A flavor fest and medieval merriment

On a sunny day in Lakewood, my eyes beheld a festive day of jousting knights and sword-wielding pirates bringing long-ago eras to life. Even a Captain Jack Sparrow look-alike swaggered into the grounds as part of the re-enactors‘ grand entrance. It’s been a few years since I attended this renaissance faire with family in the central New Jersey town and I hope to go back soon.

Read more about it on a previous Photo Journey post.

Another similar event that I’m looking forward to attending is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Earlier this summer, I went to the Mount Hope Winery during the PA Flavor Fest for a taste of great food and admired the surrounding detail that take visitors back to another time and place. With those elements in mind, I can’t wait to see them in the midst of this year’s renaissance faire weekends!

Upon arrival, an impressive Victorian mansion and a stony castle-like structure came into view. A tower roof with the old fish-scale look, topped with a widow’s walk, were among ornate details to the mansion. Pink flowers added fairy-tale enchantment to the latter.

MHW Castle Inst

Once inside the gates, an event stamp inking my hand, it was time to look for something to eat. Food and beverage vendor names reflected long-ago times. The Dark Knight Cafe, a coffee shop with a sign featuring a medieval knight in dark armor; Majesty’s Cup and the eatery of choice, Swashbuckler’s Public House.

MHW Swashbucklers PH

The menu included options such as chicken or fish and chips; the seafood catch being cod. When it comes to food from the sea, I usually stick to salmon or crab. However, I decided to try the cod and it was so good! Adding a nice ambience to lunch al fresco, picnic tables were just off to the side and under a leafy pergola. I’ve got to have one of these set up in the yard of my dream home!

MHW Fish Chips

SB Outdoor Dining 1

With my appetite satisfied for a while, it was time to explore the enchanting festival grounds. In every direction, artistic details brought a feeling of wandering a quaint old village in Europe. There are so many such places that I’d love to visit, which is why the site was right up my alley. Already, I couldn’t wait to come back and see characters in full medieval garb, performing among ivy-clad structures with old-world charm.

Ivy Wall Stone 2

Abbey Scriptorium

MHW Trellis Inst

Celtic cross props recreated Irish cemetery scenes. Angelic artwork, snarling gargoyles, shields adorned with fierce dragon images added to the fairy tale atmosphere. I also spotted this statue of a one-armed knight; it surprised me to come across another one elsewhere, missing the opposite arm.

One Armed Knight 1

A number of tents were set up for representatives to offer wine samples from vineyards around the region. It was fairly crowded at The Vineyard at Hershey tent, where I decided to get in line for some wine-tasting. I only tried one called Pink Catawba, which was a very good flavor, listed on a sign under semi sweet and sweet options. For those who wanted to drink in non-alcoholic beverages, a vendor called A Knight’s Ale offered a variety of sodas. This sure hit the spot as the humidity increased throughout the day.

MHW Knights Ale Inst

The PA Flavor Fest is worth returning to again, maybe with plans to stay for the weekend at a nearby hotel. After all, it’s a two-day event and I’d rather take it all in next time. Hopefully, I’ll get to the renaissance faire at some point this season as it’ll be a great follow-up experience. I picked up some discount coupons to use; it’s just a matter of choosing which day to go back. Until then, a parting shot of the mansion.

MHW Fountain Inst

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at http://cdwyerfilminspired.wordpress.com - and my literary blog at http://cdwyerbookishgrad.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Dining, Favorite Travel, Food, Foodie, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Renaissance, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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