Fun table craft workshops at Château de Maintenon during the All Saints holidays

From the Renaissance to the grand royal feasts of Louis XIV, the art of the table is the culinary journey that Château de Maintenon offers to children from the age of 7 during the All Saints holidays.

Two seminars were organized last week; two other young gourmands are scheduled for Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November. Not to mention meetings organized with recreation centers.

What to do in the Eure Valley and south of Yvelines for All Saints’ Day?

Kilperic Louis, deputy manager of Château de Maintenon, explains:

“October is the week of taste. Therefore, for centuries, we have given up on this topic to introduce children to the art of the table and eating habits. »

Kilperick Louis (Deputy Manager of Château de Maintenon)

Castle facilitators have designed and run this fun two-hour workshop that uses the collections of Madame de Maintenon’s residence to introduce children to the menus and dishes prepared for the banquets of kings and dignitaries, the services and some of the catering trade. During the first hour installed in the orangery, children get acquainted with the habits and customs of the past centuries.

Where and with whom did King Louis XIV dine?

King Louis XIV often dined alone in his antechamber, surrounded by a few guests who resented being invited only to watch him. For a long time, a “small meal” consisted of fifteen dishes, and no less.

During large parties, guests clinked their glasses to each other, but above all to make sure that they were not poisoned. This gesture caused the drink to overflow into the neighbor’s glass; if he drank, there was no risk…

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How was hot chocolate made back then?

The second hour of the seminar is devoted to a visit to the castle. Benjamin led the workshop last Thursday. He stands in front of the chocolate service window and pulls from his basket all the ingredients used to flavor the hot chocolate enjoyed by Louis XIV and his court: cinnamon, hazelnuts, star anise, pepper, cloves, vanilla and orange. bloom.

award At Château de Maintenon, immersed in the heart of the 17th century

The scowls on some of the kids’ faces show that tastes have changed since then…

What is the Russian service?

In the next room, a small group is interested in the tableware used for eating, the name of which has evolved over the centuries, turning a bowl into a plate and a glass into a glass. Benjamin shows a drawing of about two dozen cutlery, crockery and glasses.

It helps children find the name of each element of this Russian service, which is still present on the tables of great restaurants today.

Experiment. The next workshops are on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 November 2022, from 14:00 to 16:00. Price: 6 euros per child. No accompanying adults. Reservation tel. or by email:

laurence franceschina

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