Whether you are fond of medieval history or just love the idea of dressing up like characters at a Renaissance fair, a medieval feast is an ideal party theme for your special occasion. In order to pull off a successful feast, you'll need to be familiar with the foods commonly served back then, and have some knowledge of medieval dress, decor and customs. Tailor the feast to the occasion, whether it's a child's birthday party or an engagement dinner. Have all the guests come in medieval costumes to make the feast feel more authentic.
Create invitations in the form of a mini scroll that the guests have to roll open. Use wording relevant to the era for the invitations. For example, you could write, "Hear ye! Hear ye! Your presence is requested at the shire (home) of Lady Kelly Johnson for a royal feast in honor of her 30th birthday." Another way to word the feast invitation would be, "Sir Nicholas Thompson and Lady Sarah Brown request the honor of your presence at their engagement feast, on Friday, the 18th of April in the year of our Lord two thousand and eleven." Encourage the guests to come dressed in appropriate medieval costumes. You could also assign guests roles to play at the feast, such as the king, queen, knight, lady-in-waiting, court jester, monk and peasant.
Turn your dining room into a medieval great room for feasting with deep red and purple linens and drapery. Place elaborate pillar candle holders and candles at the table and lanterns around the room. Hang up colorful flags, toy swords and shields. Rent throne chairs or decorate two chairs to look like thrones for the king and queen by draping them in purple linen with gold accents, and put them at opposite ends of the table. Place wooden plates and bowls at each table setting, along with decorative gold goblets.
Serve foods such as turkey legs on a large platter, a variety of bread loaves, butter and hard cheeses. A boar's head was common at Christmas medieval feasts, but may scare your guests off in the modern age. However, you could serve a pork dish such as ham instead. Other dishes to serve at a medieval feast include mincemeat or chicken pie, fresh fruits and nuts, stewed cabbage, plum pudding and savory fruit and cheese tarts. For drinks, serve aged ales and beers, along with mulled wine. Offer water for those who do not drink. Consult a medieval cookbook for guidance on cooking authentic medieval food.
Put together a playlist of medieval-themed music, which often features horns, flutes, whistles and drums, for the background. Hire performers from a local theater company to lead your guests in medieval dances, and have a court jester juggle and entertain with jokes. Your guests can also entertain themselves by playing out the roles they came as, if you assigned roles. Other entertainment should be based on what the event is for, such as gift-opening for a birthday party.
Place large rounds of pita bread at each place setting instead of plates to make it even more authentic. During medieval times, food was often served from "trenchers," which resembled flat bread, before plates became popular, according to Historical Foods.