M is for Medieval Dinner

A to Z Challenge

ONE of the best dinners I have ever had was on a medieval theme. The memory put me in the mood to write this in Chaucerian English but having struggled through The Wife Of Bath for O-level English Literature, I abandoned the idea. All that “when showres soote” stuff is incomprehensible and the last thing this blog needs is to become even more incomprehensible.

I knew I was going to be in for a good night because it was at my sister’s house (the hostess with the mostest) with food by my nephew (the brilliant cook) and his daughters (following in his cookery footsteps and also a dab hand at decorating).

Fancy dress was optional but the dearly beloved and I thought we would make an effort. Inspiration failed us but he eventually dressed up in an old red dressing-gown with a big wooden cross painted gold he had made himself and went as the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expected that....

I toyed with the idea of painting big red spots on my face and going as the Black Death - you can't accuse me of being tasteful.

In the end I searched out some ecclestiastical garb I had worn to a previous fancy dress party and went as The Prioress in Canterbury Tales. The dearly beloved looked at me in disdain, asked who I was and when I told him said drily, “I should have guessed," his sarcasm arising from the fact that he went to a secondary modern school where Chaucer was not high on the agenda whereas learning to smoke and snog girls behind the bike shed was.

His sneering remark was somewhat spoiled by him being dressed in a red “frock” and a hat with a red scarf wrapped around it. "You lack gravitas," I told him and he sneered even more.

I was given the task of finding some medieval background music - not exactly the Golden Age of jolly tunes. Even so, I downloaded some songs of the Summer is Ycumen In variety with instrumentals played on those well-known instruments dulcimer, cabinet organ and sackbut.

To my ears it was all pretty dire stuff. I’m surprised no one asked me to haul my sorry sackbut out of there - and take my music with me. Which they did, in effect. After a couple hours of depressing music plinking-plonking in the background, people asked me if there was anything else on my i-Pod. Cue the medieval Rolling Stones (well, the band is pretty old) and the equally ancient Elton John.

It was a great night - brilliant company and the food was astonishing, each dish surpassing the last. If this was how they ate in the Middle Ages, let me find a time machine.

  • I have another blog in the A to Z Challenge, That's Purrfect. Have a look; it won't kill you!

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  1. That sounds like a great idea. I used to work at Renn Faires and always loved spending time in other centuries.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  2. What fun! I'm not sure about the era, but I've had many a 'Hat Party' just to jazz up the get togethers by encouraging self-expression:-)

  3. Sounds lovely! We have a "medieval" festival in the area every fall and their idea of period appropriate food is a turkey leg. That's it. I haven't gone in years since the shows don't even change. ~sigh~ Wish I could have attended this!
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    Best wishes, my dear.

  4. My kids did a How to Host a Murder that was set in medieval times. I got to be the serving wench. The teenagers and their friends all dressed up appropriately (well some did anyway) I remember my husband's crimson velvet dressing gown was worn by someone. There were food suggestions for the meal which we tried to follow. I can't recall what they were but do remember the food was good. (The servants ate in the kitchen... my husband and 9 year old son and I) Enjoy the rest of the AtoZ challenge

    Philipa aka Ozzypip from Ozzypipquilts.blogspot.com

  5. I love your blog. It never fails to brighten my day. I'm so glad you are posting regularly for A-to-Z and I hope you will keep it up after its over.