modern Guy we look at the do’s and don’ts of feasting.

A few rules of thumb as you prepare yourself for the upcoming Abbey Medieval banquet.

What to Wear

We shall of course not even suggest to lecture the Ladies on what to wear as their fashion sense should always be beyond reproach. Gentleman however may require some discrete coaching on what is expected at a banquet and what are definite medieval faux pas!

Obviously a gentleman would never dream of sitting down to dine in polite company in armour. The same goes for carrying weapons such as axes crossbows etc. After all you are going out for an intimate dinner for 300; not a family reunion. Daggers are an exception as they are simply too dainty to be considered a weapon and the jewelled hilt just cries out to be accessorised. The only weapon you will require is your rapier sharp wit (having a few trusty armed retainers ready outside with a fast getaway horse can be handy if your rapier wit gets you into trouble)

A few hints for the truly fashion conscious; rusty armour is out; shiny silks, fine furs and brocades and damasks are in. Don’t be afraid to mix your colours or go with a simple parti-colour for a striking effect by dressing with one side white or gold and the other red or blue.  Bareheaded is so common so hats are also in this season but if you really want to stand out try a circlet of silver or gold to accent your luxurious locks, and it keeps them out of your food. Furs are always in but they should be artfully tailored and not look like you are still sharing them with the animal. Also don’t be disappointed that no one believes a great hunter when you have a sheepskin draped over your shoulders.

The best maxim is coats bright, hose tight, furs exotic, hats amazing, codpiece outlandish, manners polished and smile dashing and you can’t help but be a hit with the ladies and a threat to your peers.

Image source: Pinterest

Tools of the Trade

It goes without saying that to dine properly you will of course require servants, but if you are travelling light you should still have the following:

  • Spoon ( silver or gold preferred)
  • Knife (small and sharp)
  • Napkin (white linen, silk is so overdone)
  • Bowls ( clean, precious metals or decorated ceramic are acceptable)
  • Cup or goblet ( silver or gold always acceptable though venetian glass is trending right now)
  • Finger bowl with warm scented water (for hand washing not plunge bathing)

These items can be used individually, sequentially, in combinations but NEVER all at once.

(Please note: This is information pertaining to dining in the Middle Ages: no “tools” are required for our banquets)

Instructions for use

Spoons are for eating pottages, soups and deserts which are placed in your bowl, never in your hand or neighbour’s hat. The knife (definitely not your dagger) is used for cutting your food into dainty morsels (gobbets) which you then pop into your mouth with your fingers. Whilst some foods can be taken on the point of a knife (not soups) it shows a definite lack of breeding to do so and gobbets of food should be eaten with the fingers (your own).  Don’t hack at your food with your knife like you are running late for the Crusades and don’t want to miss out on all of the fun and taking an axe to the roast, or your neighbours, is definitely a big no.  A two pronged fork is acceptable for pasta and shellfish but don’t flash it round like some nouveau rich burgher out to impress his boorish urban friends. Some also think it is stylish to use a spike to place food in the mouth; but ask yourself if a fork is doubtful how can eating with half of a fork be acceptable?  Your napkin is to be used for wiping your mouth, fingers and utensils. Keep it classy and simple and remember that eating with your fingers never goes out of style.

The Abbey Medieval banquets take place on the 30th June and 7th July and there will be no better place to put your medieval manners into practice.  Get your tickets here.

By Damien Fegan

 

 

 

2018 Abbey Medieval Festival Hero

The face of the  Abbey Medieval Festival 2018

Festival Hero

(Photo by B Croese)

(Photo by B Croese)
Who is our 2018 festival hero?

Introducing Mr. Blair Martin, a multi-award winning Brisbane based actor, speaker, broadcaster, writer, director, entrepreneur and ‘Something Else’!
In 2018,  Blair will celebrate being the voice behind the microphone, the Master Herald at our annual medieval event and the announcer of all things… important or not… for the last two decades.   He is also the Steward of the Hall at both medieval banquets keeping the esteemed guests, the Lords and Ladies and Very Important People,  well entertained throughout the evening with his droll humor and witty wit. His extensive medieval knowledge, his spirit and pizzazz has made him a legend to many visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival over the years. With a character that’s larger than life, a stature that leaves you in awe and admiration, the face of this 29th festival is truly our hero and has been for quite some time.

