Every night, The Medieval Banquet plays host to guests in search of something different to do. From 7:15 onwards, the staff come out in full costume to delight the audience and although very much an adult attraction, children are welcome and will love both the food and the entertainment. So in no particular order…
1. St Katherine Docks
The entrance to the Medieval Banquet is located along the beautiful St Katherine Docks, although named after the fourth century saint who escaped a fate of being put to death on the wheel; this location is beautiful and not far from two of the world’s most famous landmarks – the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
2. It’s Under the Thames
Right after you step through the doors you are guided down a staircase to the banqueting hall, which believe it or not, is completely submerged. Fortunately there aren’t any window-views of Thames water passing by as you eat, but for lighting, the hall is bejewelled with flickering torches on the walls, contributing to a truly Medieval atmosphere.
3. The Costumes
A fleet of costumed folk will greet you and you’ll be given the option of dressing up in the traditional garb of the Middle Ages. It’s not a requirement for the evening, but the experience of the banquet just wouldn’t be the same without the fun of witnessing your fellow feasters wearing something silly. However, much Facebook un-tagging shall ensue.
4. The Ghost of Sir John
If you find yourself sitting in the archway opposite the bar keep an eye out for a man who looks as if he’s up on a stool changing a light bulb. With all of the grisly goings-on in around the Tower over the ages, it’s no surprise that a ghost or two can occasionally be seen floating around.
5. Music and Dancing
The music is traditional and begins with soft violin tunes, melodic drum beats and authentic song lyrics from the Middle Ages that relax you into the evening. Everything is performed to a song and a dance and if you sit near the end of your banquet table you may be pulled up to join in with some tambourine shaking when things move up a gear later on.
6. Unlimited Wine and Ale
But don’t be put off by a bit of impromptu centre-stage dancing, by the time they come around to get you up you’ll be well-oiled with a couple (or more) carafes of wine and clay jugs of traditional ale swilling in the tank.
Beckon your waitress by shouting the word Wench! Your allocated wench will run to your service to bring you more wine, more ale, or more food. The wenches are one of the highlights of the evening, serving you with bright-eyed smiles and a heaving corset.
8. Jugglers and Contortionists
Throughout the night you’ll enjoy table-side entertainment just as the kings of old once did; this court jesting comes in the form of acrobatics, juggling acts, contortionist tricks, magic shows and rhythmic gymnastics with so much spandex you won’t know where to look. It’s a very cosy setting with a street performance feel and you’ll be encouraged to bang your fists on the tables whenever an act meets your approval.
9. The Food
As is to be expected at a banquet fit for nobles, the food is an absolute feast with four courses all ceremoniously delivered to your table throughout the evening. You’ll first enjoy cauldrons full of hot and hearty soup served with hunks of torn bread loaves, then platters of meats and cheese, followed by a main of roasted vegetables with roast chicken cooked in a traditional Medieval marinade, and to finish the evening you’ll enjoy a steaming pastry pie filled with sweet fruits topped with cream.
10. King Henry VIII and his Queen
And you’ll need to thank your most magnanimous hosts, his Royal Highness King Henry VIII and his queen (whichever one of them) for a most glorious evening of fine food and entertainment.
Don’t forget your Smartsave voucher for 20% off this medieval culinary extravaganza.