Savoring Elegance: Queen Mary 2’s
Festival of Food and Wine Journey
Long before the glamour of flying on private jets and in first class, there was luxurious leisure travel by ship. Preserving the bygone era of stylish, unhurried travel is Queen Mary 2®, Cunard’s flagship ocean liner.
From the moment I stepped on board the remarkable vessel for a Transatlantic Crossing, I felt like I’d been transported to a royal palace with beautiful, timeless art and decor in the Grand Lobby. Queen Mary 2® made its debut in 2004 and stands as the world’s only ocean liner, having sailed the Atlantic hundreds of times. However, our voyage stood out as unique, marking the ship’s first ‘Festival of Food and Wine’. Following our departure under the sunny skies in Southampton, England, we knew we were about to embark on something truly special.
Beyond the delicious main dining options, a variety of culinary delights were offered by the ship’s several eclectic restaurants and bars, including Kings Court Buffet, Carinthia Lounge, Golden Lion Pub™, Chart Room, The Verandah, Champagne Bar, and the Commodore Club. During the ‘Festival of Food and Wine’ voyage, the legendary chef Michel Roux transformed The Verandah into his iconic two Michelin-star restaurant, Le Gavroche. I eagerly joined my fellow guests to experience the exquisite cuisine in a seven course meal and wine pairing.
The festival also offered numerous immersive experiences, lectures, panels, wine tastings, and live demonstrations each and every day at sea. There was always something fun and informative for me to take part in like the live chocolate fudge demonstration, honey tasting, a cocktail masterclass, lectures on vegan food, and a conversation with renowned chef, Michel Roux himself. And of course, no crossing is complete without indulging in Cunard’s Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room, this time with a special addition of champagne for a truly elegant experience.
Taking a break from the wine and food festivities, I stopped by the ship’s wellness spa, Mareel®. I was delighted to find an assortment of water therapies and relaxing treatments to replenish myself, including an aroma stone massage and a variety of facials. There were also an abundance of enrichment activities on board at every turn, including insightful talks, thrilling productions, art classes, and trivia. The beautiful library is not to be missed by book lovers. While overlooking the Atlantic, guests may read in the largest library at sea, featuring nearly 10,000 books.
As the sun set, my fellow guests and I dressed to impress for cocktail hour and dinner. We enjoyed fine dining and five-star service from the friendly waitstaff in the ocean liner’s restaurants. Guests staying in Queens Grill, Princess Grill, or Britannia Club accommodations were treated to an even more refined dining experience in their exclusive restaurants. The night was full of romance and wonder as many danced the night away against the backdrop of jazz music and a hint of nostalgia at the Black and White gala in the Queens Room.
A Transatlantic Crossing on board Queen Mary 2 is the pinnacle of decadent travel. With the beautiful Art Deco architecture and decor, spacious staterooms, haute cuisine, stellar service, and high quality entertainment, my journey was nothing short of magical.