The British Butler Academy

The Famous British Butler Academy (BBA) is an award winning and exclusive Butler, Housekeeper & House Management school based in London, UK that travels worldwide to supply training courses for 5 Star Domestic Staff Settings and 5 Star Hotels.  We are proud to offer our clients and candidates the most exclusive Butler training in the world. We train existing hotel staff, managers, Butlers and other staff to become top Butlers and/or House Managers or Estate Managers. We run courses in Hotels but also at Stately homes as well as in your own premises if you wish. As our name Bespoke suggests, we tailor make courses to suit your needs.



Why train your domestic staff with the British Butler training academy?

w  Like our name, The Bespoke Bureau reveals, we are a bespoke company which means that we will tailor make a training program that suits your Hotel’s or Household needs.

w  Offering short seminars of 2 days and the courses run from 1 week to 4 weeks in 5 star Hotels and private settings worldwide.

w  Flexibility. You can come to us and either train or we can come to you.

w  Our Master Butler trainers and Housekeeper teachers are the finest and most qualified in the world. With over 200 years of experience between the 8 of them, we offer a vast knowledge of the industry and domestic history of some of England’s and the rest of the world’s finest Stately Homes, Hotels and Estates.

w  Get ahead of the game with the British Butler Training Diploma.

w  You or your Staff will be seen as THE TOP Butlers in the world and your Hotel or Household will increase in Value and Prestige quickly and accordingly

w  The British Butler Academy (BBA) and the certificate is well known worldwide and is acknowledged as THE best Butler training school in the world.

w  Our Butler training offers the very highest private service that would be required by top society of today, managing and running their private residences as well as 5 star hotels.

w  We fly to all the corners of the world, mainly focusing on Britain, China, and the Middle East

Who trains with us?

w  5 Star hotels and resorts turn to us for staff training, consultancy and recruitment.

w  Butlers, House Managers, Estate Managers, Housekeepers, Service minded people

w  Anyone in the service industry who wishes to excel into one of the best Butlers in the world



Who are we?

Director and Founder: Sara Vestin Rahmani
Sara has a second to none reputation within the World’s Elite entrepreneurial and business community. Originally from Sweden, Sara came to work professionally in the UK in 1998 and quickly excelled in her executive career. In 2003 she started her first business and her success has boomed since then. Her services are very much sought after and Sara has won numerous business awards over the years. Sara sits on various executive committees as well as being chairperson for several children charities over the world. Sara also owns a number of successful businesses in the United Kingdom, all in the 5 Star service industries, including internationally reputable nanny/au pair agency Peek-a-boo Childcare and Cupcakes Nanny Agency

Butler trainer: Robin Stuart
Robin’s career as a Butler stems back to the early 1980’s and he has worked in VIP Private Households such as VIP family estates, Royal palaces all over the world as well as on 5 star cruise ships, Hotels and very high end restaurants. All of Robin’s jobs have been in positions of responsibility, where maintaining these standards was of the upmost importance. Robin is a wonderful trainer who is able to offer our clients 5 start training in households and Hotels alike. Robin likes to be hands on and lead from the front. He believes in teamwork and feels this promotes staff loyalty and adaptability

Butler trainer: George Telford
Mr Telford, head butler is today one of our leading and most significant professional butlers with over 25 years of experience within the trade. He began his butler career in 1985 by working for a VIP family overlooking their 3 stately homes before continuing on to Butler/Steward Private Yachts. After this he worked for a Royal Middle Eastern family for a number of years and then onto the 5 star Hotel industry. Now George Predominantly teaches at our Butler school and is a popular choice for 5 Star hotels and Individuals like around the world as he is easy to understand and implements his personal touches and a lot of role play in his teaching.

