glovesThe medieval fête at the Camping de Moulin de Sainte Anne capped off with a dinner, as fêtes in France tend to do.

tables
The slate slabs were roof tiles. I bought some myself at a vide-grenier for use on the grill.

The tables were laid with pottery, slate slabs, knives and wooden spoons. The wine glasses were recycled yogurt pots. You know how Pinterest is full of DIYs for Ball jars? Same thing here, but with yogurt pots, in glass or terra cotta. Yogurt of the brand la Fermière (the farmwife) comes in them.

As we enjoyed an apéritif of spiced wine, the actors and band set up.

arranging skins
Must place the skins just so.

There was a witch hunt, a sword fight, a king crowned and much more.

reading decree
Declaring the hunt for the witch
sword fight
Swashbuckling
knight
Mingling
behind palm
Backstage

As for the food, we started with a tranchoir, a large round of bread, topped with slices of ham, pâté and smoked duck breast, along with a salad, for which we had no forks because those weren’t common until later. (Quizz: when did the Middle Ages end? Answer at end.)

entreeThe actors, who were part of the Echansons du Carcassès club, also served the dishes, which were carried out on a litter.

entree prep

waitresses
The multitalented members of the Echansons du Carcassès. The “witch” is far left.

Next, we had bowls of fèves, or fava beans, with grilled sausages. It doesn’t look like much, but it was delicious and hearty. One tour guide, at the Château de Guise in the north, described the cuisine of the time in detail. For example, a bird like a turkey would be killed, put in a pot with spices, buried with the head sticking out and left to sit. When the beak fell off, it was “done.” No. Thank. You. More medieval dishes here and here.

Wine also was served. Duh.

saucisse feves

Finally, we had a vanilla cream, like panna cotta. It arrived on a litter with a château replica whose towers were aflame. Nice touch of drama.

dessert castleAs night fell, the band struck up. The Artemuses ladies danced, stories were interspersed between songs and much merriment ensued.

band 1As the last song ended, the skies unleashed a much-needed downpour. Perfect timing.

dancing princess
This princess could not sit still when the music was playing. And she was a good dancer.

These kinds of gatherings are open to anybody. This goes for other kinds of events as well. If you see a poster, you can attend (and don’t forget to look for the line about “apporter vos couverts” telling you to bring your own plates and silverware. If it isn’t indicated, it’s probably provided). Best to call the number on the poster to reserve. The price usually is very reasonable. This dinner cost €20 per person. Bon appétit!

If you miss a medieval fête, you can get a medieval meal at La Rôtisserie restaurant in the Château de Villeroute-Termenès, about 50 minutes east of Carcassonne.

Answer: usually Columbus’s discovery of America in 1492 is considered the end of the medieval period and the start of the Renaissance, though, like much of history, that’s up for argument.

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16 thoughts on “Middle Age Spread

    1. We’re a bilingual, binational household, so the language hurdle has been dealt with. I should add that since this event was at the campsite, where many of the campers are British, plenty of English was spoken. Even so, most people would enjoy it anyway–you don’t need language to eat or watch the show or listen to music.

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    1. I chose the method of stabbing the saucisse, cutting it on the slate, and stabbing the pieces. Others cut it in the bowl and ate it and the beans with the spoon. One person snuck into the kitchen and got a fork. Cheater!

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  1. First of all, your TITLE IS BRILLIANT! Oh that is hilarious. You capture me, you take me in through the portal of your title, close the château door behind you, then tell and show a rich story.

    THE FOOD.
    THE FRENCHNESS of it all….from those place mats of slate. How cool and French and fabulous is that?
    Only in France. Oh how this makes my head spin in delight! And, thank you so much for going over to Vicki’s blog! HAHAHAHAHHAHA I saw your comment on my blog and oui Madame, les dates sont correctes! It’s almost a little “creepy” how I’m approaching 60 (well, in a year and a half) and I basically look the same with the exception of a few wirey gray hairs on the sides! If I could bottle it I WOULD! So many hugs and thanks, and I did leave two comments on her blog, but they are not showing up. I want to tell you how much it means to me that my writing is not TWEE. That is a taboo in my poetry attempts!

    Be well mon amie! Anita

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    1. I knew “twee” was a thing with you! Anyway, it’s true, you manage to avoid it. Not easy to write about beautiful things without getting all mushy.
      I’m tickled you like the title. I wasn’t sure….though it amused me.

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