Bretton Woods Resort to serve up opulent taste of ‘Last Dinner on the Titanic’

by Chris on April 8, 2017

For nearly 105 years, the RMS Titanic has captured public imagination with a stark contrast of two worlds, one filled with opulence and possibility and the other with ruin and a terrifying end.

The maiden-voyage sinking at 2:20 a.m. April 15, 1912, and the ship’s ghostly remains two miles under water have inspired movies, documentaries, articles and books over the past century.

But an unusual Titanic-themed dinner at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods on Saturday celebrates the story’s beginnings, when the vessel’s grandeur extended from stern to bow, from crystal chandeliers to the dining table.

The resort on Saturday will host “The Last Dinner on the Titanic,” billed as an immersive culinary experience that pays tribute to the historic liner and the last dinner served in the first-class dining salon on the night of April 14, 1912, before the British luxury liner would strike an iceberg and go down in history.

The Ammonoosuc Room at the resort will serve as backdrop to a portion of the 11-course dinner modeled on the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Though the tall ceiling and 10-foot doorways will add to the vintage ambience, it’s another of the room’s features that likely will draw attention.

“Hanging in the center of the dining room is a stunning crystal chandelier,” said Craig Clemmer, director of sales and marketing at the Omni. “Legend has it that the chandelier’s twin sits at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean as a fixture on the iconic ocean liner. The manufacturers (of the Omni chandelier) were the same one who did the chandeliers on the Titanic.”

It was the Edwardian era of upper-class extravagence when the ship left Southampton, England, April 10, 1912, charting a course toward New York. It held about 2,200 passengers, of which about 1,500 perished.

But the Titanic is known as much for its tragic end for its magestic start.

The Omni’s elaborate Titanic-themed dinner is priced at $225 per person. It begins at 6 p.m. with a reception and the first three courses in the resort’s Princess Room. Passengers will then move to the Ammonoosuc Room at 7 p.m. for the fourth through 11 course. And this voyage will have a happy ending with coffee and cordials back in the Princess Room at 9:15 p.m.

Though the views at the resort are of the White Mountains’ Presidential Range, the Omni lends itself to sea travel, contend resort officials.

“Often referred to as a cruise ship floating on a sea of green, (it) is one of the last remaining grand hotels,” Clemmer said. “The property originally opened on July 28, 1902, during the golden era of rail travel. As many as 50 trains a day stopped at Bretton Woods’ three railroad stations, bringing wealthy guests from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. These travelers were also individuals who would have made transatlantic trips abroad luxury cruise liners, such as the Titanic.

“Given the shared history catering to members of some of the most prominent people of the early-20th century, including members of the Astor, Stickney and Morgan families, (the) resort is hosting the dinner to celebrate the bygone era and allow today’s travelers to enjoy an immersive experience in a memorable setting.”

The focus will be on the cuisine, and on the paired wines, which are primarily French and German and largely reflective of the popular tastes of the time, Clemmer said.

Along the way, the interpretive menu will include dishes such as Lamb Chops with Mint Sauce, Poached Salmon with Mouseline, Filet Mignon Lili, Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette and Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Though there have been reports over the decades of dishes that survived the violent sinking to skin on the ocean floor — some still stacked — this dinner won’t come on antique serving ware.

“While the property has a vast array of period-specific archival pieces of china, they are far too precious to utilize for a dinner,” Clemmers said. “However, Omni Mount Washington features a collection of period specific fine china from the early 1900s in its gilded hallways.”

For more information on the program, call 278-8989.

Story provided by: Julia Ann Weekes; New Hampshire Weekend Editor