The last meals before the sinking of the Lusitania
Unlike the Titanic, that struck an iceberg in the middle of the night, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank by a German U-boat just after lunchtime.
We know what the final dinner consisted of on board the Titanic but lunch menus weren’t generally recorded in the same way as the lavish evening meals.
But we do know that the meals were equally luxurious on both ships. Here’s an example of a Lusitania lunch served to those in second class. Diners began their meal with Puree Soubise. The fish course was then Salmon Trout with Dutch Sauce. For the main course diners could choose from Steak and Kidney Pudding, Braised Veal with Lemon Sauce, Roast Turkey with Bread Sauce, Ox Tongue with Carrots.
The choice of sides included boiled rice, puree of turnips and boiled potatoes. Cold boiled ham was also on offer. Dessert followed and diners could select from Damson Tart, ‘Gelee Cunard’, Macaroon Toten, Saxon Pudding and ice cream. Cheese was then served and tea and coffee were available throughout and after the meal.
Here’s how the first class passengers dined for lunch. They would have a choice of appetisers – grapefruit cocktail, Croute au Pot, Creme Dubarry and a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Fresh river Sole Tartare was served as the fish course, followed by the choice of Vol au Vent Royale or Snipe en Cocotte Grand Mere.
For their main course, first class diners chose from Sirloin Rib of Beef, Quarters of Lamb with mint sauce or York Ham Madere. If diners were prepared to wait an extra ten minutes to be served, they could also enjoy Chateaubriand aux Primeurs from the grill. The cold option was turkey with cranberry sauce and the sides available were distinctly superior to the second class menu as they included French beans, cauliflower au gratin, and chateau potatoes. (At least, they sounded posher).
To follow, there were French ices, Salamoas a la Creme, Pouding Talma and the delightfully-named ‘frivolities’. Tea wasn’t served in first class and poshly, the coffee was described as ‘café’.
Bear in mind that lunch was served not too far behind the lavish Lusitania breakfast. On offer to start the day were juices, tea, coffee and cocoa, cereals, oatmeal smoked kippers, turbot, calf’s liver, roast lamb eggs cooked to order, bacon, pancakes, pastries, scones, marmalades, jams fresh fruits and baked apples.
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