How Accurate Are Medieval Themed Restaurants?

medieval, middle ages, history, foodI came across this article by Mark Schatzker on “How do medieval-themed restaurants get it wrong?” It’s an interesting read concerning the accuracy of food served at such restaurants as Medieval Times. He dispels several myths in regards to the eating habits of medieval people:

  • Myth No. 1: Medieval food was bland.
  • Myth No. 2: Medieval chefs were lousy when it came to presentation.
  • Myth No. 3: Medieval feasts were merely big.
  • Myth No. 4: Medieval feasters ate off pewter plates.
  • Myth No. 5: Medieval feasters had atrocious manners.
  • Myth No. 6: Medieval feasters ate in set courses.
  • Myth No. 7: Medieval people ate food they couldn’t possibly have eaten.

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My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine,, and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

9 thoughts on “How Accurate Are Medieval Themed Restaurants?”

  1. Thad, I did go to a Medieval Times restaurant about 13 years ago. I thought it was a lot of fun, but I can’t remember how accurate it was; I was too young to care then. We went to the one in NY; I believe there is also one in Orlando?

  2. If it was too authentic, it might put modern diners off, and then where would the profits be? I’d guess people go to a medieval-themed restaurant for a bit of fun. Are there re-enactment groups like Regia Anglorum in the US? I believe they sometimes organise feasts that come as close as possible to recreating the original, and those might well be useful for research.

  3. Carla, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) — — is a group like this. They do re-enacments and activities, and they have big organized feasts from time to time. I went to the group here in Birmingham a few times, but my schedule was already too full, and I didn’t have time to keep going.

  4. My freshman year in high school I actually had an opportunity to attend a medieval banquet in an actual Irish castle. Quite an experience.

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