HBO’s new series Game of Thrones premieres on April 17. Winter is coming – are you ready? Get in the mood for the high fantasy tale with a dinner party fit for a king.
The book series that the television show is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire, is rich with food. Between stopping at inns, foraging in the wild, and having feasts, many of the characters eat well. Especially the rich ones. Dinners in the book series usually come with a side of betrayal and murder, but you can leave those things out of your gathering. That is one area in which you do not want to be authentic; just stick to the food and drinks.Rather than following an exact menu, you can just piece together food that appears in the books. Westeros.org has an exhaustive list that notes every food and beverage mention in the books. Even if you just stay within the pages of the first book, A Game of Thrones, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to create a meal. Here’s an example of a meal utilizing that list:
Appetizer – wheels of cheese with bread and blackberry preserves
Soup – sweet pumpkin soup
Entrée – honeyed chicken
Sides – roasted onions, salad with spinach, chickpeas, and turnip greens
Desserts – lemon cakes and apricot tarts
Beverages – dark beer and summerwine
But where are the recipes?! If you can’t buy or figure out how to make something, use the internet. You’ll be able to find recipes for most things. For items like summerwine, you can just substitute with a sweet wine like a muscat.
Embrace the theme when you serve your meal. Use goblets or steins for beverages. You’d be surprised at what you can find in thrift stores with a little time. Use basic cutlery and plates. This is not the time to use your grandmother’s china. Go for ceramic pieces in solid colors; Ikea has some affordable options. Napkins might not be authentic, but I recommend using them anyways. That said – don’t buy things that you won’t use again; it’s not worth it. If you like assigned seating, make the place cards out of parchment paper and write the names in calligraphy style (bonus points if you use a fountain pen). Finally, light the dining room with oil lamps and candles. Plate the meal for your guests and enjoy!