Once upon a time, I was dating a Brit. Or I had been dating him and then left England and invited him to visit me in Canada.
And for some reason, I thought it would be super novel to take him to Medieval Times. Great idea, right?
“Oh, yeah — come visit me in modern-day Canada so I can show you really Canadian things like knights with long hair and body armour jousting on horseback like they did in, um, England.”
Nonetheless, we went and it was a great night and never once did he complain that it felt too close to home.
Fast forward about 16 years. No, I did not marry the Brit. But I did marry Big B and have both of the kiddos. And it seemed like high time to take them to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, so it was lovely to be invited.
This is a one-stop shop for your afternoon or evening meal and entertainment. It’s a full meal plus a rollicking show that doesn’t stop moving for two hours. There’s always something to see, somewhere to look, something to do or something to eat.
There are six knights to cheer for and you sit in one of the corresponding colours to a knight’s garb, so you know who to cheer for.
Medieval Times follows a whole fairytale-like story from beginning to end, complete with a king, a princess and knights competing for her attention.
It’s clear that there’s a little bit of improv here and there and it keeps things light and funny. The actors do a really great job overall of staying in character, and making you feel like you’ve landed in the middle ages.
The food is generally good. It’s not going to blow your socks off and you won’t feel like you’ve landed at The Keg or anything, but the chicken is Swiss Chalet quality (I happen to really like Swiss Chalet). The tomato soup is pretty good, and the garlic bread makes the perfect dipper. The rest is nothing particularly notable but it’s served hot and you get to eat with your hands unapologetically.
Our server was FANTASTIC. Funny, efficient — what more can you ask for?
The knights hand out pink and red carnations throughout the night, and Miss Q was pretty chuffed when she landed one of the very first ones early on in the tournament. She didn’t stop beaming all night! And when I finally got what I’m quite sure was a pity flower in the second-last round of handouts, Miss Q claimed that for herself too. In her mind, I’m sure she’s married (or at least promised) to the Red Knight.
The horses, and the riders’ talent is beyond. Just beyond. As someone who’s been riding horses for a long, long time, I know how much work it takes to make everything look so effortless. I’ve also participated in some of those “knight’s games” and they’re really quite challenging and very much a balancing act. Huge kudos to really well-trained and well-behaved animals — and I mean that to encompass the horses and the men.
There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Really.
Our package came with a photograph, but unfortunately all of us have our winter jackets on and look a bit disheveled. You basically just get in the main doors and you’re whisked over to the photo staging area. It would be nice if you had just two minutes to get in and slightly settled and offered somewhere to lay your coat and bags so you can take a proper photo. After all, the goal is to get you to buy it.
The list of birthdays, anniversaries, milestones (and so on, and so on, and so on…) really did go on and on (and on, and on…). It was very much the low point of the entire Medieval Times experience. There needs to be a time cap on how many announcements interrupt the show’s proceedings!
Where did the ribs go? The last time I went, I swear it was chicken AND ribs. No ribs this time, which was a bit of a downer.