In the movie by James Cameron, Rose and Cal's party together with Ismay and Andrews were shown having LUNCH at the Palm Court Area. Is it really possible that lunch could be served there? just asking... thanks...
Surely NOT, since this is also another movie mistake that could not have happened in real life circumstances. Lunch -as depicted in the film- was served only in the dining saloons or the ala cart restaurant.
Those better versed in shipboard customs of that day may contradict me (and please do!) but I feel that a meal could well be served in the Palm Court, or any other place a passenger desired to be served. The Palm Court would have been an ideal place for informal parties, presentations or concerts, not to mention the perfect location for "taking tea." And I think a small party held there would have been catered according to the hosting passenger's wish.
A high tea, for instance, would have been almost a meal, with more substantial dishes being served than pretty cakes and breads. And I can imagine that such a provision would have been handy and, therefore, popular with passengers stopping in from their afternoon strolls around deck.
In the scene in the movie, the group is definitely having lunch which may be a stretch but not a very big one. If Thomas Andrews or Bruce Ismay had ordered lunch served for special guests in the crow's nest, I think it would have been furnished!
It's true that a passenger could eat his or her meal wherever they wished, and meals were delivered to cabins (such as in Mrs. Ryerson's case, although her family ate in the Restaurant), but it is unlikely that a large party would book such a substantial meal to be had in the Verandah Cafe.
The deck plan and other information handed out to passengers stated that "light refreshments" can be served in the Verandah Cafe. The nearby pantry which serviced both the Palm Courts, and the Smoking room was fitted with 2 electric hot plates, 1 coffee perculator, cork puller, pressure filter and a 20 gallon water cooler. Aside from these electrical appliances, there was a beer icebox and misc cupboards and shelves. This would hardly suffice for meal preparation and was obviously designed and furnished for servicing drinks: be it plain water, tea/coffee or alcohol. I guess cakes could be serviced from here as well, and perhaps some light sandwtches.
The nearest decent pantry was that of the Lounge, but even that was hardly decent enough for any substantial food preparation. The deck plan says that afternoon tea and after dinner coffee can be had in this room, so I'd say that sandwitches and other light meals could be made in the Lounge pantry. Anything more substantial could have been made on D deck, and delivered to A-deck via the hoist. If any of this food had to be delivered to the Verandah Cafe's, it would have to be wheeled aft from the Lounge pantry via the promenade deck. Imagine trying to service a proper meal to a group of passengers this way. Of course it could be done if a 1st class passenger demanded it, but it seems impractical, and I'm sure the company would try and discourage it, even if a passenger asked for it.