Picture of Queen Elizabeth I
 

Elizabethan Banquet & Feast

  • Interesting Facts & information about a Medieval Banquet & Feast
  • The magnificence of a Royal banquet and feast
  • Description of the food served at such a banquet
  • A five course feast containing countless expensive ingredients

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabethan Banquet & Feast

 

Elizabethan Times - Elizabethan Banquet & Feast
The banquets and feast enjoyed by the Elizabethan Royalty, Nobility and Upper Classes were sumptuous and lavish. New foods and spices were being imported and unusual recipes created which made use of the finest foods and ingredients. The Royal banquets of the Elizabethan era were of course the most magnificent. The Tudor Dynasty, especially the father of Queen Elizabeth, King Henry VIII was always in competition with the French King.

 
 
 

The mother of Queen Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn had spent her early years as a lady in waiting to the French Queen Claude. The following description is of a lavish French banquet and feast described by a historian of French cookery, Legrand d'Aussy. His words describe a great Medieval feast given in 1455 by the Count of Anjou, third son of Louis II the King of Sicily.

Cooks employed by Nobles during the Elizabethan era would have been aware of the high standards set by the French and endeavoured to provide Queen Elizabeth with a feast or banquest of a similar standard and content. It is also interesting to note that in a Description of Elizabethan England, 1577 from Holinshed's Chronicles the following comment is made - "...the nobility of England (whose cooks are for the most part musical-headed Frenchmen and strangers)...

 

The Dining Table
"On the table was placed a centre-piece, which represented a green lawn, surrounded with large peacocks' feathers and green branches, to which were tied violets and other sweet-smelling flowers.

In the middle of this lawn a fortress was placed, covered with silver. This was hollow, and formed a sort of cage, in which several live birds were shut up, their tufts and feet being gilt.

On its tower, which was gilt, three banners were placed, one bearing the arms of the count, the two others those of Mesdemoiselles de Châteaubrun and de Villequier, in whose honour the feast was given."

The First Course
"The first course consisted of a civet of hare, a quarter of stag which had been a night in salt, a stuffed chicken, and a loin of veal.

 
 

The two last dishes were covered with a German sauce, with gilt sugar-plums, and pomegranate seeds....

At each end, outside the green lawn, was an enormous pie, surmounted with smaller pies, which formed a crown. The crust of the large ones was silvered all round and gilt at the top; each contained a whole roe-deer, a gosling, three capons, six chickens, ten pigeons, one young rabbit

To serve as seasoning or stuffing, a minced loin of veal, two pounds of fat, and twenty-six hard-boiled eggs, covered with saffron and flavoured with cloves.

The Second Course
...There was a roe-deer, a pig, a sturgeon cooked in parsley and vinegar, and covered with powdered ginger; a kid, two goslings, twelve chickens, as many pigeons, six young rabbits, two herons, a leveret, a fat capon stuffed, four chickens covered with yolks of eggs and sprinkled with powder de Duc (spice), a wild boar

The Third Course
..Some wafers (darioles), and stars; a jelly, part white and part red, representing the crests of the main guests

The Fourth Course
..Cream with Duc powder, covered with fennel seeds preserved in sugar; a white cream, cheese in slices, and strawberries; and, lastly, plums stewed in rose-water.

The Fifth Course
Besides these four courses, there was a fifth, entirely composed of the prepared wines then in vogue, and of preserves. These consisted of fruits and various sweet pastries. The pastries represented stags and swans, to the necks of which were suspended the arms of the Count of Anjou ..."

Interesting Facts and Information about a Medieval Banquet & Feast
Some interesting facts and information about a banquet and feast. It is difficult to imagine the pomp and magnificence surrounding this fabulous meal but the description is highly graphic!

 

Elizabethan Elizabethan Banquet & Feast

Additional details, facts and information about the Elizabethan can be accessed via the links to Elizabethan Food and the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.

Elizabethan Banquet & Feast

  • Interesting Facts & information about a Medieval Banquet & Feast
  • The magnificence of a Royal banquet and feast
  • Description of the food served at such a banquet
  • A five course feast containing countless expensive ingredients
 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

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