More Menus!

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Vintage German menus from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

Our last vintage menus post proved popular – and most of the examples that we featured in it prior to listing in the web shop have now sold.

Vintage German menus from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

We thought we’d share some more of our collection over the coming weeks…

Details from vintage German menus from Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

…starting with this collection of cruise ship menus dating from the late 1960s.

Details from vintage German menus from Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen cruise

They were produced for the German company, Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen.

Vintage menu illustration details from a Norddeutscher Lloyd cruise

We like the combination of stark pen & ink drawing with bold, partial colouring. They’re very distinctive – the artist’s signature looks like Geißler, but we can’t seem to find any mention of him anywhere on the internet. Can anyone out there shed some light?

Vintage menu with cover illustration of men playing bowls in a park Vintage menu with cover illustration of suns

Vintage menu with cover illustration of birds Vintage menu with cover illustration of fish

This particular set would look fabulous with simple black frames against a large expanse of white wall. The vibrant colours would really leap out and draw you in to take a closer look.

Cruising Again

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Vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus from 1975

We’ve got some more vintage cruise menus to share with you – our friend Emma, who used to run the wonderful Wooden Donkey empire, sent us a package containing various vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus out of the blue this week. What an unexpected treat that was!

Vintage Royal Viking cruise luncheon menu detail

With the new additions, we were able make up a lovely set of ten menus from this particular cruise. They date from the mid 1970s and were given to passengers en route to Acapulco. Aren’t they fabulous? The artwork is stunning. They really capture the Mexican vibe – and the style is so characteristic of the time. One of those occasions when the phrase “good enough to frame” is very apt.

Vintage Royal Viking Star menu cover from 1975

We’d love a huge wall display of vintage menus. We’ve got the menus – we must be up to about a hundred now… we just need the huge empty wall – oh, and the framing might bankrupt us! They’re such a great thing to collect for us. We’re obviously attracted to the cover artwork in the first instance, but being former chefs, the food on offer inside is also very interesting.

Vintage Royal Viking Star dinner menu

Whether it’s dishes or menu phrases that seem to have been lost in time, dishes or ingredients we’ve never heard of – or mentally choosing what we’d fancy to eat on that given day!

'Chef's Suggestion' on a vintage Royal Viking Star dinner menu

We’ve got a few duplicates of this set and quite a few others too, so we think we might start putting some into the What’s Cooking? department of the H is for Home shop. They’d make the perfect decoration for kitchen walls or shelves.

Vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus from 1975

If you fancy starting your own vintage menu collection, get in touch and we’ll let you know what’s available. Bon Voyage!

Take a Cruise

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Vintage cruise ship menu from P&O S.S. Oronsay

We’ve just picked up two more vintage menus for our collection. We know that lots of you love illustration & design so we thought we’d share them.

S.S. Oronsay staff list

They’re both from the cruise ship SS Oronsay owned by P&O and date from the early 1970s.

Illustration of a mermaid on a vintage cruise ship menu from P&O Oronsay

The serenading mermaids on this one are just gorgeous.

S.S. Oronsay events list

And the on board entertainment is a treat to read. Frog Racing???? The people on this cruise must have fancied it as they gave it not one, but two ticks!

Illustration of a merman on a vintage cruise ship menu from P&O Oronsay

And how about this fabulous psychedelic table of fayre? That glass of wine is just amazing.

Vintage cruise ship menu from P&O Oronsay

We know that this particular design was by John Constable/Peter Hatch Partnership.

Vintage cruise ship dinner menu from P&O Oronsay

The actual menu on offer is always interesting too – you wouldn’t be hungry after this lot!

Bookmarks: Menu Design in America

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"Menu Design In America" book with collection of vintage menus

 

We have a really fabulous book for today’s Bookmarks post.

front page from "Menu Design in America" book

page from "Menu Design in America"

It’s Menu Design in America, 1850-1985 by Steven Heller & John Mariani and edited by Jim Heimann.

'Ale Ale Kai' Tiki-style menu

The Blackhawk and Club Ballyhoo menus

The book charts the history of menu design in America in the 19th & 20th centuries.

Bond Fifth Avenue Flight Deck menu

Billy Rose's Casa Manana menu

The menus featured inevitably incorporate the evolution & development of food.

The French Casino Theatre menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

But they also draw in American and social history, politics, immigration, civil rights, prohibition, social taboos & norms for various eras – some of which can be eye openers.

