On board Titanic there were three classes of dining. First Class Dining had the most extensive range of menu choices whether it was breakfast, luncheon or dinner. However, it was the dinner menu that was the most impressive. Edwardian dinning comprised several large courses, each with choices of the finest foods available at the time. On board Titanic was no exception to this practice. An example of a first class dinner menu can be seen at www.encylopedia-titanica.org . This is the menu that has been copied by several memorial dinners held during the past one hundred years.
First-class passengers could also dine at the Ritz restaurant – where an superb a la carte menu was offered. Under the control of the White Star Line, Mr Luigi Gatti was the appointed manager. The rest of the staff were mainly Italians, French and a few English, Swiss plus a Belgian, Dutchman and a Spaniard – very continental. There was a dining supplement to pay – just as there is today on modern cruise liners - but the first class passengers obviously thought the extra was worth paying as the restaurant was full most days, and tables greatly sought after. Perhaps it was the quality of the food or possibly the kudos of dinning a la carte that drew them.
For a full view of all the menus in all classes on the final day of Titanic's voyage then visit: http://www.webtitanic.net Here the extensive menus served in the three dining rooms are listed for April 14 1012. Third Class is interesting in that Breakfast, Dinner (served at lunch time), Tea (late afternoon) and Supper are listed. Perhaps this was regarded as the "working man's" fare – after all, it was Sunday.
The Second Class Dinner Menu had three courses but the First Class was... well let me see, what would I have chosen?
Hors D'Oeuvre Varies or perhaps oysters
Saute Chicken with Chateau potatoes, green peas and creamed carrots
Waldorf Pudding or perhaps Chocolate and Vanilla Eclairs
Yes, that would have been sufficient, otherwise my corset might be feeling somewhat tight.
There aren't many dinner scenes in my novel Tomorrow Belongs to Us but I do have one where the family celebrate a wedding anniversary and, of course, there is some very interesting dinner conversation, especially as the ship's designer and senior doctor are guests.