Butler trainer: Stephen Ford
Stephen ford is a well-known qualified professional Butler with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Stephen is he is a prime illustration of everything a butler needs to be. Starting his profession in the Royal Air Force in 1986, he excelled in the field before continuing as a butler in an English Manor House for a number of years. After this he went to work on 5 Star cruise ships supervising a multi-tasking team of 30 before moving on to NHW Russian and other Western VIP private families whose houses and budgets he managed.  Stephen’s obligation to professionalism and discretion are never compromised and this makes him one of the finest British Butlers there ever was.  Steve is one of our best trainers and gets booked up well in advance.


We have many more trainers available of equal standard. Once we have understood your training needs, we will tailor make a curriculum for you that will be delivered by the most suitable trainer for you.



Right now in the Domestic Staff and 5 Star Hotel market

There is a general misconception that Butlers are no longer sought after. We have a great waiting list of people and Hotels wanting to be trained by us and an even longer list of clients looking for qualified Butlers. Our typical client is either: a 5 Star Hotel, a HNW individual, celeb or high profile business person. The rich are hiring more and more and seem to have vast funds to spend. We find that a lot of them are investing in further properties due to the low prices in Europe and they need more and more staff to care for these homes. There certainly is no visible downturn amongst our clientele. Although the UK economy is not booming, the Middle East and Asia are. Also we find an ever increasing trend with Russians seeking British butlers for their UK homes and homes overseas properties.  Although the UK may not have the money here at the moment, we have unique and old traditions that are sought after overseas in countries where the economies are flourishing. Britain’s domestic staff and fine etiquette culture stretches back centuries. This culture is very exotic and truly trendy amongst the booming countries mentioned above. We also find that TV shows such as Downtown abbey and similar period dramas that are increasingly popular benefit our market. There is something special about the domestic staff hierarchy, vast country estates, riches and traditions that people with funds to pay for it can’t seem to resist. It goes with the territory of being rich and famous to have your own Butler and staff ‘underneath him/her’















History of the Butler
A butler is a domestic worker in a large household or a Hotel. A butler is historically male and in charge of male servants but these days he will often manage all staff, including the female staff. The butler had and still has the highest servant status and best pay. These days, in modern houses, we use titles such as house manager and estate manager. Modern day butlers are considered to be one of the most versatile domestic employees, as the role has evolved into a diverse range of quality services. The main role is a balance of management and liaison of services. The precise duties of the employee will vary to some extent in line with the title given, but perhaps more importantly in line with the requirements of the individual employer. Frequently a butler will assume a combination of roles, varying from head waiter, chef, valet, chauffeur to personal assistant, usually complimenting each role with ease and distinction. Consistent to all butler roles however, are the essential characteristics of refined discretion, dignity, perfection and excellence in service and standards. Today, female butlers are often required and make up for about 1/5 of the UK Butler population, i.e. 20% of the market. Bespoke Bureau has female Butlers that are very good. To be defined as a great Butler, you must possess a wealth of experience and/or formal education through butler schools for distinguished excellence.  With our Butler training you will be the best.

A good butler will have knowledge of or possess the following skills:


w  All types of Service including Silver, Butler, Russian, etc.

w  Hiring, managing, supervising and dismissing of domestic staff or Hotel Staff plus have a good knowledge of general housekeeping practices for guiding and training other staff. These should include: Care of antiques, Books , Curtains ,Pet care, Ceramics, Silver ,Food hygiene, Food preparation, Metalwork , Art work, Flowers, Table setting, Rugs, Linens, Houseplants, Menu Planning

w  Keeping employee records and understanding HR and Recruitment structures

w  Keeping household accounts and Budgets

w  Stock control, Valuations & Inventories

w  Liaising with contractors, suppliers and services


A Bespoke Bureau Butler anticipates everything and overlooks nothing. He instinctively knows what to do and how to act in every situation. They are invisible yet always available. He knows who to meet and how to greet and when to disappear. Friendly but never familiar; they are the soul of discretion. Never flustered, a Bespoke Bureau butler remains composed at all times and always dresses immaculately. His/her every move is intuitive.
Bespoke Bureau in the Media:


