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“Good if you are tired of the norm” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Medieval Madness

Medieval Madness
1121 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Old Town)
(703) 329-3075
Website
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Ranked #19 of 38 attractions in Alexandria
Type: Dinner Theaters
Attraction Details
Vienna, Virginia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
“Good if you are tired of the norm”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

I purchased two discounted vouchers via AAA Member Deals for $29 each. (Regular adult admission price is $59 each). I called to reserve a spot and found that Friday and Saturday nights fill up many weeks in advance, so I settled on a Thursday evening. When I called, the woman that answered the phone never broke character and always addressed me as "My Lady" which I thought was a nice touch as I envisioned the person on the other end of the phone dressed in full medieval garb.

We arrived at 6:40pm for the 7:00pm show and were immediately addressed as "My Lord" and "My Lady". They pre-assigned seats as our names were on pieces of paper on top of our plates. There were several returning guests and it seemed that they seated them at the front of the room. However, there was not a bad seat in the house. There are two long tables and guests are seated along both sides of the tables. I would guess the room fits about 100 people.

Upon being seated our "wench" explained the rules. If we needed her service, we were to exclaim, "WENCH!", which was amusing. There were baskets of bread on the table as well as bowls of blueberries, butter, honey mustard sauce and homemade pear sauce (which is delicious, made fresh daily, and can be purchased to take home with you). The bread was warm and tasty with the butter and pear sauce. We were also told that we would be eating with our hands which caused us to Google when the fork was invented. (If you're wondering, the fork was most likely invented during the Byzantine Empire, but did not become common in most of Europe until the 18th century.) It's not really awkward eating with your hands when everyone else is doing it. They give you towels as napkins to make up for it!

Included with your dinner is one chalice of mead (raspberry flavored honey wine) or two mugs of ale. They give you the chalice or mug at the beginning of the evening and you have to return them in order to leave. (The mugs apparently cost $20 each and they had 20 of them disappear in one evening, so they have this new policy of personally returning your drinkware before you leave.) My husband does not like beer OR wine, but he enjoyed the mead. I tasted it as well and it was very good. I had the ale and it was cold and delicious! There is a bar in the back of the room where you can purchase additional beers and wines which all have a heritage dating back to the 1400s. They also had sodas for purchase, and if you brought your soda can back to the bar, they would give you a free refill.

When it was time for the meal, the four courses were explained to us. The food was served family-style meaning that they would put a plate of each food on the table for every 6 guests and you were to pass it among the six people you were assigned to share with. The first course was the bread on the table. The second course was sausage (which was good with the pear sauce), spiced carrots and roast beef. The third course was roasted chicken and yam puffs (sweet potato tater tots). The final course was a slice of pound cake. Since they were trying to prepare food as it would have been prepared in the 1400s, it was fairly simply, but very tasty. I try to eat all-natural as much as possible, so it was easy for me to eat the food. They do not prepare the food with any salt, so they hand a salt shaker to a few people and deem them the "High Keeper of the Salt". You are supposed to ask the High Keeper permission to use the salt, but it's just another fun thing thrown in. The only thing that needed salt was the carrots. Normally I don't like sausage, but this sausage was delicious and went well with the pear sauce. The roast beef was well done, but tender. The chicken was mostly dark meat and was moist and delicious. The yam puffs were just sweet potato tater tots, but were good as well. The only thing that was disappointing was the pound cake. They explained to us that there weren't really desserts in the 1400s. In that case they should have just given us all a bowl of berries because the pound cake was dry, tasteless and obviously store-bought. We were encouraged to put the pear sauce on the pound cake, but then it just tasted like I was eating foam covered in pear sauce.

The show itself was mildly humorous. The theme of the show was a debate between the Duke and Duchess. The banter between the two was always sexually charged. Every joke seemed to be about lack of sexual endurance or the duke having an affair. The fair maidens (server wenches) would sing naughty songs in between acts. The most humorous part of the show was when Friar Muck would walk around the room with signs between each debate question. There were several pre-teen children in attendance, but it seemed that most of them weren't paying close attention to what the actors were saying and may or may not have understood the sexual nature of the comedy. After the show, we were treated to a sword battle between two knights. The two that were dueling were actual students of "medieval martial arts". A bowl was passed around to collect a purse for the winner. The winning knight ended up with $100.

At the end of the show we were invited to hang out and keep drinking, but since we both had to go to work the next day we turned in our drinkware, tipped our wench and hit the road. (On another note, street parking in Old Town Alexandria is free after 7pm, so we only had to pay 80 cents for the 20 minutes we were parked before 7pm.) We departed the Great Hall at 9:45pm so we were there for 3 hours total.

