We’re back from Festival, tired and smelly about 5pm last night (Tuesday). Will post some photos when I get them.
Our new feasting tent was a marvel. We had some fabulous times there.
On the Friday night, we had the Baron and Baroness of Rowany (our overlords) as guest of honour. On the High Table we also had Mistress Tig and Will from Okewaite, who were camping with the merchants, as well as Manfred and Marie (last year’s Festival Stewards). It was a magical night, one of my favourites over many years.
The menu (as throughout the event) was cooked on the campfire. We served:
- legs of lamb and vegetables, with a pevorat (onion and pepper) sauce
- spitted ducks with a ginger sauce
- peacock in wine and dates
- onion and walnut tarts
- mushrooms and leeks
- frumenty (a savoury cracked-wheat porridge, a bit like couscous)
- ricotta cheese, made on site, with macaroons and a plum conserve.
Partway through, the Royal Court appeared out of the darkness. They conferred three awards of arms on people from our campsite, (now) Lady Margaret and Lady Joan from Okewaite, and Lady Ravnhilde from our Rowany Irregulars. Joan (aka Jan who made the tent) would have run for the hills except that the Baroness of Rowany had strategically stood on her hem.
Saturday night was our traditional “pot luck feast” where we invite nearby small households to join us, and bring whatever they were cooking. Our contribution was:
- Chykens in councys (a kind of chicken stew with eggs)
- Pommes dorryle (meatballs made as apples, with mint sprigs on top)
- Cabbages in pottage
- Garlic with spices
- Frumenty fritters
- Appelmoy (an applesauce made with almond milk) and pastry crisps
Among our guests was a couple interested in setting up a new group at Cooma, south of Canberra and about two hours away from us.
The next night we were joined by Mistress Yseult who sang a few bawdy ballads. We ate:
- Beef stew with root vegetables
- Connynges in cyrip (rabbit and hare in a ginger syrup)
- Cherry pottage, made with a sourdough loaf
- Tarte de Bry, a kind of ancestral cheesecake
- Honey and saffron quiche, from Yseult
- more, but I can’t remember what.
The other nights had medieval food too, even the final night. We also had soups and bread every day with lunch, and a variety of things for breakfast.
The populace were really happy with the food, and they provided plenty of help with the preparation.
We had rain on the Saturday, and we managed OK. On the Monday, the heavens opened, and we spent the remainder of the event with three inches of water in our tent.
Fortunately, we had our new four-poster camping bed, which put us well above that, and *some* of our gear was in plastic tubs. It was a very odd sensation wading to bed at night.
Others in our campsite were sleeping on the ground, and so had a rather less amusing time. Otherwise, we’re happy with our location, and hope we can work it out with next year’s stewards.
If you attended we would love to hear your stories in the comments. What made festival wonderful for you?