About our Last Event

Although we haven't opened in several years, this event announcement is being left here to give others who might be interested in doing similar things some idea of how we did it.

Menu

During the day we will offer: For Dinner:

The basic dinner is:

It will cost 2 sou ($6) per person.

Roast stuffed chickens are available as a special order option. Cost is 2 sou ($6) for each chicken. (A chicken will feed 2-3 people.)

Special Dinners:

The following special dinners are available. The basic dinner menu is included along with the special dinner, but a minimum number of people are required to order the dinner. You should try to arrange a party in advance to share and let the reservations clerk know that you are sitting together.

Special orders must be into the cook by November 6, 1997. Contact Jeanne-Marie at jprisby@ix.netcom.com.

There are two seatings. Early (about 5:30) and late (about 7:00). When reserving you should state your preference (Early seating; late seating; no preference; not staying for dinner) and plan your day accordingly. There will be plenty of food for every one, it just can't all be served at once.

Program of activities

As a special entertainment, the Ensemble Cantabile from Quebec will be performing for our patrons in the inn yard. You can peruse  the repertoire of pieces that will be available.

Getting through Customs (or Checking-In)

We are accepting reservations at the door, although we recommend that you reserve ahead. We have a good-sized hall, but a limited number of boards and forms (tables and benches) at which to seat our patrons, so we have a limit as to the number of people we can serve for dinner (which is determined by how fast we can flog our carpentry staff). We will let you know here when and if the event is sold out.

If you send in a reservation (see Event Announcment for particulars), you will be sending in a site fee ($5.00, we like to think of it as a customs tax). This does not include the cost of dinner, although we ask you to tell us if we should expect you for dinner and when. There will probably be some Spanish thugs at the gate to check your papers. If you don't have any, you can pay your tax at the gate, but you may not be able to get into our establishment for dinner as we will naturally give priority to those who have sent messages ahead to let us know that they are coming.

Paying for dinner, drinks, and snacks

We only accept local coinage here, the most common coin being the denier (pronounced der-nee-ay). You can change your money with the moneychanger at the gate. Please be aware that once you have changed your currency for local coins, we cannot change it back (something about the US Government enjoying a monopoly in that department.) We will honor all coins at any future appearance of the Poulet Gauche. The current exchange rate is 4 denier for $1.00. We also have sou, with an exchange rate of 1 sou for $3.00 . For an explanation of French money, see Money.

Dinner is not included in your site fee. You will pay your server when you sit down to eat. You can expect it to be approximately 2 sou ($6) per person, more or less, not including pitchers of drinks. We prefer to serve an entire table of six at one time, so we strongly recommend that you form travelling or dining parties (see Dinner Service). There are usually special foods that can be ordered ahead of time, such as roasted birds (see Menu), which cost extra. Travelling nobles and their entourages would typically send a servant ahead to make these kinds of arrangements at inns, and we ask that you do the same. You may contact the cook at jprisby@ix.netcom.com.

During the day, you may wish to buy snacks or drinks as you wander about -- these you pay for as you take them. Prices will be posted on the menu.

Dinner Service

For an idea of what to expect, see the Dining topic. We prefer to serve an entire table of six at one time, so we strongly recommend that you form groups to order dinner together ahead of time, especially if you want something special. Otherwise, we'll throw you together with any kind of strangers and you will probably just get the common fare. We will bring the table a large platter of food, with bread trenchers for everyone in your party. We usually bring drinks to the table in drinking jugs, which we expect you to share with the table. We expect you probably have your own eating knife. We have spoons, but forks are for eccentric Italians. We expect that you eat most of your food with your hands. We do have napkins. Nobles and rich merchants who have made the arrangements ahead of time will get better service -- more plates, napkins, utensils, etc.

There are two seatings. Early (about 5:30) and late (about 7:30). When reserving you should state your preference (Early seating; late seating; no preference; not staying for dinner) and plan your day accordingly. There will be plenty of food for every one, it just can't all be served at once.

