In the tranquil Norfolk, a school for butlers teaches butlers and house management students how to serve the world’s filthy rich The Bespoke British Butler Academy is designed to put students through their paces and teach budding Butlers and House managers how to deal with the situations they might find during a day’s service.
In our 16th century royal setting with its lush, leafy grounds, sweeping gravel driveway and slate-floored pantries, Morley Old Hall, the home of the Bespoke British Butler Academy, looks and feels as frightfully British as it is. The pupils dress formally and address each other formally and have spent hours learning how to serve drinks, do silver service training and how to manage the manor.
The school, which has its HQ on ancient London Guildhall runs the residential courses at Morley Old Hall in Norfolk throughout the year. It’s 60 minutes outside London by car and 2 hrs by train.
The Butler school’s immaculate students may look as if they’re auditioning for a role in the next series of Downton Abbey, but The Bespoke Butler Academy’s training is run teaching both traditional as well as modern techniques. The British Butler professional is a thoroughly modern career now that globalisation has led to a deepening gulf between the haves and the have-yachts.
Never in history have there been so many very rich people on the planet, and when you’re very rich, there’s nothing nicer than having someone manage your property portfolio and the smooth running of other assets.
Attended to at all hours by a rotating roster of personal butlers, the guests of Morley Old Hall Estate are royalty as they stay on the estate whilst the courses run – which helps keep the students on their well shod toes but it works well.
We teach the students to notice the tiniest details about any given scenario. A smudge on a vase, the distance between a tablecloth and the floor. The British Butler academy take on only 12 students at the time and each one paid in the region of £3000 plus VAT for a 2 week course to be schooled in the rigours of a profession that requires them to be discreet, all-seeing and unflappable. We mix men and women of all ages.
There is no typical candidate in terms of background or professional training, but what they all share is a service-orientated personality and the ability to put the needs of someone else before themselves. That’s increasingly rare in today’s society, where people are increasingly focused on their own gratification.
The Butler students hail from countries as diverse as Sweden and China and the really good ones stand to make anything up to €150,000 per year working for the super-rich.
Once in place, they will facilitate – and share in – the lavish lifestyles of Russian oligarchs, globe-trotting investment bankers, even rap megastars.
They’re as likely to be preparing financial budgets on a spreadsheet as ironing newspapers, and the training takes in all possible facets of estate management, both old-school and new-fangled.
The Bespoke Butler training team are constantly assessing the pupils with a view to recommending the best to prospective employers.
Some trainee Butlers are ex bankers whose redundancies led them to re-evaluate their career. The salaries are higher than any other role in the hospitality business.
The Butler academy develops a real sense of camaraderie among the trainees, who take it in turns to be head butler and assistant head butler, but without the power struggles that the likes of Downton Abbey might lead us to expect. We aim for ‘excellence’ at all times– and just want things to run really well, down to the smallest detail.
Most of the butlers, young and mature, seem to relish the thought that their new job might take them somewhere new and unexpected but we place a lot of staff in China and that market is growing
“The new rich in China like the idea of having a European-trained butler, because they are learning the customs that come with a certain level of society – which knife to use, that kind of thing. In a funny way, as a butler, it can be like you’re educating your employer.”
The academy also host corporate functions tonight, so back in the dining room, before a party, the students line up (in descending height order) to be briefed by on the event’s exacting requirements.
We have space for the 2 week training the 8th July for 2 weeks. Book now!
There follows a full-scale dress-rehearsal, where a flotilla of butlers files in to the room, silver dinnerware gleaming, before revealing imaginary delicacies in perfect timing.
Book your slot with us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or 00442031670925