I had missed out on getting tickets to Jorvik’s Viking feast, the climax of the festival, for two years. This time around I finally managed to get tickets and surprise my boyfriend with them for Christmas. Considering that after watching the Vikings series cut his hair like Ragnar Lothbrok, I was onto a winner- #topgirlfriend
I hadn’t been to York before, but everyone I know who has been has said it is beautiful, and they weren’t wrong. The walls surrounding the city made me feel like I had stepped into a Game of Thrones episode. I had just enough time to run around the city and get an idea of its layout, when I had to return back to the hotel to get ready for the main event. The Viking feast!
As we rushed through cobbled side-streets to make the event on time, we could hear drumming in the distance and my stomach flipped. Partially from apprehension and intimidation, but also with excitement to be part of what the drums were calling for. We turned a corner and I saw light bouncing on the walls of the buildings in front of me, which I soon recognised to be projections of flames. The drumming and the shouting grew louder until I could see over a wall and down into the courtyard of the site of the noise.
There were men on stilts, breathing fire. You can’t get much more of an entrance than that.
They weren’t afraid to get close to the crowd…
Then we were ushered into a room that resembled a cellar, and given a glass or two of free mead while we waited for the stragglers to arrive. Then we were all directed upstairs to a grand room with five long tables and chose our seats on our allotted tables.
Everyone got a rune and a card with one of the norse gods on, which matched the symbol painted on the rune. There was wine on the tables, as well as the starters laid out and by this point the mead had taken affect and I was ravenous. Luckily there was more than enough food to go around…
Goats cheese and red onion marmalade tart
served with viking bread and dagger
Slow roast leg of mutton served with fresh rosemary and garlic
Salmon with prawns and shellfish
Roast potatoes and root vegetables
Sticky orange and lemon cake with a star anise and cinnamon syrup
served with creme fraiche and winter fruit compote
There were actors on the top table in Viking dress, and they read poetry, made jokes and even had a battle at the end of the night with some Viking actors who were planted on one of the long tables. I have to say one of the oddest sights of the night was seeing Bloodaxe (the king), in his viking garb, vaping.
The highlight of the evening was the musical talents of Einar Selvik, who is absolutely mesmerising. He sung a song about the death of Ragnor Lothbrok and I felt like I entered another realm. His music has featured on the Vikings TV series as well, so you may recognise some of his songs.
After the finale of the battle, the night seemed to be coming to a close. So we headed out into the night in search of cocktails, and wound up at a bar called The Evil Eye.
I would definitely recommend going to Jorvik’s Viking festival, the atmosphere in the city and the events they have on are great. And this feast is definitely something I wont forget!