Royal Naval Museum




The Trafalgar Night Dinner


The Battle of Trafalgar is usually celebrated by commissioned officers of the Royal Navy by holding a Trafalgar Night dinner in the Officer's Mess. Other interested parties also hold Trafalgar Night dinners in commemoration of the battle and Lord Nelson.

There is no fixed menu for this occasion, but the following dishes could be used:


Breaking the Line  - Smoked salmon and lemon  with capers  

Cannon Balls - Melon balls

Trafalgar Duo - Roulade of salmon and sole

Main Course:

Fleet Broadside - Beef Wellington with Port wine and shallots

Mizzen Main Course - Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding


Victory Dessert or Dessert Hamilton - Poached pears

Hardy's Finale - Cheese and biscuits


Caribbean coffee and Gibraltar mints

However, other dishes can be accommodated and named with Nelson/Trafalgar connections. It should be remembered that after the meal, port is usually drunk and passed to the left.

The Loyal Toast: Diners should stand - unless the company are naval officers who are specifically authorised to remain seated. (see our information sheet on the Loyal Toast). The toast itself, by Royal decree, is "The Queen".

The Immortal Memory toast: A Trafalgar Night speech is usually made by a guest of honour. If a speaker has not been arranged, the proposer of the toast will precede it with some Nelsonian comments, and can vary in length according to the custom of the diners. The toast itself is "The Immortal Memory" and is drunk standing in total silence. This is customary out of respect of the memory of the Admiral.

For the 200th anniversary, the original toast was reinstated and used by HM The Queen which is as follows:

"The Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson and those who fell with him"

There is no fixed music for such an occasion, but probably something of a patriotic nature could be used e.g. Rule Britannia

(This information sheet has been compiled with the kind assistance of the Nelson Society)

Alternativelty, you can join us at the Royal Naval Museum for our annual Trafalgar Night Dinner celebrations

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© Royal Naval Museum Library, 2002

The information contained in this information sheet is correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for a bibliography of further reading materials, if available