Medieval banquet in the castle of Cherveux on the fourth day of October, in the year of grace 1470.
The Lord Cunningham, a Scots captain of the bodyguards of King Louis XI,
invites his vassals to celebrate the end of the works in his castle. His
wish is to create friendships with them. The banquet will last over a period
of a week, broken in by hunting games in the forest of la Chapelle bâton
not far from Cherveux. He appeals to La Cour des Saveurs to organize the
festivities ... The banquet naturally consists of spiced dishes (some spices
are as precious as gold ...). Some spices are also laid on the table as
a sign of wealth. Servants hand ewers, basins and napkins for the guests
to wash their hands before sitting at table. The table set for the meal
is a large board put upon trestles (a custom in conformity with the itinerant
life of the courts and the common use of the rooms in the estate ) and
covered with a heavy white cloth, woven in hemp or linen. White because
it symbolises the divine light, innocence, purity ... It is a large table-cloth,
put double on the table on which is set a strip of table linen. The table
linen "longuière" is both long and narrow and enables people to wipe their
hands and mouths. The guests eat with their fingers, but use only the first
three fingers of the right hand only. Only the rich own a knife, a spoon
and a goblet.
Soups bowls, meat bords or trenchers are often shared between two guests.
Gold or silver plate is a rare luxury, as well as glass. The guests sit
on benches (whence " banquets" is derived) The service under the management
of the butler is very strict. The pantler, who has set the table-cloth
and the table nef prepares the bread trenchers and brings the salt. The
cup bearer deals with the wine service and blends the wine with water.
The fruiterer serves dry plum and hazelnuts. At banquets, the head table
stands apart under a canopy. The ballet servants is led by the butler.
At the buffet, next to the Lord some are in charge of responding to the
least of his desires. Musicians assure the entertainment and proclaim with
a flourish and change of courses. banquet médiéval The banquet consist
of five services. To the accompaniment of hypocras and a wine from Mas
d'Intras found out at a fair in Ardèche ... The dishes of one course are
brought at the same time. But the guests do not taste all the meats only
those within reach. The best dishes are near the head table. - The first
course is intended as an aperitif with fresh fruits of the season ("which
open digestion") and as the sea lies nearby, oysters and cockles will be
served -Then will follow : wild boar patés prepared in hypocras, roe-deer
and blackcurrant, duckling in sage with a medieval sauce and salads. -then
dishes cooked in sauce : stewed venison with chestnuts, duckling broth
with fruits, pork and verjuice -Roasts of deer, pheasants and wild boars.
A intermission with a side-dish : a swan in bread paste covered with all
its feathers and small birds inside, it is quiet effective, the lord and
guests are delighted! the Derniers Trouvères and la Carité of Guigamor
has been asked! How enchanting it was! -Then the sweets. Our friend le
"soleil de Brocéliande" was required! and there were apple pie, tiered
tarts, patties, Marzipan cakes, taillis, together with the famous hypocras
of course. As we happens to be in Poitou, why not not serve goats' cheeses!
-Before leaving the table, a few pastries cooked between two iron by Obloier
: "Oublies", waffles. - After which was served the "boute hors" once the
table cleared and removed. It consisted of wine and "chamber spices", that
is spices or fruit candied in sugar or honey. ginger, coriander, fennel,
anise, pinion. Quince paste, candied hazelnuts or pistachios, sugared almonds
and jams. To ease one's digestion was a bare necessity well the banquet
met with a happy end. it has but to be renewed. Meet us on
la Cour des Saveurs