What to expect at a feast
You will find eating at a feast, somewhat different from what it is like that eating at home. It will help you out tremendously if you are aware of a few simple things.
- A feast normally consists of several courses. Don't plan on filling up on the first course, you won't have room for any of the others. These courses generally will take some time. This is a leisurely activity with plenty of time for socializing while you are enjoying your meal. If the feast is served buffet style, don't overload your plate on the first trip though. As with anything, there is limited food, though normally an abundance of choices and we don't want anyone to go hungry.
- Sometimes you will be asked to bring food to an event, normally for a Pot Luck feast. In thiscase please try to make your dish as authentic as possible, there are plenty of recipies out there that you can use as resources. Normally the rule of thumb for quantities will be to serve up to 10 people.With dishes you bring, always ensure that you bring a list of ingredients for people whomay have food allergies. Also, bring the recipe along to share.
- Depending on the event, the feast may have a royal table. Think of this very much like a head table at a wedding and treat those present at the table with a certain amount of deference, generally anytime you are approaching or passing the table you give a slight bow or curtsey to the table.
- The first toast at any event is always to the Crown, and it is normally the most senior member of the peerage present who will be offering this toast. After that it goes, to the heirs to the throne ( ie the Prince and Princess), to the Coronet ( if in a Principality ) to the Baron or Baroness ( if you are in a Barony ). The cooks and autocrat(s) may also be toasted though this is normally done more towards the end of the feast.
- Help, help and more help. Autocrats and Feastcrats, always need help setting up for feast. Same with cleaning up. Make sure you get your own gear cleaned up and packed away as quick as you can. Normally dishwashing facilities are very limited. Most seasoned vetrans bring a small plastic bag to put dirty dishes in, to be washed at home. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed in the hall and the kitchen for serving the feast, clean up. This is a great way to feel useful, enjoy the entire experience as well as meet people.
- Heralds must be listened to at a feast, the same way they need to be at court or any other situation. Please, when a Herald calls for attention, usually by yelling out "oy yay", provide it to them.
- Entertainers are often around during a feast. Some enjoy just being there, providing background music, but others do require special attention. Thankfully, these are normally announced by a herald and again its courtesy to give them some attention.
- Table hopping and socializing occurs alot during feast, especially in between courses. Just make sure you don't block traffic flow and listen for the announcement of the next course...you don't want to miss food !
- Be aware of the rules of the site for the use of both candles and alcohol. These issues will be listed normally in the event listing itself and its in your best interest to check before you go to the event. Saves embarrassing yourself when you get there.
- Feasts are normally very crowded events. You will most likely be seated with relative strangers or they will be seated very near you. The important thing is to remember that many people do like to keep the fantasy of being at a medieval event real, and too much modern intrusion can shatter this. On the other hand, take advantage of dining with new people to open up and learn more about the SCA, other peoples interests andyou will soon find you will make friends everywhere.
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This page last modified March 21, 2003.