Bunratty Castle and Medieval Dinner

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November 9th 2006
Published: November 10th 2006
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Bunratty CastleBunratty CastleBunratty Castle

Here is the lovely Bunratty Castle in all its splendour.
Spending yesterday at home and relaxing was just the cure that I needed for my road weary bones. Even though we stayed up late last night watching this movie called “Buying the Cow”, we were still up at a decent hour and out of the house. We drove to Killarney first so I could catch up on posting my blogs and reading emails, etc. The auto parts store was the first stop so I could order the rest of the gifts that we are taking home for our friends/family. We were at the internet café for about an hour and a half. Our money from different sources finally paid into the checking accounts so we’re sitting good now. I had to do some catching up on our geocaches and the different geocoins and travel bugs. My boss also emailed me yesterday to call him ASAP but that’s a little difficult from my position so hopefully he is understanding, besides, I’m on fricking vacation!!

The destination for today was the Bunratty Castle just south of Shannon. It is an old restored castle that is surrounded by a Folk Park that they have built to resemble an Irish village in the 17th
Baa Baa Black SheepBaa Baa Black SheepBaa Baa Black Sheep

Erika's nursery rhyme black sheep
century timeframe. I made the reservations for the banquet dinner over the phone while we were driving up. I hadn’t realized that it would be so popular during the off season and on a Thursday night. It was roughly a 2 ½ hour drive up to the Shannon area so I brought a book along for the drive and Robert was behind the wheel.

We tried to take a detour along the route and view a ringfort but after driving 14km, we discover that it is closed. You’d think that they could be so kind as to place up a closed sign on their highway adverts. We finally found our way to the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Since we had dinner reservations, we got a discount on admission to the Folk Park. It normally runs €13 each adult but we were able to get it for €8 each. Every penny counts when you are already shelling out so much money for the banquet dinner, €51.95 each!! The Folk Park was set up beautifully and it was fun to walk in and around the castle and its surrounding buildings. In one house, there were even two ladies paring apples
Apple PieApple PieApple Pie

These ladies were preparing apple pies in one of the restored houses.
and preparing apple pies, it smelled delicious. I took pictures of the one black sheep for Erika…ba ba black sheep, have you any wool?....she knows that nursery rhyme quite well.

The banquet dinner was well worth the price. We were greeted at the entrance to the castle with a goblet of mead, a drink made from honey and other stuff. It was a strong and sweet drink but not too bad. There were two ladies in period dresses playing the harp and violin for entertainment during the reception. A couple tour buses pulled up and the great hall filled up quickly. We were next shown upstairs to the banquet hall and directed towards our assigned seats. Wouldn’t you know that we’d end up sitting next to another American family from New Jersey, darnit all.

Four “removes” or courses were served. The only utensils on our tables were steak knives that they called daggers and goblets with pitchers of mead, wine, and water. We started with brown bread and parsnip soup that we drank straight from the bowl. Next we had pork spare ribs that we ate with our fingers and threw the bones into a large wooden bowl.
The Minstrels and LadiesThe Minstrels and LadiesThe Minstrels and Ladies

Our entertainment for the evening, I loved their costumes and mannerisms.
The food is served on platters and set in the middle of the table for everyone to grab from. Then we had chicken breasts with vegetables and baby potatoes with brown gravy. Our last remove was a dessert called the Lover’s Kiss that was supposed to be fed to each other. Throughout the dinner, we were entertained by the minstrels and ladies with songs and music and much laughter.

It was a lovely evening that we won’t soon forget and well worth the price. It was a long drive back home where we relaxed in front of the television to watch “AI” and plan for tomorrow, our last day in Ireland before we fly home on Saturday. We’ll try to drive back up to the Shannon area and see Dromoland Castle and the Cliffs of Moher.

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


Dinner TableDinner Table
Dinner Table

Our long banquet table where we sat with many other noble guests and enjoyed our feast, all without utensils.

11th April 2010

Purchasing coffee mugs...
We enjoyed the Bunratty Castle banquet very much. We were able to buy two coffee mugs like the ones you served coffee in after the banquet. However, recently they were both broken by accident. Since they had become our morning coffee mugs, we would like to replace them. They were of the same color as the mead was served in at the banquet. Can you tell me how we can purchase them? Thanks very much... Tom Geirin
18th April 2010

Lamb Stew
I recently enjoyed the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle. It was wonderful. The show was fabulous and the meal delicious. My very favorite part of the dinner was the lamb stew. I grew up thinking that I didn't like lamb stew until I ate it at Bunratty. It was out of this world! I have been trying to find a receipe for it since my return home but without any luck. Maybe someday I will be able to return to Ireland. If so, I will make it a point to once again enjoy the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle.
19th June 2010
Dinner Table

Bunratty banquet coffee mugs..
You mentioned that you were able to purchase coffee mugs like they served coffee in at the Bunratty Banquet. We bought two and they broke this year. Do you rememner details of how to buy them ?? we loved our mugs and were devasted when they broke. Hope we can replace them someday..They were the color of the dishes used at the Dinner Table... Thanks for your help.. Tom Geirin
2nd January 2012

What are the prices of your midevial banquet dinners
25th June 2012
Dinner Table

A Roman Javelin Point
The photo is somewhat dark, but I believe it to be one piece iron, 4 sided point with a tapered metal ferral, which attached the pictured point a wooden spear (Javelin). I have read that many Roman military weapons and other artifacts have surfaced in a large swampy area in Ireland and I have forgotten the name of the swamp or marsh area where a Roman Legion(s) happened to be crossing, who were ambushed by Celtic warriors, killing every Roman Soldier mired in the peat or mud and unable to defend themselves. This battle gound has kept it's dead and secrets until recent modern times. I believe that this swamp has been host to many archaeologists who hope to fill in this era of the Irish archaeological record.

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