Another amazing piece of RMS Titanic memorabilia has sold at auction this month, over a century after the ship sank into the icy waters of the Atlantic taking with it 1495 passengers and crew.
Reaching the estimated price of £100,000 in the Wiltshire auction the menu has joined the ranks of the highest priced pieces of RMS Titanic memorabilia to be sold under the hammer.
What Was on the Lunch Menu?
The very first meal served onboard the finest vessel in the world was for an officers lunch on the day the luxury liner underwent the rigorous sea trials.
On the menu for the officers aboard there were delicacies such as sweetbread, spring lamb pastries and a variety of Hors-d’oeuvre.
The officers took their seats inside the glamorous main dining saloon and whilst they dined RMS Titanic was sailed at “Dead Slow”.
Shortly after the officers finished their meal the major stopping test was completed and RMS Titanic was one step closer to setting sail across the Atlantic on her maiden voyage.
How Did the First Lunch Menu Survive?
This rare piece of RMS Titanic memorabilia has lasted so long because Second Officer Charles Lightoller passed it onto his wife before leaving Southampton to keep as a souvenir. Little did he know a the time that this piece of paper would become such a significant piece of history over a century later.
Lightoller is, of course, one of the heroes from the RMS Titanic tragedy. He was responsible for ensuring the safety of hundreds of women and children, even having to brandish a gun at one point to keep order among the panic-stricken passengers.
The first lunch menu from onboard RMS Titanic is said to be one of only two surviving copies, the other had belonged to Harold Lowe, the fifth officer from RMS Titanic, yet his had been inscribed;
“This is the first meal ever served on board”
and then the inscription had been torn off, making the Lightoller menu the only intact copy on record.
Auctioneers branded the Lighroller lunch menu a “blue chip item”, it’s value relates largely to it being the first menu from the most famous ship in the world owned by the most senior surviving officer.
The First to the Last
There are said to be three or four original copies of the last lunch menu from RMS Titanic. Those that are on record selling at auction have fetched between £58,500-£100,000.
One menu was saved by a first-class passenger who is said to have boarded the infamous “money boat”, a man named Abraham Lincoln Salomon and gives an accurate account of what passengers ate as their final meal before tragedy struck.
Passengers were spoiled for choice in first class with over 40 options of fine dining dishes to chose from. The dishes, spread over seven courses, included a starter of Consomme Fermier, grilled mutton, a cold buffet of veal and ham pie, spiced beef and smoked sardines and a cheese board with stilton, gorgonzola and Roquefort cheeses.
Another menu that fetched the higher sum was pocketed by Mrs Dodge, a Dr’s wife after she had finished the meal, to be kept as a souvenir. She couldn’t have possibly known what would happen shortly after.
Both menu’s serve as poignant reminders of the fateful journey of RMS Titanic. From the first to the last, those who dined on board the world’s most spectacular cruise ship will have only been thinking about their luck of being on that maiden voyage, not one of them, passenger or crew could have guessed what fate awaited them.
The Best of the Best
Only top quality food was sourced to be stored and prepared onboard RMS Titanic.
The meals provided from first to third class were above and beyond what could be expected at sea and the two kitchens were manned by the best staff and chefs available.
First and second class passengers were treated to gourmet dishes in the main dining saloon, like the ones shown on the above menus. However there was an even more exclusive option for those who didn’t feel the saloon met their high standards, this was the À la Carte restaurant ran by Luigi Gatti.
Gatti had been chosen to cater to the super rich onboard RMS Olympic already because both his restaurants in upper-class London were popular among wealthy society. He was then hand-selected to oversee the finest dining options onboard RMS Titanic and chose to sail on RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage with his head chef from RMS Olympic to make sure things ran smoothly.
The standards of Gatti’s À la Carte restaurant and the famous Café Parisien were unlike anything is ever seen before the White Star Olympic class took to the seas.
Fine Dining at 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic
In our own Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant, this type of elegance and finery is reflected throughout the decor, dishes and service available. We want our diners to feel as close to the exclusive first class service onboard White Stars finest cruise liners.
Our menus are expertly crafted to use only the best seasonal ingredients available and the historic atmosphere has been lovingly recreated through the use of carefully place artefacts in and around the restaurant.
Furthermore, the maritime heritage of 30 James Street itself, coupled with the wonderful waterfront views sets a perfect atmosphere that takes diners back to a bygone era when luxury liners first sailed the seas.
To dine in exquisite surroundings in one of the most remarkable buildings in the city of Liverpool call 0151 236 9659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and book a truly memorable meal today.