Verandah and Palm Court


Gino Gusmano

Smoking Lounge & Verandah/Palm Questions

I've always wondered where drinks and/or food came from for passengers in the First Class Smoking Lounge and the Palm Courts. There is a spiral staircase hidden in the Smoking Lounge area that goes down to the kitchen. Did the crew have to go down a deck for each order?

Also, anyone know why the Palm courts were bifurcated? And why does the port side have a revolving door while the starboard side has a normal door?

Finally, in the film Titanic, we witness a rather formal luncheon taking place in the Palm Court. Is there anything to indicate what kind of food was available in this part of the ship, if at all?

Thanks in advance.
To Gino

The Starboard Veranda and Palm Court did not have any door besides the sliding one to enter the room. The Port one had a revolving door entering the smoking room,but the starboard did not have any door adjoining the smoking room.If you are referring to the A-deck plans in this site,that is a slight inaccurace.I think the reason maybe was that the designers did not want the smoking room to be the main passage way to the Palm Courts. There was also no point because Women weren't allowed to enter the smoking room anyway. So they had to stroll down the promenade. I think the men would mainly used the revolving door since the smoking room was a gentlemen's retreat. There were pantries adjoining the Palm Court rooms where I think food was stored. In the the Film "Titanic" by James Cameron, you could not order lamb with any mint sauce. This was a mistake. The only reason this was put in the scene was for the plot of the story with the characters. These meals were served up in the Dining Rooms or the Restaurant. But you could order a light snack and a drink at the Veranda and Palm Court. For the Smoking Room,there was a bar behind the fireplace where drinks were stored. You could not eat in there I don't think.
I hope this helps.

Regards Nigel Bryant

Rolf Vonk

Hi there,

The bar behind the fireplace that Nigel mentioned was also the bar for the starboard Verandahcafé. There are pictures of that caféroom which do show a door in the corner. That is the door to the smokeroombar. The door does also appear on the deckplans. I agree with Nigel about the fact that there were no meals served in the Verandahcafé.

Gino, I think that the spiral staircase you mentioned was only used by the Restaurant staff and maybe by some deckcrew (cause it is going up to the boatdeck). I don't think that there was an entrance to this spiral staircase in the first class smokingroom. Maybe there was one in the gents smokingroom toilets, But I'm not sure about that.



Gino Gusmano

Nigel and Rolf,

Thank you both for your thoughtful responses. I suspected that there must have been an area behind the fireplace where drinks were stored though I haven't seen any deck plans that label the area as such.

I was interested to learn that there are pantries behind the fireplace as well.

As with several scenes in the movie, I imagined that Cameron took artistic license with his portrayal of the lunch in the Palm Court.

I still find it odd that the Palm Court is split into two separate rooms. I understand that the fan shaft splits the room in two. I just find it a curious design choice.
I was wondering in the Veranda and Palm Court did the Ivy get installed on the tellies walls? Or since it was it was the ship's maiden voyage the walls would look quite bare,because the ivy had not grown on the trellis yet? Also does anyone know what the colour of the tiles were in those rooms?

Kind Regards
Nigel Bryant

Daniel Rosenshine


The Ivy wouldn't have been as lush as grown Ivy that has been there for a few voyages. It would have been 'installed' some time after the room was fitted out and quite before the maiden voyage.

From what I can see on the colour picture of the room in Don Lynch's Illustrated History, the tiles were green and white (or light creamy colour, but that might be the aging of the picture).

I don't know about the ivy, but IMO I would think the ivy was grown elsewhere and brought in. Titanic Voices goes into detail about the people who were responsible for supplying Olympic and Titanic with greenery.
As far as I know, the tiles were tan/cream and brown alternating. I believe Cameron's movie had it right.

Matthew O'Brien

Does anyone know if the large windows in the Verandah Cafes were capable to being opened in good weather. I know that the cafe was normally enclosed so that it could be used in all types of weather, but I wonder if the windows could somehow be opened, especially during summer crossings.