Festival Hero and ‘Something Else’!

Born and raised in Rockhampton, Blair has many strings to his artistic bow ranging from wildly colourful comic characters, MC services, and innovative corporate concepts and events including the Abbey Medieval Festival.  Blair is a also mastermind  for his ability to recall the most arcane list of facts, figures and quirky stories, and these are by no means limited to  medieval tid-bits.  Blair was a champion on the Australian production of the TV quiz show, ‘Jeopardy’, and in June 2007, Blair became the 6th Grand Champion of the hit Channel 9 quiz program ‘Temptation’.  In 2014,  Blair won one of the inaugural gold medals for the Trivia competition as part of the bienniel Pan-Pacific Masters Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and backed that up with a second gold medal in the same division at the 2016 PanPacs.

In various previous lives, Blair worked as the public face of many projects and jobs ranging from cinema usher to hotel receptionist and his talent for training, team-building and motivation of others, was and remains his personal brand. In 1993,  Blair started his own business called ‘Something Else Entertainment

Without a doubt, the Medieval Festival wishes to acknowledge and thank Blair for his creative  and dedicated services since 1998 and we recognise, also without a doubt, that every year, he just gets better!  He certainly is ‘Something Else’!

Thank you,  Blair. We appreciate you!

 

New Banquet Bowls!

A lovely new handmade addition to our Medieval Banquets..!

banquets bowls

Expertly handmade by the lovely Bribie Island local Potter Bev Porter (as shown above), these new Banquet bowls have been made to specifications required for a medieval feast!

These bowls will be used for the salads, and will stay on the tables throughout the Medieval Banquet nights, so our guests can ‘pick’ throughout the evening, taking second and maybe even third helpings!

banquets bowls

Some more things you can expect to see and experience at the Medieval Banquets 2016:

  • Trenchers – 10 points if you know what these are 😉
  • Blazing fire
  • Rich, authentic Medieval costumes
  • Full platters, bursting with delicious Medieval foods, and mulled wine
  • Dancing, and authentic Medieval entertainment
  • Courtesies and manners, gallant words and gaudy tales of old!
  • Delight your sense of smell with the aroma of baked lamb shanks, veggies and much more
  • Taste the essence of medieval herbs and spices which make this a feast like no other
  • The touch of rose water to cleanse your hands in preparation for your night ahead.
  • Leave with full stomach and possibly wake up with a sore head!

Whether you have never been to a Medieval Banquet before, or if you are a regular guest, don’t miss this years Medieval Banquets – a true feast for all your senses!

Buy your tickets now as we are almost ALL SOLD OUT!

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New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet in 2015

What’s New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet in 2015?

• The banquet is being held in celebration of a gift of an important relic from the King to the people of Abbeystowe
• The relic has been brought back from the Holy Land. And is of such great importance that it is expected that many thousands of pilgrims will flock to the Abbey
• The king is expecting that his gift will bring great wealth to the people of Abbeystowe and in return the King will charge an appropriate levy….
• The King’s Envoy will present the relic within a beautiful, gilded reliquary at the banquet and it will also be carried in the opening parade at the Festival on display for all to view with the appropriate awe.
• A parchment, detailing the gift of the relic to the Abbey will be read at the banquet and available on display thereafter..

 

New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet? Check out the menu to get a taste of what is on offer..

New to the banquet and not sure about how to get your ticket? Check out page for info on banquet tickets still available …..

New to the Banquet and not sure what to wear? Check out our costuming page ….

 

First Medieval Banquet for 2014 a huge success

Were you one of the lucky ones, the ones who dined on countless removes of authentic medieval cuisine?

Two nights ago over 300 guests enjoyed the ultimate Medieval Banquet experience, including food, revelry and entertainment. How amazing does this banquet scene look!? The festive atmosphere has been captured perfectly by our wonderful volunteer photographers, a team led by Jeff Fitzpatrick.

Love these images? Did you know you can purchase printed copies via our online shop, they will arrive in your mailbox ( like, the old fashioned kind of mailbox!). Just mention the filename of the image you want to purchase in printed form,  in the notes section of the shopping cart.

We know you all love the entertainment, and here is a little video put together by the amazing people from Phoenix Fire Tribe, street performers who never fail to entertain our crowds.

Now to do it all again next Saturday……. #weloveabbey