A Feast fit for a King at York

Visitors to York’s annual Food and Drink Festival are invited to discover the city’s royal heritage with an evening of food and drink inspired by two of the most famous monarchs in English history; Richard III & Henry VIII on Saturday 19th September.

King Henry VIII (Nathan Wade) surveys the Tudor-feast inspired top table at Barley Hall, York. Photo courtesy  Jorvik Group

Starting at Monk Bar, the home of the Richard III Experience, guests will enjoy a medieval-themed drinks and canapé reception and have the chance to explore the impact the last Plantagenet King of England had on York whilst exploring the exhibitions within this ancient fortification.


Then, escorted by costumed hosts, guests will make their way across the city and forward in time to Barley Hall and the Tudor period for a sumptuous banquet fit for Henry VIII himself.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust (YAT), commented, “Both Richard III & Henry VIII visited York at least once during their reigns. Richard came to the city to install his only son, Edward of Middleham, as Prince of Wales at York Minster in 1483. As for Henry, his only visit came in 1541, when he was touring the North after the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion with his new wife, Catherine Howard. Unfortunately his visit to the city wasn’t a happy one; as it is alleged that Catherine had her affair with Thomas Culpeper whilst in York. However, we’re sure our guests during the Food and Drink Festival will have a better time than Henry VIII did!”

“There will also be a feast for the mind on offer at the medieval townhouse, which was hidden behind a modern facade until YAT carried out archaeological excavations & restored the Hall to its glory in the early 1990s. Guests will be able examine ancient texts & learn about some of the more exotic diets of our royal families over the centuries. There will also be the opportunity to view the latest exhibition at Barley Hall; Power & Glory: York in the Time of Henry VIII.’


“English Kings enjoyed their food in large quantities. To hold a lavish banquet with many different and exciting dishes was seen as a sign of wealth and power in the Middle Ages & the Tudor period, so feasts were both a political and social affair. Visitors to our feast will get a taste of what these meals would have been like but without the palace intrigue or the more unusual entrées like peacock or the Cockertrice – the front of roasted pig sewn onto a cooked capon!”

A Feast Fit for a King – JORVIK Roaming Supper takes place on Saturday 19th September from 7pm. Tickets cost £45.50 per person and are available by calling 01904 615505. For more information visit


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