Recently we sold a first edition of this beautiful book, The Last Dinner on the Titanic to a very nice customer in Brazil. Talking about the book with her brought up fun memories of a dinner party we attended years ago, shortly after the book was published. After reading the book, a friend of ours decided to host a dinner modeled after the menu, style and period dress of the Titanic and the Edwardian Era. (There is an appendix at the rear of the book which gives great tips on hosting such a dinner party, with details on table settings, napkin folding, what to wear, and how to re-create the atmosphere.)
Each of the guests at our dinner prepared an item or two from the authentic menus and recipes presented in the book. We all came to Anne’s lovely home dressed for dinner in period style. My son was a graphic arts student at the time, and he designed menus for us to closely match the originals pictured in the book, as well as place cards. He also printed out the recipe for each course served, so that all could take home the recipes.
Our hostess laid out her best table linen, china and crystal, lit tall candles and even cranked up the Victrola. After cocktails, we observed a few moments of silence and a toast to the memory of those who lost their lives on the great ocean liner. Then we toasted our friendship and settled down at the table to enjoy an eight-course dinner, produced by all of us.
What a brilliant evening…and what delectable culinary delights we enjoyed that night! All of the recipes were excellent, not especially difficult to execute, and were brought mostly prepared prior to arrival at Anne’s kitchen. These days, it can be exceptionally hard to get friends together for a dinner party, or to inspire people to “dress” for an elegant dinner. But there is something very special about conspiring together to pull something like this off; and it made us all slow down from our harried pace and enjoy a memorable evening together in grand style.
This is the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the great ocean liner R.M.S. Titanic. Last Dinner on the Titanic is an well-researched, accurate book filled with Edwardian character, and one which conveys just what it was like to dine aboard this most famous of ships.