This evening I attended a very well presented and authentic evening focused on the theme of Scandinavian food and drink at York’s medieval Barley Hall parts of which date from about AD1360.

The Scandinavian theme was in recognition of York’s Viking origins, between 8th and 11th centuries.

The event was fully subscribed (about 35 attendees) and hosted by the ‘Jarl of Jorvik’. Food comprised a first course consisting of potatoes, meat and bread followed by a fruit pie (apple, blackberry and rhubarb). Drinks included mead, country wine and local beer. All of this was a reasonable approximation of the diet of the first millenium.

Entertainment was provided by two very accomplished musicians using replica instruments and regailing saga style stories of the Viking gods, drinking songs and songs from the Scottish Orkney Islands (which have a strong Norwegian culture). Instruments included bagpipes, flute, drum and harp. This was not a tacky event for tourists.

The medieval venue added an extra dimension providing attendees with the flavour of an evening, social event with low lighting provided mainly by candles-not ideal for photography-and hence poor image quality below.

Overall, an authentic and memorable experience which I would recommend to others.
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