It may not have been a Belgian waffle or white asparagus with ham sliced and boiled potatoes in hollandaise sauce along the Rhine River or high tea aboard the Queen Mary 2, but our first dinner ashore at Chili’s in King of Prussia was a welcome sight. We had been out of the country since June 3 eating foreign foods. Steak (not often seen in Europe) tasted pretty good combined with plain mashed potatoes and broccoli as you can see from the photo. It might be just a family sit down food restaurant, but it was one of the best steak dinners we could remember.
We said good-bye to the Queen Mary 2 buffets on the last day at sea one year ago today. We were about ready to dock in Brooklyn on July 14. We made sure to visit the King’s Court on deck 7 and to take a last walk on the deck. We could appreciate all the fanciful designs cut into watermelons to decorate the table. Believe it or not we even discovered a soft serve ice cream machine with both chocolate and vanilla ice cream to top off the last day of the cruise back to America.
Take A Peak At the Britannia Dining Room:
We got a chance to take a peek at the Britannia Dining Room without any guests in it one year ago today. It was during a port day in Boston when Homeland Security was holding everybody hostage. We got a rare glimpse at the dining room spread over two decks, 2 and 3, and all the decorations, paintings, fancy tablecloths, table settings, flowers, and what not. This room has to seat most of the passengers on the ship for dinner in two seatings, early and late, every night of the voyage.
Dora and Edward fled to Pittsburgh with Thomasina in September of 1939 right at the time when Neville Chamberlain declared war against Germany. They sailed on the Queen Mary, the ocean liner after which Queen Mary 2 was named. What was dinner like aboard? We wondered that one year ago today as we ate dinner in the King’s Court. Did the Wares enjoy tasty cheese plates with crackers? They they drink hot tea with cream and sugar and indulge in chocolate mousse for dessert? What was the menu like? We could only wonder as we sailed down the coast of the US toward Boston with seas as smooth as dark blue ribbons of water wrapping themselves around the hull of the ship. To find out more we would have to read the conclusion to Captive at the Berghof part 1 to be published this Friday, July 15 on Kindle.
On July 10 last year we were treated to quite a view at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We could look out at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. On St. Georges Island stood a mysterious old lighthouse which was part of their National Park System. Boats zipped by the in the harbor including a cute little tugboat and lots and lots of sailboats. Later in the day Scottish bagpipers started playing quayside. We could see and hear it all as we ate Danish with bacon and omelettes or steak, rice, and a cheese plate. Quite an assortment of foods. Quite an assortment of fine views.
The kitchen staff on Queen Mary 2 set up Cunard 175 anniversary celebration ice sculptures in the King’s Court on deck 7 and surrounded the sculptures with fancy pastries, cookies, and cakes. They’ve created fantastical, imaginary creatures and even a Statue of Liberty, probably because this cruise ends in Brooklyn. Considering that it was a white fog day on the deck where you could not even see the ocean, it cheered everybody up at lunch time. It was another nice little touch.
Cunard makes a point of having the chefs parade in front of the diners in the dining room at dinner on the last formal night of the voyage. We were sitting in the upper level of deck 3 in the Britannia Dining Room when the musical parade started complete with chefs’ caps and lots of clapping among the guests. They served their fanciest dinner that night to set the mood. It was prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and Baked Alaska with morello cherries with entertainment while you ate. Perhaps they could have given you a little bit more warning to be ready with your cameras. But the Russian waitress tipped us off, and my movie camera was waiting.
The King’s Court on deck 7 of the Queen Mary 2 featured cheese plates for both lunch and dinner. They offered an assortment of crackers of various types along with numerous blocks of cheese. The server would cut you a slice of whatever you fancied. You could assemble your own plate and even add a garnish of grapes or whatever fruit they offered that day. It was a perfect accompaniment to any meal and served as the ideal dessert, too, something not often imitated in America.
High tea was such a delightful experience aboard the Queen Mary that we decided to order hot tea with cream and sugar no fewer than three times every day —- once at breakfast, one before lunch or right after it, say mid-afternoon, and once after dinner as a sort of snack. All sorts of English breakfast teabags were always freely available. They were lined up on a separate table in the King’s Court on deck 7 at all times next to the hot water urn and the cream and sugar. Room service provided it, too, with a nice china arrangement as you can see from the pictures.
One year ago today we sailed past Kinsale on the Irish Coast. The Captain pointed out the place where the Lusitania sank one hundred years before. This was all going on while we enjoyed British specialties aboard this British ship. For breakfast we had bacon. But it wasn’t American. It was Canadian bacon, you know the thicker kind. And for lunch we had shepherd’s pie. It all contributed to the uniquely British atmosphere aboard the Queen Mary 2.