Farewell Dinner

Queen Mary menu coverSometimes I feel like I’m living in one giant junk drawer. I look at a pile of stuff and I want to heave the entire lot. Then I get up close and personal, and when it comes time to pull the trigger, I cannot do it.

When I was I’m not exactly sure how old, perhaps 10 or 11, I went to a bon voyage party for my grandmother and my uncle on the Queen Elizabeth 2, aka QE2. It was notable for the fact that one or more of my uncle’s guests availed themselves of the shower during the festivities. The QE2 was launched in 1969 to replace the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary was retired in 1967.

I don’t remember where I got this menu, which I assume refers to the final dinner of a cruise, held 55 years and 354 days ago.* I know it won’t bring much on eBay, but how can you toss something like this? It’s printed on stiff cover stock paper. When you open it, ‘Autographs’ is printed at the top of the left page. The menu is printed on the right. Here it is for your enjoyment.

R.M.S. “QUEEN MARY”                                   Sunday, September 20, 1953

Farewell Dinner

Iced Tomato Juice

Chilled Grape Fruit

Hors d’Œuvre, Variés

Olives—Green and Ripe

Clear Turtle with Sherry                          Crème Marie Louise

Poached Halibut, Hollandaise Sauce

Fried Fillet of Lemon Sole, Rémoulade Sauce

Gnochis, Romaine

Creamed Garden Vegetables

Escalope of Sweetbreads, Maréchale

Baked Cloved York and American Ham, Oporto

Roast Stuffed Vermont Turkey, Cranberry Sauce

From the Grill (to order): Sirloin Steak, Vin Rouge

Spinach en Branches                       Corn on the Cob, Melted Butter

Boiled, Roast, and O’Brien Potatoes

COLD: Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream    Roast Chicken

Salads: Sliced Tomatoes            Chiffonade

Roquefort and Cream Dressings

Charlotte de Pommes, Sauce d’Abricots              Coupe Malmaison

Vanilla, Strawberry and Cherry Ice Cream

Fresh Fruit

Coffee (Hot or Iced)

Red and White Bordeaux—per Bottle or en Carafe,5/-; per Glass, 1/-

Passengers on Special Diet are especially invited to make known their Requirements to the Chief Steward

Speciality Foods for Infants are available on request

*September 20 falls on a Sunday this year as well.

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2 Responses to “Farewell Dinner”

  1. christine glavasich Says:

    i think that is super-cool. i wonder if you might find a food historian type (i assume they exist) at CIA who might find it useful for some scholarly work “oceanliner menus circa the 1950’s’ ;-)

  2. mark Says:

    I had a similar thought, Christine.

    I also have a wonderful booklet called Menu Manhattan, given to me by my uncle, a chef. It’s a compendium of fancy restaurant menus from spring and summer of 1962. Although like the Farewell Dinner it’s laden with French names and menus, here’s an example of a classic New York City staple, from Bill Chan’s Gold Coin: Hung Shew Breast of Chicken; Breast of chicken friend crisp, portion sliced then placed on a mound of beansprouts and mushroom gravy. …2.75

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