Dining on the Queen Elizabeth was linked to which type of cabin you reserved. Each suite was linked to a specific dining room. The balcony staterooms included early or late seating in the Britannia Restaurant. We chose the later sitting, which started at 8:30, as I wanted to be on deck or on our balcony as we left port. Food was complementary in the Britannia dining room or at the Lido buffet.
The Britannia dining room was at the end of the ship. Aft, I think it’s called if you’re nautically inclined. The table we were assigned was at the very back of the room, in front of a huge picture window. As we were seated at 8:30 it was always dark, but the cabin lights provided illumination and we could see the wake of the ship. I imagine those at the 6:00 seating had a wonderful view as we left port.
The table seated six. Our company was an international one: Dave and me from Canada, Jean and Estella from England and Roberto and Mabel from the US. Roberto and Mabel added extra spice to the international flavour, because Roberto was originally from Argentina and Mabel from Venezuela. Conversation over dinner was always lively and often our group was among the last to leave the restaurant.
The Britannia dining room had a dress code – men had to wear a jacket and women were expected to wear cocktail dresses or more semi-formal separates. Three evenings were formal, which meant tux or dark suit for the men and formal clothes for the ladies. The dress code reflected the fine dining menu that was served.
Each dinner was four courses, which included an appetizer or soup, salad, entrée and dessert. Within those groups there were always several options, including vegetarian. You could also chose from a ‘healthy menu’ that included salad or soup, entrée and low cal dessert options. The portions for all the dishes were small, so if you wanted more sample more than one appy, or have a second dessert, not a problem.
I found the to be excellent over all. I particularly liked the small portion sizing as I felt free to enjoy both a salad and an appy in my menu choices. I also liked that the size meant I came away from the table not feeling stuffed. That is never a good feeling, but it’s worse when you’re eating later in the evening.
The Britannia restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, without formal seating. We tended to have breakfast at the cafeteria because we began our days early and the Britannia didn’t open until 9:30. Lunches we mostly ate on shore.
If you wanted a change from your regular table there were other restaurants on board, but there was a charge to use them. The Verandah served French cuisine and promised a formal, fine dining experience, while The Golden Lion had a pub setting and pub food. In the evening the Lido buffet also included an assortment of regional cuisines and sit down service for a nominal fee.