Monday, November 24, 2014

Colonial Chesterfield ....

My dear friend Paula had purchased two tickets for a Harvest Feast at the Hawks Head Tavern deep inside Oak Glen. Sadly she and her hubby were unable to attend so she offered the tickets to my daughter and I! I have wanted to go to an authentic Colonial Thanksgiving feast for quite some time and it has never worked out until now.
Saturday evening we took the one and a half hour drive east to enjoy a traditional harvest feast.
Once we wound up the curvy pitch black road we arrived. Luckily I found a parking spot right next to the entrance into Colonial Chesterfield. Beyond these inviting lights is a pitch black dirt lane taking us to the tavern. I clung tight to Tiffany since I am still a bit unsteady on my healing knees!
It was chilly outside and of course I was not appropriately dressed. We arrived at the tavern with chattering teeth and cold fingers. Once we stepped inside the tavern the colonial "feel" instantly kicked in.

When we stepped inside the tavern we were greeted by this sign .... alas! We were there!
Each table had a tureen sitting in the center filled with harvest gatherings and a candle lit lamp. The entire tavern was lit only with candles making it very warm and cozy. My pewter tankard is filled with icy cold water and another was filled with piping hot delicious apple cider made right there at the colony.
Our seats were perfect. Next to me was the step in fire place which roared all evening keeping the tavern warm. The floor space in front of the fire is were all the tavern activities took place. Wait staff arguments, toasts, mini theatricals etc. Prior to our meal being served we all gathered outside to witness a duel between two waiters. One of them had drank the last bit of brandy and this was so unacceptable that a duel was ordered. After The death of Jacob Quinby we were then led over the river and through the woods to witness Tomahawk throwing. All of this was in the pitch dark of course!

Eager to get back inside the warm and cozy tavern and our warm cider Tiffany and I headed back a little early.

Here is our menu. Each serving of food was served individually ... the English term is a "remove" When the waiter removed your plate a new food would be introduced. If you are familiar with history it is common knowledge that  English food is not very tasty, keeping with the historical aspect of the feast the meal was authentic ... need I say more? If you are ever offered a serving of Bubble and Squeak I advise you to say no thank you. It is shredded potatoes and cabbage fried together. The cabbage will cause you to "squeak" later if you know what I mean. My favorite item on the menu was the very tasty corn pudding. As for the rest of the feast .... pretty dry to the palate.

Tureen's filled with piping hot Pumpkin soup were carried around the room and served.
While we dined this three piece music trio played continuously. Two violins and a piano, it was very lively happy music.
To finish off the evening we were served this enormous Caramel topped Apple Dumpling. It was huge, and rather dry and bland. With the exception of the apple in the center it lacked flavor.
But it was big and it was beautiful to look at!!
As the 9 o clock hour rolled around Tiffany and I had a long drive home. What we could have used was a nap! 

Thank you Paula and Darrell for giving us your Feast experience. It was very interesting and a lot of fun. I love history, especially early American history. I've often thought how fun it would be to spend time in Colonial America .... think I've changed my mind. 

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