Arabian Business meets with Vestin at the Yacht Academy


6 page story on Bespoke Butlers in the Jazeera Magazine by Sakhr Al-Makhadhi


The Global Post interviews Sara Vestin on Butlers


Washington DC and Chinese CCTV’s Richard Bestik visits Peek-a-boo


Tokyo TV News on Bespoke Bureau


Channel 4′s Brunch gets a visit from our Head Butler


CBS This morning reports on Bespoke Bureau


Paris Match Magazine speaks to Peek-a-boo


Swedish Dagens industri and PS tells about our success


Hotelier Middle East reports on Bespoke Bureau


The times report on the Modern Butler


Al Arabia News on our Nannies and Butlers


Arabian Business News reports on our Mid East Demand


Australia’s courier mail on Bespoke Bureau


The Daily Telegraph in Australia on Sara Vestin and Bespoke


News.com in Australia reports on London’s Finest academy


Adelaide Now reports on Butler Trends


Australian News talks to The bespoke Bureau


Daily Mail reports on Bespoke Bureau


Reuters TV pays a visit to our London Academy


New York based Alex Burton talks to Sara


Russian TVC news channel reports on the Butler School


CCTV in China visits the school


Spanish Elmundo reports on Bespoke


The Economist Oct 2012


Sky news Oct 2012


Independent Oct 2012


Bloomberg TV Jan 2012


BBC Breakfast Mar 2012


Butler trends in China



China’s demand from Bespoke Bureau


British Butlers on the rise


Sweden reports on their Native Sara and Bespoke


Women’s everything interviews Sara on her businesses


The Telegraph-Chinese  Nannies in the rise


Butler Training – Our Modules/Curriculum
(Please note: The below list is not exclusive. We can tailor make the above modules whichever way you want them done. We can add, edit or remove to your needs.)


The Life of a Butler

History and traditions, personal traits, personal and professional standards, service in detail.


Staff Management

Interviewing, hiring and firing, agency staff, employee handbooks and house rules, human resources and personnel issues, staff communications, time management.


House Management

Includes technical skills, setting routines and schedules, BlackBerrys, computers, defining and setting standards, purchasing


Table Management

Setting tables and serving meals, styles of service, table manners, wines and champagnes, cigars, special celebrations.


 Laundry Management

Including linens and fine fabric care, clothing maintenance, ironing & pressing, dry-cleaning, product knowledge


 Valeting Skills

Dress codes, formal wear, purchasing and care of bespoke clothing and shoes, maintaining inventories and packing suitcases


Communication and cultural differences

Cultural differences, interpersonal skills, body language, remembering names and making conversation, telephone manners, personal presentation skills.


Etiquette & Protocol

Addressing persons of different cultures and titled persons, acquiring social confidence, social correspondence, common-sense good manners and consideration for others.


 Cooking, health and hygiene

Balancing food and wine, menu planning and record keeping, speed-cuisine, quality control, “the Chef’s night off”


Wine, Champagne, Cigars
Work shop in wine tasting, matching food and wine, when to drink what and where to purchase fine wines and cigars

From travelling with your employer, to relocating the household, chauffeuring techniques, security, character building and more, much more.



Below are a few examples of our hands on/role play scenarios of “old fashioned butling” that are popular:

Nr. Butler Scenario












































Answering the door to guests and visitors.A move by your employer to another house.Dealing with a “greedy” guest.


Dealing with a guest or guests who have arrived unexpectedly and uninvited.

Describing the table plan, table index, seating plan and place cards.

How and when to prepare the “morning tray” and deliver it to your employer.

How to tip or give a present to, for example a Concierge or other persons either as an investment or a “Thank You” for services rendered.

How (if) to accept a gratuity from a guest who is leaving.

How to address and treat guests with or without titles.

How to behave and get on with everyone; from staff members to the most important guest.

How to clean and prepare shoes.

