It's a close choice for me between the Lusitania/Mauretania's two designs, and the Olympic's. If 'dining room' is taken as a lose definition, I'd vote for the a la carte restaurant. Even Cunard were drooling over that feature.
I have to agree. They're great examples of how use can be made of the same space. I know many feel Mauretania's was too dark, but personally I think that with a colour illustration it looks an awful lot better.
Can't say as I ever gave this one a lot of thought. Nearly all the liners of the Edwardian period had attractive dining rooms, some of which were rather large an loaded down with things like wrought iron, heavy woods, marble statuary and the like. They paid a price for them in topweight however. The Olympic class ships managed to have a dining saloon which, in my not always so humble opinion, was attractive, but did so without overdoing it.
Rex is second only to the Normandie on the list of Most Impressive Third Class Dining Rooms. 'though seldom photographed, it was one of the few third class rooms which truly lived up to the cliche about "equal to First Class...etc."
Though I can't say the third class Normandie dining room appeals to me, the Tourist Class dining room certainly does. Though I've heard it didn't photograph well, it looks intriguing. Still love the first class dining room, of course.
Anyway, I'll second the 1912 France's dining room. Really heads and shoulders above the Olympic class dining room. To be honest, the Olympic dining room doesn't appeal to me at all. It looks like an absurd, over-inflated Disneyland recreation of a Jacobean room. The chairs, the ceiling, the flooring... it's just garish. The reception room is rather nice, though.
The Mauretania's dining room strikes me as downright depressing, if not ugly. The Lusitiania's, however, is rather nice, if not a touch overbearing.
Maybe I'm overly harsh, but the Imperator's dining room is somewhat boring looking. The Vaterland's dining room looks a bit like the showers at Alcatraz. Not very nice at all, though intricate. Love the restaurants in those two, though.
I like what John Maxtone-Graham said about the Ile de France's dining room: it looked like the bottom of a swimming pool. I agree, though I like the rest of the ship. Anyway, maybe my taste is lacking, but the Queen Mary dining room is rather nice. Certainly better than its sister's terrible equivalent.
I suppose I'm pretty harsh when judging dining rooms. In my view, they're usually the low point of ship decor; either terribly overdone or extremely rushed looking. In any case, does anybody happen to know where I could find a picture of the Empress of Britain and Rex dining rooms? They sound interesting.
I have to agree with Mark's comment. I really like the decor of the Olympic Class A La Carte Restuarant. It's very elegant.
I think the Olympic and Titanic's first-class Dining Rooms did have redeeming features, like the leaded class windows and how the designers created a light and open room. I actually thought Titanic's tiles were pretty snazzy! The colours and all.
It makes me think though what Britannic's first-class Dining Room would have looked if completed.
I like also Lusitania's Dining Room. Much nicer than Mauretania's equivalent.