My husband and I both enjoyed ourselves and were happy we found something new to do in the DC area. I'd probably go back if there was another coupon deal, but I wouldn't pay full price.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Definitely don't take your young children”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We went on a Sunday afternoon, because of the information on their website that said it was a show that was toned down for children. I even asked when I made the reservation if it was appropriate for a ten year old, because I didn't want to buy tickets otherwise. I can hardly imagine what their other shows must be like, because it did not seem toned down to me. There were signs and conversations about beer and naked ladies throughout the show, and some of the language was questionable during the play. Though the description on their website mentions exciting action right in front of your table, there was just one sword fight during the evening. The food was okay, but nothing great. I would never go again, and I would definitely not take my child.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“no utensils? what is this? the cavemen times?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

My hubby and I love going to dinner shows. So I had big expectations when I came here especially with all the raving reviews. But this one was a sort of a let down.

The setting is in a dark long hallway type room that is dressed with medieval decor. Every staff member spoke in Old English and dressed their part.

Pros:

+friendly staff,
+ included with your meals are two free ales or one raspberry meed sparkling wine
+ random touches of history
+ intimate setting
+ adutl setting
+ fun atmosphere and great decor
+ interactive

Cons:
+not family friendly,( I wouldn't ever take my daughter here and wouldn't recommend anyone under age 16 as the jokes are raunchy)
+bland and disappointing food
+boring story line
+not enough sword fights

Normally you can't expect food to be good at dinner shows but this by far is the worst of all the shows we've been to. You eat family style here (I have no problem with that and it's kind of fun) but basically includes plenty of normal tasting bread, whipped butter, random fruit like blueberries and grape, two decent tasting sausages, bland rosemary chicken, bland but soft roast beef, cinnamon carrots, and yam puffs (looks like potato tater tots but are yams) and a piece of nothing-special pound cake. Also two sauces: honey pear sauce and honey mustard. I used a lot of the sauces and salt to make my food edible.

The comedy and show was lackluster and left something to be desired. The sword fight at the end was probably the best part of the show. They did try their best but it was kind of boring. I wish they did more of the sword fight and less random talking unless they can make the show funnier.

The Raspberry Mead Wine as mentioned above is a light sweet red wine made with fermented honey. It wasn't bad and fun to drink. The ale was light and tasty (I don't normally drink beer but it wasn't bad albeit I really only drank sips here and there). They had more beer and wine in the back if you wanted to purchase your own.

Word of caution: THERE ARE NO UTENSILS! You eat with your hands which I don't get. Did they not have utensils back in the day? I thought this was medieval times, not the caveman times. There's just no reason to be eating my roast beef with my fingers.

So in conclusion, this place was fun and would I come again? Only if invited for a party or event otherwise I wouldn't return on my own.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Medieval Fun and Laughs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I've been to Medieval Madness several times over the past 2 years or so and it just keeps getting better. This is a locally owned and operated dinner theater, with original shows set in the Middle Ages that incorporate current events. They change their shows about every 3-4 months so it's always fresh. Because it's small and it encourages audience participation, you get a feeling of being a part of the spectacle, as opposed to just being part of an audience. And the shows encourage participation so there's lots of ad-libbing on the part of the actors so it's pretty funny.

The food uses recipes and ingredients that were traditional in the middle ages, though on occasion, there is some stretching to their interpretation of traditional :). The food is good, for the most part, and plentiful. You share long trestle tables so you do get to know your neighbors. It comes with 2 beers or one glass of mead and they have a full bar. Many of their beers and wines come from breweries and vineyards that have been around since the middle ages so that's fun.

In all, they're really serious about providing an authentic experience (with the comforts of the 21st century) and in providing a good time for their patrons. IMO, they succeed magnificently.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A fun time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

A friend enticed me to go - we had vouchers from Living Social or Google or one of those - and I was initially skeptical. As a history buff, I went in with mild interest and low expectations. But I had a great time!

The staff really commits to their roles and clearly enjoy what they do. The food was better than I'd thought (really liked that cinnamon pear sauce, especially on the roast beef), and 2 drinks were included in our voucher - the food and beer were authentic and tasty. The serving wenches paid us a lot of attention, which was nice.

The show itself was clever and sprinkled with history bits, and I noticed that everyone around me really got into the spirit of things - though 2 beers will help with that - and even the tweens there had a blast.

Definitely an original evening of entertainment, and I'd be happy to return.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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