Hotel Sahara, Las Vegas 'Congo Room' menu

Adams-Sheetz Drive-in menu

Fans of graphic design, illustration and typography will also be in heaven!

page from "Menu Design in America" page from "Menu Design in America"

El Rancho Vegas menu

There’s a broad subject overview at the start of the book, followed by further insightful captions on each page.

page from "Menu Design in America"

Empire Dinner menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

They add details for specific venues or menus – artists/designers, who owned/frequented an establishment, its popularity, dates, details about the food – chefs, new introductions, where items may have been sourced etc.

Fountain Room menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

In some cases, there are accompanying photographs of the actual restaurant locations, buildings, interiors and the diners themselves.

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America"

The menus are the real stars of this book, of course. There are nearly 400 pages crammed full of fabulous examples. Both the stunning covers and their menu contents will give hours of visual pleasure.

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America" page from "Menu Design in America"

We’ve included lots of images for this post, but even this is only a small portion of those contained within the book.

page from "Menu Design in America"

Howard Johnson's 'delicious food' menu

Art Nouveau to Art Deco, Jazz age to Space age – it’s all in here!

John's Island Cafe menu

Kon-Tiki menu

The menus are sourced from hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, diners, steamships, cruise ships, trains & planes.

'Tropicana' menu

'Mario's Pizza House' menu

We know one thing though – after browsing this book for an hour we were starving!

page from "Menu Design in America"

'mixed drinks' menu

Some of the menus had up to a hundred items to choose from.

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America"

There are familiar dishes such as steaks & burgers (done in a myriad of different ways of course).

Orbit Dining Room Coffee Shop menu

Well of the Sea menu

Others have choices that were new to us – ‘stewed terrapin with hominy’, ‘fried smelts with figaro sauce’, ‘calf’s head en tortue’.

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America"

There are enjoyable aspects to take from all the menus – our favourites in terms of design & artwork are those dating from the 1930s and the 1950s. There’s a few in this book we’d love to add to our collection.

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America"

We started acquiring vintage menus some time ago. In fact, we’ve blogged about the subject before.

Sea Cave menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

We love both the artwork and browsing the dishes on offer. They can be stored in a folder, but also look great framed – and as you can see from the wonderful examples in this book, the designs can be just stunning.

Stan's menu

Subway Cafe 507 menu

So we were sold even before opening a page, but if you are a newcomer to the subject, this book can be enjoyed as pure eye candy or will provide a fascinating insight into the history of a nation through its culinary culture.

Supper Hotel Pennsylvania menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

Mouth-watering stuff – we can highly recommend it!

Town and Country menu

page from "Menu Design in America"

Menu Design in America, 1850-1985 is also available from Hive and the H is for Home vintage design bookshops – UK & US

page from "Menu Design in America"

page from "Menu Design in America"

[Many thanks to Taschen for supplying this review copy]

On the menu

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Detail of a vintage menu showing bottles and drinking glasses

 We’ve mentioned our ever-expanding collection of vintage cookery books in previous blog posts.

1960s BOAC drinks menu 1960s BOAC drinks menu

detail from 1960s BOAC drinks menu

An offshoot of this collection consists of a number vintage menus.

1950s Porterhouse steakhouse menu from our collection of vintage menus

detail of 1950s Porterhouse menu

menu items from the 1950 Porterhouse menu

detail of 1950s Porterhouse menu cover

It’s interesting to peruse the dishes on offer… in fact, it’s made us feel quite hungry writing this post.

detail of KLM menu illustration by Otto Dicke depicting a girl in traditional Dutch costume

KLM menu illustration by Otto Dicke depicting girls in traditional Dutch costume KLM menu illustration by Otto Dicke depicting a girl in traditional Dutch costume

KLM in-flight menu items

However, it’s the period graphics, fonts & illustrations that we really look out for.

1960s Polish Ocean Lines menu

detail from 1960s Polish Ocean Lines menu cover

menu items on the Polish Ocean Lines dinner menu

detail from 1960s Polish Ocean Lines menu cover

Some of the artwork is stunning – and the menus themselves are very frameable.

1960s/70 Trattoria menu

selection of dishes from 1960s/70 Trattoria menu

detail from 1960s/70s trattoria menu

We have menus from restaurants, bars, airlines and cruise ships.

1950s/60s KLM trans-Atlantic menu

flight plan on 1950s/60s KLM trans-Atlantic menu

detail from 1950s/60s KLM menu cover

Due to their ephemeral nature, interesting examples are often quite hard to get hold of.

1960s Trans-World Airlines London flight menu

detail from Trans-World Airways London flight menu

…but we enjoy the hunt!