Yes, Thursday night’s premiere of the new Medieval Times show was the first time in my life I’ve ever experienced the greatness of eating off of steel plates, being served by a wench and watching knights joust on horses.
I grew up only a couple hours south of Toronto, so trips to Medieval Times were always a regular thing in grade school – but my parents never thought it was a justifiable way to spend their limited budget back then. Suffices to say, I always felt I had missed out on the standard childhood right of passage.
That said, ever since moving here it has always been on my list as one of those things I have to do, so when I got the invite to come to this show I was pretty excited. I immediately called my parents and told them to rearrange their visit to celebrate my Dad’s birthday so we could celebrate it as any 58 year old man should – with grown men in costumes, wearing a paper crown.
Upon arrival, we received swag bags and coloured cards that let us know what section we would be seated in, and, as I would come to find out – which knight we would be cheering for. Ours was the red knight.
Once we got our “Maiden’s Kiss” strawberry slushie, peach schnapps and vodka drinks and they called our colour we were seated, our server introduced herself to us (insisting we refer to her as a wench while she referred to us as ladies and lords), and the emcee welcomed us to the show. He was probably my favourite part of the show, making jokes on the audience whenever he mentioned someone celebrating something.
The food was a definite highlight for my small town parents, who appreciated the basic meat and potatoes aspect of it. Take them to a fancy/foreign restaurant and they won’t eat anything, it’s tragic. But even though it was simple – garlic bread, tomato soup, chicken leg, potato, rib, apple pie – everything tasted great and there was definitely more food than one person could possibly eat. They also referred to everything on the menu with hilarious names – the tomato bisque was called “dragon’s blood soup” and the potato was “medieval French fries.”
In the end, our red knight didn’t win (which was kind of obvious as he didn’t come out last, and the last one out would always be the winner in this format) but it was still fun to cheer like idiots for him and boo like crazy at all the other guys. I guess they must change up who wins each night, or do they assume it’ll be a different audience every time and keep it the same? Not a good idea as there are definitely some hardcore cosplay types who probably show up here regularly (we were seated near some grown men literally dressed up in knight costumes…).
Since I’d never been before I can’t really tell you how it compares or differs to past versions of the show, but I can tell you there is a moment of true brilliance when a “falconer” comes out and has a falcon fly around the room very close to the audience. My sister and I literally almost peed our pants as it reminded us of one of the best recurring SNL skits of all time – ‘The Falconer” – where Will Forte played a business man who rejected the corporate world to be homeless and live with his pet falcon, and they would go on adventures together.
After it was over they invited everyone to the lobby to eat that really awesome looking cake, drink champagne and take photos with the knights. The show was fun, the food was great, the service was excellent, and the way they kept everything old English and as authentic to those days as they could was cute. My parents absolutely loved it, and I think I might actually have enjoyed it more now than I would have had I seen it as a kid, because drinks always make things like this extra entertaining.