We were invited to participate in a progressive dinner on the Queen Mary. To be honest, until we received the invitation, we had not really given much thought about the Queen Mary in a long time. For locals, most of us think of the ship as an “attraction” for tourists to visit and often forget that it is a full-fledged hotel with many dining options.
We began the evening in the Observation Bar, an art deco lounge with most of its original décor still intact, including a mural of King George V’s silver jubilee. The bar was originally designated as the lounge for the first-class passengers. We felt almost transported back in time, sans the tuxedos and luxurious evening gowns. This is definitely a place worth checking out and offers a variety of live music Fri-Sun. We were offered canapés of roasted beef tenderloin, salmon tartar, brie and Kiwi, shrimp and chicken and served classic cocktails.
The Commodore, who was our host for the evening, walked us from restaurant to restaurant, and shared with us many of the ships historical anecdotes. We proceeded to Chelsea’s Chowder House and Bar where we were served more cocktails and samples of the restaurant’s many menu items such as: Crab Cake Sliders, Clam Chowder and roasted corn shots, Fish of the “Chip”, butter poached lobster and Bass Ale Braised Short Ribs.
We moved on to Sir Winston’s Restaurant, which is the formal dining venue aboard the ship. From almost every seat in the house, you are offered terrific views of the ocean and Long Beach cityscape. We were served a trio of the restaurant’s best items: Beef Wellington with truffle sauce, Queenies Sea Scallop with applewood bard and parsley butter and a Wild Mushroom Chevre Strudel, made with Madeira glaze, pine nuts and creme fraiche – served on Sir Winston’s fine China. The chef, Todd Henderson, came out to welcome our group. He told us that the ship maintains copies of all the past chefs’ menus, so that they are able to prepare foods dating all the way back to 1936, when the Queen Mary sailed her maiden voyage from South Hampton to New York. It’s pretty cool to think that we can visit the past, while allowing the current chef to put his own unique spin on a dish, while still maintaining its classic integrity.
We finished the evening in the Tea Room, where we had a tower of sweet treats, coffee and tea.
It was a truly unique experience and gave us a chance to get reacquainted with the Queen Mary. I am looking forward to booking a suite in the future. This will give us an opportunity to experience more of the ship’s hospitality as well as check out their Sunday Champagne.