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“Cute once”
Review of Medieval Madness

Medieval Madness
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Medieval Madness Feast is located inside John Strongbow's Tavern. It features medieval entertainment that incorporates the arts and history to join people and communities in fun and good fellowship. Reservations include a four-course feast with dishes like Gallentyn Pye, Chicken Skewers Roasted in Plum Sauce, Three-berry tart and more. Food and seating are arranged family style. Reservations required.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

The atmosphere and show were cute once, but didn't have as much appeal a second time.

The entertainment is decent. The cast mostly stayed true to character, without being "over the top" about it. There is a bit of a vibe that they do it their way, and if you don't like it then you are welcomed to leave. This attitude is more pervasive than I really appreciate, so I take them up on their offer to leave (by not going back in the first place).

The food was better than I expected, and was an interesting meal. Everything is served family style, so items get passed around your table. If you happened to be seated with strangers, as is almost always the case, you'd better hope that they are considerate with their portions. More than once I saw some people take too much food without leaving enough for others at the table. You'd think that the servers would remedy this situation, but they're not as accommodating as you would expect. Sometimes items run out, so you're just out of luck. It's a bit of a stretch to have a meal which depends on the courtesy of others, so be warned.

They also offer "all you can drink beer" or something like that. Well, let me tell you that isn't even remotely the case. Last time I was there, I was sitting next to a group of younger "thirtysomething" professionals, and they wanted more beer. The cast tells you to scream "Wench, bring more meade" or something like that. Well, let me tell you that the wenches are expert at ignoring that request. So this group was asking for more beer and being ignored. In the meantime, they were also getting into the show... yelling out and being boisterous as the show encourages. At some point, the wenches decide that these people have had too much, and inform them they were cut off. This was after they had drank 3 beers over several hours and with a meal. I'd hardly call 3 beers to be "all you can drink." So, when/if you go, just know that you're going to get 3 or 4 beers, and that's it. Maybe if you buy your own then you'll be treated differently?

The singing and musical acts are quite good. Also, the swordsmanship martial arts is pretty cool. Those are big positives for this restaurant.

However, the hit-or-miss nature of getting food at meals, the inability to get drink refills, and the "could care less" attitude from the cast will keep this place off our list of regular places to go.

But do go once.

1  Thank AidanD55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 41 of 53 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2012

The food was fair, but nothing special (I assume that this was “authentic” for medieval England, though, as I doubt that cooks in the middle ages were all that great). What you really pay for is the show, of course, and the chance to yell, “Wench, bring me some more ale!” The beer selection was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the sword fighting duel at the end.

1  Thank Randy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We purchased half-price vouchers from Living Social to attend Medieval Madness. I had read a good review of it in the Washington Post and those here on Trip Advisor, so I thought that it would be worth the $29 I paid for each voucher (as opposed to the regular $58 price).

The MM hall is located in Old Town Alexandria, so it's easy to find and we had no problem finding parking. (Parking in the area is free after 7pm and the show begins at 7:15, so you shouldn't have to put much, if anything, into the meters.)

There are two long tables in the hall, each of which seats 42 people. As soon as you are seated, a "wench" comes by to tell you about the bread and food on the table and to explain the drinks system. You get a goblet of water (which they refill regularly--no problem there) as well as a choice of 1 mug of meade (honey wine) or two tankards of ale. Additional drinks can be purchased at the bar.

The table is set with loaves of white and wheat bread as well as bowls of butter, raspberry jam, and cinnamon pear sauce (which can be used on the bread or as a sauce for the meat). The wheat bread was about the best bread I have ever tasted! I could almost have made a meal just of that.

The evening begins with a speech by the Duke who explains the concept of Medieval Madness. Its history is rather interesting (and can be read on their website if you are interested.) Then the evening begins with the original "play" which, as has been mentioned before, is not Shakespeare, but it is entertaining and some of the actors are actually pretty good.

Between "scenes", the "wenches" bring out the various "removes". The first remove was the bread and grapes on the table when you were seated. The second remove is sausage, roasted beef and cinnamon glazed carrots. The third remove is rosemary roasted chicken legs and yam puffs (like tater tots). The final remove, dessert, was pound cake. The food is served on platters with enough portions for 6 people. There was more than enough food on each platter for the 6 people surrounding us. I thought all of the food was absolutely delicious except for the pound cake which I am sure was store-bought and not homemade. It was so tasteless that there were a couple pieces left on the platter that nobody wanted.

The play (which is new every 4 months) is interspersed with bawdy songs (which I loved) and a sword fight. All of the actors spoke well and loud enough to be heard throughout the hall even when the audience was a bit lively. There are no bad seats in the house.

I'm a little surprised by those who have commented on how much their children enjoyed the evening. I can see where they would like the food and eating with their fingers, but much of the dialogue would go over their heads and some of the rest of it would be too "wordy". (I even would have appreciated less talking, more walking.)

All in all, we found this to be an enjoyable evening, especially with a group of friends. I would definitely recommend it if you are able to get a discounted ticket, but at full price, it's a rather pricey evening.

Thank longhorn74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Great fun. Food is excellent. The staff is great at both serving patrons and entertaining. One of the best selections of beer in the area. A great night out for a special occasion or just a fun time.

Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2012

Our daughter decided to have her 12th birthday celebration, so she could invite both boys and girls. The kids had a great time and enjoyed eating with their fingers. The roasted meats (sausage, beef, chicken) were all very flavorful and juicy and the sides (yams, carrots) were good too. There were all kinds of sauces and fresh bread as well. The food was good - not gourmet - but solid medieval fare. For adults, the meads, wines and beers were the stars - all authentic from the wineries and breweries in operation since the middle ages.

The entertainment was silly at times and made you laugh out loud. The sword fight was very interesting to watch and, of course, the boys in our group enjoyed that a lot. There was some risque humor that went over the kid's heads, especially the lyrics in the drinking songs.

All and all a fun night and a good meal.

Thank melanite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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