The Medieval Banquet is certainly an experience! We were there for a friends 30th birthday. We arrived ridiculously early and holed up for cocktails in The Living Room next door to start with, after ogling the boats and privately owned yachts moored along the wharf.
After a single round of drinks and paying the eye watering bill (seriously? Gin doesn't increase that much in price between London and Kent!) we made our way back to the Medieval Banquet. If we weren't sure we were in the right place before we were certain now as we followed knights, a couple of monks, some ladies in royal gowns, Robin Hood, a cardinal and oddly enough a batman.
I don't know why Batman was at a medieval banquet.
The place was full of large parties including a significant number of stag do's. It gets loud and raucous. Our waitress came to our table and delivered big jugs of ale and pitchers of wine and juice. She also gave us our instructions for the night. If we needed something we were to shout 'Wench!' as loudly as we could. If we liked a performance we were to bang on the tables with our fists. As I said, it got noisy!
You could tell our table was less than comfortable with bellowing 'Wench' at some poor girl. I think the best phrase that came out was 'umm...excuse me, Miss Wench, if it's not too much trouble could we get some more ale when you have a moment"!
Once you were seated the entertainment started. Between each course you had a series of singers, jugglers, acrobats and dancers.
I get grumpy when people keep dessert from me.
Overall the food and drink were ok - to be honest you don't really come here for a fine dining experience and with a good 200 odd people all being fed the same meal it was never going to be brilliant quality!
Soup first, (vegetable of some description, impossible to identify). It was bought to the table in a cauldron. You used a pewter ladle to serve yourselves and ripped great hunks of fresh baked bread to dunk in it. If you still had soup in your bowl after the bread mopping you picked it up and drank the soup straight from the bowl. No spoons allowed!
Dessert was an apple and cinnamon cross between a cake and a tart. The lighting was really red all through dinner which made it a little hard to see what you were eating - this is also why the photo's with food in look so red!
Unlimited ale and wine was also included with our entry although again it's not the best quality ale and wine! It did taste a little watered down (which would be authentic!).