Renaissance Meals

how the table was set

At meal times the table was set with a wight linen tablecloth and a typical play setting consisting of a drinking vessel, knife and spoon, wooden plate, bowl, and a linen napkin.


Water was not the healthiest from poor sanitation and natural impurities, so ale was used because it inhibits bacteria, ale would vary greatly from watery ale to double ale or even double-double. Sometimes known by such names as Mad Dog, Huffcap, Father Whoreson, and Dragons Milk.


Dinner was the most important meal of the day even consisting of three different courses containing multiple meats, breads, ale or wine, and sweet dishes. At a banquet though, the table would have quail, chicken and/or pigeon with sweet dishes such as fruit tarts, marmalade or even the candied nuts and spices offered at the end of the meal, in jewel-like glazed fruits often hung on miniature trees of silver, and in decorative marzipan figures and in sculpted sugar table ornaments.


Some banquets had ten courses and 6 meals in each course, only the wealthy would have the most exquisite settings. In wealthy house holds the servants would have to cook but in a normal house holds the Mother would have to switch with the servant.

Book source Daily Life In Elizabeth England second edition

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