The Michigan Renaissance Festival is an 8 weekend long event located just outside Holly, MI. Each weekend has an individual “theme” that is reflected in special events and shows, as well as the encouraged costumes for attendees.
The Feast of Fantasy is a 6 course meal, held on just a few specific days, and each day with its own menu. To quote the site:
A fantastic two and a half hour event held in our magical castle! This event features a six-course gourmet meal, beer, wine and live entertainment! You’ll also take home a limited edition 2012 Feast of Fantasy ceramic goblet! $70 per person (includes your Festival admission) or $55 if you’ve already purchased your Festival admission. Limited seating, reservations strongly recommended!
On the day I went – it was a seafood feast, including a WHOLE lobster.
This was the first time I’d attended the feast – my brother had called knowing I had a season pass and asked if I wanted to try it out. Previously the price made me shy away, but since it was a chance to hang out with family and photograph something different, I agreed.
Reservations are made by phone, requiring payment by credit card. Only 100 seats are available typically so you want to sign up early. Once you arrive, the will call booth is where you’ll get your special ticket.
A line is formed outside of the castle, and you are greeted by royalty and directed to your seat. I was in line about an hour early, as I wanted to score a specific spot for optimal photography (you’re welcome readers).
I was chastised when taking this photo, as there was some trouble with getting the souvenir goblet that would normally be placed out, and they were properly mortified at this paper cup stand-in. Everyone was given a form to fill out and the goblets were to be shipped no charge or available for pickup once they were ready.
The castle is decked out appropriately, and there are long rows of tables and benches to sit at.
We are introduced to the court who act as host and entertainment. The Queen’s personal fashion expert:
A visiting Princess:
Some idle chatter and inuendo while the first course is presented.
Appetizer: Lobster Croquettes
These had great flavor, but were a bit on the cold side. There’s no real kitchen in the castle – so the food is brought from a prep area and I think these stood / traveled a bit too long.
The first entertainment was brought in – Djilia Phralengo. You’ll have to forgive me, I did not always get a ton of photos of the performers, as I was trying to shoot and eat ;). All were excellent and if you should see them on the grounds, stop and listen/watch.
Then it was time for the second course. Soup: Seafood Chowder (in a bread bowl)
This was good. Creamy, chunks of lobster/crab at the bottom, and of course you got to eat the bowl.
Our next entertainment group was out as well. First the belly dancers from Zingara Music and Dance:
Then a silk dancer:
Salad: Three Slaw Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing & Pumpkin Seeds
This was surprisingly good. It was a vinegar dressing which I usually don’t go for, but oddly the more you ate the more it grew on you. I loved the pumpkin seeds for crunch, and there were red peppers and cabbage as well.
Another musical act arrived for our amusement – Bocca Musica. They had raunchy tales of capturing booty and were fun to watch.
Intermezzo: Zesty Lemon Sorbet with Mint
Our palate cleanser arrived (for the music or the salad, it wasn’t said :rotfl:), and this was good too. Not much to a lemon sorbet, so it wasn’t bad nor fantastic.
The Queen herself came around to make sure her subjects were well taken care of
The festivities were interrupted by some guards, fighting for a lady’s heart
I think they were thinking of a different lady…
Soon they had to save us from her affections, and dragged her out the door
Finally! The main course!
Entrée: Steamer Clams with Garlic, Smoked Sausage, Whole Lobster with Butter & Lemon, New Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob & Bread Roll (not listed, but on the plate were some steamed tail-on shrimp)
Now – everything was very tasty. The potatoes a bit cool (and I’m very fussy about cold potatoes), and the lobster a touch overdone (husband gave me his tail as he didn’t care for it, and his was more well-done than mine). I do not know where these lobsters came from, and what underwater fight club they were in, but no one could get the claws open without some brute force. There were EIGHT seafood crackers broken (at the HANDLE, not the pivot point where you’d expect) amongst us, and the Queen had to have a guest (a man from the Caribbean, where they know how to open a lobster) come assist.
Some stand-up comedy from Hob the Troll (but no singing, thankfully :rotfl: )
A bit of “rawr” from the Queen’s attending with a random lobster:
Then Dessert: Key Lime Pie with Dark Chocolate
I scraped off the chocolate (I mean, c’mon, whose idea was that?) and though a bit frozen still, this was a good ending.
All in all, I was pleased with the value of my meal and dinner theatre. I agree with the other reviews I’ve seen – this is a worthy expense at least once. Go expecting to be entertained as well as fed and you should not be disappointed.