Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Last Titanic Dinner

Last summer, I went to a 'Knit Night' at the Oregon Coast and ran into an amazing group of fun loving women.  They couldn't stop talking about a Titanic Dinner that they had attended in April, at the Foley Station Restaurant in La Grande, OR.  They were so enthusiastic about the meal, dressing in period costumes, and the stories that were told about the passengers lives, that I knew we had to attend this event!
Fast forward to last Friday, when Rick bought tickets for this amazing dinner to celebrate Bryan's and my birthdays.  Our dear friends, Mark and Barb joined us, and we drove the 4 hours from Portland to Eastern Oregon.  We got there early to check out the Titanic Museum put together by John Lamoreau, a Titanic Curator.  John has one of the largest Titanic collections in the Northwest and many of the authenticated treasures were displayed for the first time.
As we arrived, we each received the name of a passenger with a little biography.  L to R: Rick, Mark, son, Bryan and lovely Marika.  During the dinner, you found out if your passenger lived or went down with the ship.  If you survived, you received a gift certificate for brunch on Sunday.  Friday night was a dinner for Second Class passengers, and only six survived.
 While we waited for dinner, we were invited to check out the amazing amount of memorabilia.  Most of the items were purchased from auctions, or from the estates of the families of passengers.
Dinnerware from the sister ship of the Titanic, the Olympic.  

Below are tiles from the Titanic's sister ship the Olympic which was decommissioned in 1939;  identical ones were also on the Titanic.
Below, a replica of the Titanic in all it's glory.
We received a commerative menu, along with a Bio card of 'our' passenger.   
Our friends Mark and Barb, looked like they stepped out of the Era.  Barb's sister-in-law, lent her this hat from her collection.
Below, Rick and I.  I was excited to wear this hat that was purchased on a business trip in Minneapolis several years ago.  Our wonderful neighbor from the Coast, 95 year old Gertie Smith, lent me a handbag that belonged her mother.
Bryan on his 24th birthday.  Below, Scenes from the dinner
The first course, Consomme' with Tapioca, was paired with a Kenwood Sauv Blanc wine.  The soup tasted better than it sounded.
Soup was followed by Baked Haddock with Sharp Sauce.
Curried Chicken with Rice was next, paired with a Hinman Reisling
There were two main courses: Roast Turkey with Savory Cranberry Sauce, and Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce, Turnip Puree, Green Peas, and Roast Potatoes, paired with a Petit Bistro Pinot Noir .  Everything was beautifully presented and deliciously prepared by chef/Owner, Merlyn Baker.
In between courses, John Lamoreau shared stories of the people who's Bio's we received.  There was a trivia question, which Mark answered correctly, and he was allowed to have champagne served in a glass purchased from the estate of a passengers family.
Dessert was Plum Pudding with Sweet Sauce, Wine Jelly, a Jello like concoction, and a coconut Sandwich.  The wine pairing was a kourakis Samos Sweet Muscat
Wouldn't you know, Barb's Passenger was the only survivor in our group!  (Although, we all went out to Brunch anyway)
Finally, a plate of Fruit, Nuts and Cheese was served with a Lunetta Prosecco-Brut (champagne).  It was hard to imagine that the First class passengers had a dinner with four more courses and three more wines!
After the cheese and fruit was served, and the last passenger story told, the sound of swirling water, and the Hymn "Nearer My God To Thee" played, the lights flickered and you had a sense of the dreadful fate that awaited the passengers on the 'unsinkable' Titanic.  That being said, a remembrance dinner of this historic event is held annually around the world on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The 100th Anniversary will be held in two years. If you ever get a chance to attend one of these dinners, I would recommend that you do it!  The sharing of the meal, telling of the stories, keeps the memory of these amazing people alive, and not just relegated to a sad footnote in history.  


  1. You look awesome on the picture, your friends too. I can imagine that you had a great evening. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like a fantastic time, and what a great menu!

  3. We are set to sail again April 22nd at the Historic Stange Manor in La Grande, Oregon. Please call 541-805-9884 today for your tickets.


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