This weekend our friends Lucy and Alex joined Peter and I to a Tudor banquet.
We had booked it months ago after Lucy and I had spotted it would be on at Tamworth Castle at the beginning of December. And naturally, couldn’t resist!
It took a little persuading on the boys part, but they begrudgingly agreed to go if the other would, and so..they went.
As lovers of the Tudor and Elizabethan period it would be an understatement to say that Lucy and I were excited. We were counting down the days with bigger and bigger eeeeeeeeeeks!
Even finding somewhere to get decently replicated costumes was a fun task. We were keen to do it right and found a brilliant company in Essex who provided costumes to fit our measurements.
The day finally arrived, and costumes on, we were collected by our chariot (otherwise known as Steve) and headed to the castle for our evening of Tudor revelries.
We climbed the steep path up to the castle and made our way to the entrance, posing for a few photos along the way.
The front door was decorated with a beautiful Christmas wreath and graciously beckoned us in.
Inside, we were greeted warmly and given a small tipple of Baileys. Which delightfully warmed the cockles. Very welcome after the sharp winter wind we were met with outside.
We proceeded to walk the room, taking in the atmosphere and mingling with fellow feasters..
Enjoying the beautiful little mediaeval ditties that filled the room courtesy of the evenings musicians, getting us all into the feel of the evening.
You’ll have to excuse the Marc Jacob’s clutch..it’s hard to find a handbag to match a Tudor dress! First world problems much..
Whilst we waited we took a peek around the surrounding rooms.
Feeling very much at home!
Even sitting myself down for a mock dinner. Joints of meat, pies, oysters…I think I would have enjoyed living back in 16th century Tudor England. Well, so long as I was rich!
We were summoned back and taken on a tour of the castle.
Getting to revel in the beauty of the rooms.
And get a peak at some even better costumes that were on dispaly. I think a Regency Ball may need to be on the cards. Even wider under skirts? Yes please!
We passed through into the oak room and on towards to the great hall where we would be feasting this evening.
The hall was large, yet not massive, which made it feel quite intimate and cosy. The perfect setting for the evenings events to take place.
As we entered we were presented with a bowl or rosemary water to wash our hands in and were shown to our seats. Us feasters were dived into two teams. Those on the left of the high table were placed on Team Boleyn and to the right was Team Aragon.
We were on Team Boleyn. Appropriate as we were both wearing our Boleyn necklaces! We would have made disgraceful Aragons!
We took to our seats and managed to squeeze ourselves in. Which wasn’t the easiest of tasks with our wide underskirts and multitude of layers!
But we managed! And waited patiently for our first course to arrive, all hungry bellies.
Food was not to come yet. Instead, we were given the task of passing an orange around the table using only our necks. That’s certainly one way to lower your inhibitions and get friendly with your neighbours!
It worked. Everyone was in hysterics and all guards were safely down for the evening.
And our team won, calling for much applause.
Meet and greet over, the first course was brought to table in the form of leek and potato soup. Or should that be pottage? We were in the 1500’s for the evening after all..
I tucked in heartily, mopping up the bowl with delicious chunks of bread.
Bowls removed, the entertainment stepped up a notch. Three people from each team were called up, unknowing of the task before them.
Quoits was to be the next game at play..
My face says it all. As does Lucy’s. I could not have been asked to do anything worse. My skill at such things is poor to say the least! I had little hope of scoring my team any points..
But dived right in and gave it my best shot!
The task now fell to Alex to draw back some much needed points from the other team.
Which he did magnificently..Winning us the round!
Back to our seats again, we indulged in a delicious little beef pie and tucked into a hearty plate of braised beef with roast potatoes and veg before whilst being serenaded by the musicians.
After our plates were cleared it was onto the next attraction in the form of Peter. And a rival Aragon team member.
The task at hand being to read a tongue twister out five times over. Easier said than done, especially after a fair deal of wine had been consumed up until this point!
But confident as ever, P whittled off the words and earned team Boleyn yet more points!
Thinking I was safely out of the line of fire for the evening I relaxed back in my seat, only to be picked out once more to play the damsel in distress in a mini historical re-enactment.
Which involved sitting in a row boat on our way back to England from France.
All with me now! Say oops upside your head say oops upside your head! (For those of you not familiar with the late 70’s/early 80’s in Britain, this was the height of cheesy dances..view exhibit one)
Where my hand was quickly requested in marriage..
And I was married to the King. And had 28 babies..
Moving swiftly on..
The end of the night drew near and as you would expect at any Tudor feast, there was dancing!
Which involved a lot of neighing. If you want to know more you will have to go and try it for yourself next December.
I guarantee you will have the most incredible time.
We were in so much laughter we were in tears at points throughout the evening. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun!
Even the adamant ‘I’m going to hate this’ boys want to go back again next year..now that says success like nothing else!