Dining Aboard


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jaime ryan neeley

Guest
Hello everybody!!! I just wanna ask if anybody knows how someone dines in the first class dining saloon.

If I was a passenger, once i entered the saloon, will someone assist me to my seating?

Is the menu ready on the table? if so how do they place it?

Did all people eat at the same time (what I mean is that, are all foods served at the same time) or it depends on whether you want to arrive late and you missed some of the courses?

Do the people pay after they eat? if not, does the fare include the food allowance?

i read from a website (which i can't remember) that different wines were used for every course. do they change the wine glasses?

what if you don't want to eat this or that course? can you order a substitute?

thanks in advance to those who will answer. Peace to everyone!!!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Seating plans were posted so that passengers could find their own way to their allocated places, but I've no doubt that guidance was available for those who required it. Meal times were fixed at 8-10am for breakfast, 1pm for lunch and 7pm for dinner, but not regimented to the extent that people arriving a little late would miss out on a course. Also it was possible to dine as late as 8.15pm if requested in advance. The menus offered several options for each course. Diners were provided also with a wine list and made their own choices, but serving different wines in the same glass would be akin to serving several courses on the same plate - not done.

The cost of meals in the dining saloon was included in the ticket price, but this did not include drinks (ie alcohol), which were charged separately and accounts would be settled at the end of the voyage.

1st Class passengers had the option also of dining at a restaurant which operated independently and had its own staff and management who were not on the White Star payroll. There you could dine at any time between 8am and 11pm, but you would be served with a bill (check) as in any restaurant on land. Passengers who chose to eat all their meals in the restaurant and not use the dining room at all could claim a partial refund on their ticket price.

Hope that helps. Additions/corrections welcomed!
 
Mar 22, 2003
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"Passengers who chose to eat all their meals in the restaurant and not use the dining room at all could claim a partial refund on their ticket price."
For those interested, from information published in Dec 1911, the allowance was 3 British-pounds per adult passenger. For passengers who paid upwards of 35-pounds, the allowance was 5-pounds. This a la carte restaurant was under the management of a Mr. L Gatti.
 

Lee Gilliland

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Menus were presented on special menu stands - Tiffany's used to carry them. They looked a little like those racks they stick on woodwinds to hold the music, only on a stick about six inches high with a heavy flat bottom - all solid silver, of course.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Hi! Was one of those menus on each table or perhaps more for all the company of people? Were these similarly included in the a la cart restaurant? Thanks!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Father Browne's famous photo of the Dining Saloon shows an empty table in the foreground - I think a 5 or 6-seater - with two menus visible near the centre. They are supported upright in some way that places the bottoms of the menus very close to the table top.
 
J

jaime ryan neeley

Guest
Does that mean that for a table only two menus are provided? are there table lamps like in Cameron's movie?
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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Besides Father Browne's picture, there is another rarer view of the Titanic's dining saloon from a postcard published by Raphael&Co, showing nothing on the tables.
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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No, unfortunately I can't find the picture online.

The postcard shows the view of the dining saloon from a corner where the 4 (at 90 degrees) arched partitions are.
 

Jeremy Lee

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George, I just found out that in page 22 of a book entitled "RMS Titanic - The Story Illustrated with postcards from the period", there is a picture of the postcard I mentioned above.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Thanks Jeremy for your fast response! Is there any way we could all see that photo? Perhaps, you could scan it but I do not know whether the quality would be that good! Thanks anyways!!!
 

Jeremy Lee

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Don't seem to be able to post here , I'll try to send you by e-mail. Can you give me your e-mail address?
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Hampstead, London
Lee wrote: "Menus were presented on special menu stands" and Bob had noted that: "They are supported upright in some way that places the bottoms of the menus very close to the table top." Without saying there was no other type of menu-holder, originals of the silver-plate 'star' type - though both smaller and lighter than the reproductions - support authentic WSL menus perfectly well. The 'star' of this design is only 1.5 inches point-to-point; and the overall height is just 2 inches. A card held by the hidden back 'clip' is only a quarter inch from the table-top. They are certainly rarities today, but must have been produced in great numbers. Just as the reproductions I've seen have all lacked the famous burgee (which would be at the back, not the front), I've not yet met with an original that was - as I might have expected - marked with either a maker's name or a date-code. Many are quite imperfectly made when closely examined. This might indicate that they were produced with 'loss-or-breakage' well in mind!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Here's the repro 'star' type menu holder described by Don, plus another White Star menu holder in etched glass with silver plate clip. The glass holder is real, but whether earlier, later or contemporary with the 'star' I don't know. I agree with Don that only the 'star' type would place the cards low enough to suit their position in Father Browne's photo.

84228.jpg
84229.jpg
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Back to you, Lee! Bob's repro holder is actually of thicker silver-plate than the originals are! It is also considerably heavier and is slightly larger in every measurement. Notice, however, that the repro card (which is also of exhibition quality) does sit hardly more than a quarter-inch above the table-cloth. Of the 'Cote perfum' sort, I have only seen - not had in hand - one example before Bob's. The immediate impression it makes is of an object of truly special quality, of the 'art deco' period and the product of a glass-works the name of which we might almost all of us know. Here is the photograph of an original:
84234.jpg
 
J

jaime ryan neeley

Guest
can anyone give me a list of the accompanying wine selections for each course? please, please, please... thank you very much, guys!!!
 

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