On this page we get to consider what medieval banquet table settings were like and why. It is a subject that many history books do not cover yet there are many banquets organized and enjoyed by people today that might benefit from knowing how to correctly lay out the main table.
The first big point to note is that the main table has to be laid out with great care and expertise. It is important that the tradition of medieval table settings is reflected in the layout and decoration of both the table and the hall itself. Choose the wrong style of goblet, for example from Renaissance Europe, and you are in big trouble! A banquet table has to be laid out by people with experience and who pay attention to detail.
Table Settings – Key Points
- The table itself (or series of tables brought together) – usually solid, wooden and simple in character
- The crockery – simple stoneware is the usual option (both practical and simple in character)
- The cutlery – all metal or with wooden handles (ornate metal cutlery is great but can be expensive)
- Glasses – usually pewter goblets
- Tablecloth & napkins – plain not patterned chosen to match the general decor of the banqueting hall
If you ever have the opportunity to attend a modern medieval-style banquet, one of the things that will impress you most is how it is all laid out. However, you should not expect the layout to be particularly lavish – far from it. To create a medieval dining experience, the settings should be simple in character with perhaps the pewter goblets being the only ornate items on the table.
No matter what the occasion, a banquet of this type is always a great idea to spice up any celebration. Whether it be for a wedding, a graduation or simply a reason to dress up and celebrate life. A fun time is to be had by all as guests can get into the medieval spirit, from the table settings, to the architecture inside historic venues, especially if it’s a medieval castle. Just imagine the fun graduation announcements and wedding or party invitations that you could create to fit in with your chosen theme!