Alcohol and Flames

The SCA, Inc. cannot actually provide you any kind of alcohol. However, you may discreetly bring your own in an appropriate container (e.g. a period-style bottle or jug -- no cans, no labels) and have the staff of the Poulet Gauche serve it to you.

We provide the lighting in the tavern with candles and lanterns, so you do not need to bring your own. Since we only use period lighting sources, there are lots of flames around -- watch yourselves and behave sensibly. Metal lanterns can become very hot.

Storing your gear

We will have adequate rooms where you can change your clothes and freshen up after your journey. We request that if you are carrying chests or goods of exotic manufacture (such as "plastic coolers") , you stash them in one of these rooms, outside the tap-room -- inside the doors of the Poulet Gauche such things do not exist. We will have a stable boy on duty most of the time who can be sent to fetch things from your travel baggage, if needed.

Duelling

Rowdy fellows, fencers, and twitchy noblemen often come to the Poulet Gauche. These are tough times and most men travel armed. There is no brawling allowed in the tavern itself -- the captain of the neighborhood watch likes to hang out here and munch his pasties, so don't try it. If there is some sharp difference of opinion, take it outside. Some old veteran will probably keep the civilians from being hurt in any scuffle and duelists want privacy anyway. We will send for a physician (or a priest) as the need may be afterwards. Note that we have not yet discovered a miraculous potion that heals rapier wounds instantly, but we will be happy to make you as comfortable as possible for the rest of the day. Jeanne-Marie is handy with a poultice and a bloody bandage when she has to be. We have had very few deaths -- experience shows that most duellists don't die of their wounds for a few days, so you will likely linger long enough to enjoy your last moments in good company.

Playing the game with us

You do not need to be a native (this is a port city and we welcome people from everywhere), but we do ask that when you are inside the tavern doors you make a good-faith effort to fit in with the local environment. For example, it is inadvisable to discuss arcane philosophical matters such as "computers." No one will understand you and we might suspect you to be some kind of heretic even the Huguenots wonít tolerate. However, you may gossip all you like about the Kingís mistresses, the charms of our serving staff, and the politics of foreign places like Carolingia. See Developing a Persona for some more hints.

We have cards, dice, and other games available to the patrons of our tavern. If you donít see what you want, feel free to ask. Some of our patrons are gamesters, and will be happy to teach you to play any game they know.

Anyone working Magic in the tavern will be turned over to the Spanish Inquisition.

Children

The Poulet Gauche does not have separate children's activities or children's areas. We may be able to find a quiet corner for a nursing mother (or wetnurse), but other than that we expect that children mingle with everyone else and are looked after by their nurses, tutors, and family servants (see Hiring Fair). If you have a child that can do useful labor, we may be able to take them on as a message runner, spit turner, stable boy, etc.

Travelling parties

Many of our patrons will be traveling to Calais from elsewhere. In the days of the Poulet Gauche, travelers rarely went anywhere alone. Not only was traveling rather dangerous, a person of any rank at all (either noble or a well-off bourgeois) wouldn't dream of being unattended by servants. A gentlewoman would never go anywhere without at least a maidservant and a footman. A gentleman would certainly have a lackey. The more noble or well-off you were, the larger would be your traveling entourage. If you were a peer, you could hardly go anywhere without a substantial troupe of men-at-arms. A gentleman would not be unarmed -- if you yourself chose not to carry arms (e.g. a churchman or merchant), you would probably have men-at-arms with you who did.

If you are gentility of any kind, you should consider enlisting some servants for a visit to le Poulet Gauche. For people new to the SCA, signing up to be a member of someone's "household" for a day would be a great way to get involved, meet people, and try out a temporary persona. It would also be an excellent opportunity for more experienced SCA members to act as mentors. See our Hiring Fair.

Hiring Fair

We are willing to operate a "hiring fair" here on this web page in order to hook up persons looking to put together travelling entourages. If servants looking for masters and masters looking for servants will send us their particulars, we will post them here. Making the actual arrangements is up to you -- one assumes things like transportation and site fees might be offered to servants in exchange for managing the baggage, dressing the ladies, minding the children, etc.

Home to Poulet GaucheBibliography