Looking at photos of the Veranda and Cafes it seems to me that they look like that they can't open. I can't see any signs of hinges though it seems to be a good idea. The wind and the ocean breeze would defiantly be a great feature of the room, but I guess that is why they had the large sliding doors aft of the rooms. Looking at windows though on other parts of the ship, most windows opened outwards away and were attached to the bulkhead or either had some mechanism that allowed them to be partly open. If the large windows of the Veranda and Palm Court did open they would cause some bother because the large windows would block the walk way of the promenade deck. I also don't think there had sliding windows (like the Palm Court doors) because the way the bay window is configurated. Good question though Mat:)

All the best,


Matthew O'Brien


Thanks for that info; I had thought that the windows of the Verandahs were too large to open out onto the deck. But, after reading the descriptions of several open air cafes on other vessels, I thought that the designers may have tried to incoporate this aspect into the Olympic Class liners, rather than just replicate the feeling of it. I think that the Verandahs are one of the most beautiful aspect of the ships, and I imagine that taking afternoon tea in the them would have been one of the most pleasant aspects of the journey.

Once again,thanks for the info,


Brian Hawley

Matt, I think that Mauretania's open air cafe was unusable in all but the nicest weather. Fog, cold, and high winds did not induce many passengers to sit outside. Post war I believe I recall reading that it was enclosed more like Olympic's with a large door that allowed fresh air on the nicest days. So in a way H&W was incorporating the best of Muaretania's design, by having rooms that could open only when needed. Father Brown as I recall captured a photo that shows Titanic's doors were open at least once on the way to Queenstown.

I seem to recall seeing a photo of Lusitania's cafe that was rather like what Brian described on the post-war Mauretania--the sliding doors were open, but a track for them was visible on the floor. Maybe I saw it in Ballard's "Exploring the Lusitania?"

Jim Smith

I really doubt that the Verandah Café windows could open, as it doesn't seem likely from the photo I posted below (taken in 1911 before Olympic was completed), the windows seem completely sealed. The doors however, I would presume were kept open all the time if the weather was good and whilst the Café was open during the day.


As far as I have seen the windows in the Verandahs were sealed, but I wanted to point out that many windows on Olympic/Titanic had individual panes of glass that would open to afford some ventilation when adverse weather prevented the entire window from being opened up.

A careful examination of the Gym, Lounge, and Reading Room windows will show small "speak easy" doors, which are individually hinged panes of glass. I'm pretty sure the Verandah windows do not have this feature.

By the way, the doors are, in fact, the only source of ventilation for this room. If you look VERY carefully at some pictures of the forward inboard corners of the room you will see that the lattice work at the ceiling level is pierced. This is to accommodate an extraction fan to exhaust the room, but fresh air comes through the doors only.

Bill Sauder
Hi, Jim:

Yes, Lusitania's Verandah Cafe had removable walls installed at the aft end of the room. I don't have an exact date, but they were put in sometime around 1911 or 1912. I've got a great photo taken from the second-class Boat Deck looking forward toward the Cafe, and the walls are closed. The tracks you mentioned can be seen in the top photo on page 53 of Exploring the Lusitania.

The original design of the Cafe called for three of the walls of the room (port, starboard, and aft) to be open to the weather. Cunard seems to have thought better of it and enclosed the port and starboard sides before the ship left the builder's yard. Upon further relection, they obviously realized that by enclosing the aft end, the room could then be used in all types of weather.

Eric Sauder
Hey All,
Also I believe that the windows in the interior of the cafe on the side that wouldnt be towards the deck are mirrors in the shape of the window. They can be seen in some pictures and in James camerons sets.

Sahand, as much as I like the film, I have to point out that it along with the close a some were to the real Hollywood, not history. I don't know that you can use the set as a reference to the real thing as far as the decor goes.

I wouldn't trust it.
Ahhhh im in school! haha I had to have some Titanic! I believe you can see it in some pictures too though. I dont think it was possible for those windows to have light coming through.