Crossing the North Atlantic in Style on the Queen Mary 2

 

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The elegant Britannia restaurant offers an opulent three-floor dining experience

 

Aboard the Queen Mary 2, food is taken very seriously. Meals are prepared in nine kitchens by 50 chefs, 150 sous chefs and 230 cooks with the mission of churning out thousands of dishes three times a day. The Britannia dining room truly embodies the ship’s culinary acumen. The expansive eatery occupies the entirety of the boat’s width and the height of three decks, linked together by a staircase grand enough to make the one from Ziegfeld Follies look like a stepladder.

 

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Tastefully decorated, the Britannia provides a refined dinner destination

 

In this impressive Art Deco décor, a ballet of maîtres d’s, waiters and sommeliers deliver their daily show, gliding smoothly, fetching to the tables a versatile feast for all tastes. There are meals for vegetarians and health conscious eaters (based on recommendations from the on-site Canyon Ranch Spa dietitian), carnivores and anyone looking to splurge, each presented in a flurry of service. A standard dinner at the Britannia offers a choice of six appetizers and soups, including an exotic smoked duck breast with anise and poached pineapple, as well as a refreshing chilled pear and honey soup. The modernized classic steamed sea bass emerges with bok choy, tomato confit and glazed carrots in a beurre blanc, and the hearty loin of venison is prepared with glazed pear and parsnip fondant. To complete the meal, the dining room offers a cheese selection or a choice among six desserts, such as Amaretto crème brûlée, key lime pie or low sugar vanilla panna cotta. Despite the sheer quantity of diners and variety of dishes, plates still reach the table warm, are presented with preparations that reflect a contemporary classic style which, in most cases, meets the expectations of the guests. This tour de force merits to be awarded with a 13/20. The worldwide wine list is comprehensive and the service professional.

 

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Todd English presents bold dishes in a more intimate setting

 

Todd English, a separate on-site eatery, offers more audacious cuisine that includes tuna crudo with Moroccan spiced rice, jalapeño and ginger mint avocado, or a pepper-crusted salmon. There is a supplement for eating at the restaurant, but the tab is light.

 

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The Princess Grill offers a more luxurious setting for upper class passengers

 

To conform to British tradition, tea is served at 3:30 p.m. daily in the Queens Room. Additionally, the Princess Grill and the Queens Grill are reserved to the suites and upper class passengers. These elegant restaurants concentrate on famous pièces de résistance, such as roast duck à l’orange or Châteaubriand carved and flamed table-side.

 

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(L to R): Thai style prawn cake, tuna tataki, scallop spring roll

 

Open every other night, The Lotus prepares Asian food and gains kudos for its tuna tataki in coriander dressing and its tasting menu comprising six dishes: grass lemon soup, crispy beef futomaki, chicken yakitori, yogurt lasse, Peking style duck pancake and shrimp katsu. Meanwhile, La Piazza specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and is open in alternation with the Lotus, widening the style of food available on board. And, as previously mentioned, the laid back King’s Court displays an abundant buffet with a myriad of choices, and reservations are not required. A special experience is even available at the chef’s table in the galley, where the maestro demonstrates his talent in person.

 

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The Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, no more explanation is needed

 

Fine food, champagne (Veuve Clicquot has a whole bar), elegant evenings, quality shows and concerts are reminiscent of the heedlessness of the golden age of ocean travel. The Thirties were abuzz with the excitement of the peaceful maritime competition between the British, the French, the Germans, the Dutch and later the Americans, as they raced to build the most beautiful, luxurious and fastest ocean liners, which were destined to be the ambassadors of their respective nations, showcasing their industrial and artistic best savoir-faire.

One thought on “Crossing the North Atlantic in Style on the Queen Mary 2”

  1. Dear Andre,
    Thank you for a lovely report and description of this wonderful crossing. It was a pleasure to read.
    Four of my American Cousins took this same ship to go to East Africa a few years ago, and had an absolute fabulous time.
    I myself, coming for the first time to the US, invited to spend the summer at my Aunt and Uncle’s in NYC, decided to cross by ship rather than fly,and came on the magnificent SS FRANCE. The crossing was beyond exceptional, but the arrival was unforgettable: it was early July,7.00 AM. A bluer sky never was, a brighter sunshine either, a more excited 20 year old never will be, but above all, a more magical appearance than the Statue of Liberty as we entered the New York Harbor certainly does not exist. I was so overwhelmed by so much beauty, by the unparalleled and grandiose Manhattan Skyline that I could not stop crying. And then I thought about the millions of people who immigrated to the US decades before, and I could feel in my heart the infinite joy and gratefulness they must have felt to be able to come to this beautiful country. If I, a privileged young Parisian, could be so, so moved by the sight of this exceptional and beautiful Tres Grande Dame, how could those poor people fleeing all the horrors they were lucky to escape from, feel at her sight? So I just cried some more!!
    Micheline Arnould

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