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What should I bring to a formal event?

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An attempt at medieval costume, and courtesy, is all that is essential (and you don't even need the costume for an informal practice or social gathering).

If you need to borrow garb or feast gear (bowl, etc), please contact our Chatelaine ($CHATELAINE_NAME$, otherwise known as $CHATELAINE_SCA_NAME$: $CHATELAINE_PHONE$ or $CHATELAINE_EMAIL$). If you would like help or advice with making something, contact the Arts and Sciences officer $ARTS_SCA_NAME$ ($ARTS_NAME$) at $ARTS_EMAIL$. Medieval clothes can be very simple, or fiendishly complicated and very flashy: the choice is yours.

For an event with a meal you may also need:

  • A bowl (a plate can be handy too, but a bowl hold soup and stew as easily as carved meat or a baked apple). Wooden bowls are often available from op-shops, and plain stainless steel bowls and plates from $2 stores - both are suitable.
  • A cup. Again, op-shops are often a good source of goblets, tankards, pottery cups, or odd knubby-glass tumblers, all of which can give a medieval feel.
  • A spoon. Plain silver soup spoons are very like medieval spoons. Forks were used in our period, though rarely. They usually had only two or three tines (prongs). Most SCA folk eat with a knife and spoon, but feel free to bring a fork if you feel uncomfortable without one (or if it's appropriate to the particular time and place that interests you). Knives are, of course, the one of the oldest eating utensils and were used to both cut up food and to transfer it (carefully!) to the mouth. A steak-knife or small kitchen knife is useful, as you can carve a roast with it as well as eat what is on your plate. It wasn't impolite to use your fingers too (especially the first three fingers of your right hand); so a cloth napkin is handy for wiping them on.
  • Candles and candle sticks – we try not to use modern lighting, so it's often useful to bring a candle and candle stick to an evening event. The steward will usually have arranged some candles, so this isn't essential. (This may change if you travel to SCA events in other places).
  • Something to drink – beverages are not usually supplied and dancing can be thirsty work. If your chosen drink comes in something very modern-looking (such as a  plastic Coke bottle) it's polite to keep it out of sight under the table, in a cloth or bag, or  - even better - to pour the whole lot into a jug. The steward (event organiser) will be able to tell you whether alcohol is allowed by a given event site.

If the event is fully catered this is all you will need. If the event is a potluck, each person brings a medieval dish to serve about 6 portions. If you want to bring something a bit more interesting than a barbecued chicken from the supermarket, there are lots of period recipes available - ask the Arts and Sciences officer.