We decided to have an alternative night out and went to the Medieval Banquet in St Katherine’s Docks. Fancy dress is optional and you can also rent out clothes at the location. So in my usual style I went full out and dressed as a medieval wench (my mother’s idea I have to say) while my friend dressed as a knight of the round table with a silver hooded shirt that went down to the knees and a St George’s cross plastered on the front and back (yes it was fun getting on the tube and also in the cocktail bar beforehand).
The Medieval Banquet is located at the far end of St Katherine’s dock and run these nights weekly. We walked down into the underground basement. It was huge there was a reception room which led into a much bigger room where the main entrainment took place and four large alcoves off this for the diners. There were benches with seats either side.
As we walked in and seated at our table with another couple we realised that we were the only ones in fancy dress and everyone was sniggering. I blame my mother for this idea! I was surpised by the amount of people attending this which was a mix of locals, tourists, old and young.
The wench (not me the waitress I hasten to add) came around with a huge loaf of bread which was roughly sliced. We were then given jugs of beer and red wine which was unlimited, this would be my idea of heaven if the wine wasn’t so putrid but what else can you expect for such a cheap all round event. When guests wanted jugs filling up you had to shout ‘wench’ at the top of your voice, which people seemed to find incredibly funny especially the more they had to drink. To be honest it got on my nerves a little, so I resorted to being incredibly polite to the young girl which she didn’t seem too please about as not in rules!
There was not a menu and everyone was served the same (unless vegetarian). For starter we had a potato and leek soup that was served out of a large cauldron by the wench. This was the consistency of milk and looked anaemic but was just about edible. It was piping hot though, so much so that it burnt my lip.
Henry VIII then came out and did a little speech and then sang ‘Green Fingers’ in a bellowing voice, I have to say the actor did hold quite a resemblance to the 500 year old King.
We then were offered a beef stew that too came out in cauldron and was plonked on our plated with a laden. This was much nicer than the starter and was full of vegetables although less meat than I would have liked. It was a very watery stew but tasted good and the huge hunks of bread soon mopped this up.
After this there was gymnastic doing balancing acts through a metal circle held in the air and a Tudor singer.
For dessert we had stewed spiced fruit that was very sticky and sweet. I am not a fan of spiced fruit but it was in keeping with the theme and pleasant enough if that’s your thing. This came with a large pot of clotted cream that the table shared.
After this was cleared by the wench and there was a sword fight by two knights. One of them was fighting for one side of the room the other knight for the other side of the room, which added a bit more competition. After this the actors encouraged us all to go dance to a cheesy disco in the centre of the room. At this point, need I add, we swiftly left but it was a thoroughly enjoyable (although cheesy I admit) night.
This is not like our usual food reviews as it focuses on entertainment more than food but I have to say for the price I was pleasantly surprised. We had a three course meal that although hardly the best meal I have had was edible and warm considering it was themed and serving approximately 70 others, we had unlimited alcohol and the entertainment was fun and didn’t go on too long thankfully. This night out – which realistically you would only want to do once) was fun, quirky and far more bearable than originally thought.
As a result the Medieval Banquet gets:
Food Atmosphere Service
but please do not think this is based on the food quality overall.