How to deal with special diets when serving a meal.

How to deal with staff who have been caught stealing.

How to deal with a guest who has no appointment and your boss does not wish to see him.

How to deal with the situation when a guest who has an appointment is informed that your employer is unable to see him for a half-hour; one hour; two hours!

How to give “Silver Service”, “Butler Service” and more.

How to handle a situation when a guest is prying into your employer’s affairs.

How to handle a situation where there is a drunken guest at the table.

How to deal with the task of having to ask a guest to leave the house.

How to open a bottle of champagne.

How to pour wine and water at table (the do’s and don’ts).

How to prepare and serve afternoon and high tea.

How to prepare and serve fresh fruit.

How to serve breakfast.

How to serve dinner with great style and skill.

How to serve guests with refreshments.

How to serve the breakfast tray to the bedroom.

How to welcome guests staying overnight.

Making guests and visitors welcome.

Packing a suitcase.

Procedures to use when contractors are in the house.

How to fire staff.

How to get the very best value for the employer when shopping

Staff inspection.  How to inspect staff before each meal and why it is done.

Taking care of your employer’s clothes and preparing them daily.

The correct and incorrect way to answer the telephone.

The Guest and Menu Book.

The importance of check lists for all occasions.

The importance of personal hygiene and the means to attain it at all times.

The importance of your own behaviour when off duty.

The Pantry Book.

The perfect technique and procedure to interview for a position.

The Visitors Book.

Your attitude and respect for the Chef and Housekeeper.


(Please note: The above list is not exclusive. We can tailor make the above modules whichever way you want them.

 We can add, edit or remove to your needs.)

Module 1
The Modern Household vs. the Old House Management
– The Role and History of the Butler, Housekeeper and House Manager
– Greeting Guests
– General House Etiquette
– Etiquette when entering a guest room
– Personal Hygiene
– Dress Code
– Employer Expectations
– Professionalism
– Cultural Differences and Communication
– House Rules
– House Security/Alarms
– Shopping and Deliveries
– Tools and Supplies
– Stock Taking and Inventory
– Keeping a Log Book
– Time Management
– Budgets
– Hiring staff, the Agency Role
– Contracts
– Staff Rotas
– Managing and Training of Staff
– Liaising with all departments
– Liaising with Staff
– Using Technology for Organisation
– Protection and Passwords
Module 2
– The Importance of Keeping up Appearances
– Understanding the Employer’s Wishes
– The Importance of Hygiene
– Food Hygiene
– Dealing with Guest Requests
– Dealing with a Difficult Client
– Dealing with a difficult Situation
– Setting a Table
– Table Presentation (Mise en Place)
– Flower Arrangement
– Keeping Glasses, Cutlery and Plates Polished
– Guest Arrival Etiquette
– Cloakroom Management
– Canapé Service Etiquette
– Serving Wine
– Serving Champagne
– Calling for Dinner
– Silver Service (English Service)
– Butler Service (French Service)
– Russian Service
– The Difference Between the Different Types of Service
– Keeping the Table and Cloth Clean
– Serving Coffee
– Guest Departure Etiquette
Module 3 Valeting
– Role of the valet and ladies maid
– Difficulties that can Arise
– Answering the Phone
– Keeping in the Loop
– Presenting Clothes
– Planning the Day/Week
– Preparing for Travel
– How to Protect Clothes
– Packing a Suitcase
– Packing for a Guest
– Being a Professional
– Being Discreet
– Booking Travel and Restaurants
– Shopping for Clothes
– Buying and Subscribing to Newspapers
– Liaising with Tailors
– Keeping an Eye Out
– Shoe Polish and Care
– PA/Concierge Work
Module 4
Excelling as housekeeper + Laundry and Clothes Care
– Daily and Weekly Tasks/Work sheets
– Time Management and Prioritising Work
–  Rotas
– The Cost of Fine Garments
– Drying Techniques
– Fabric Care
– Antiques and Fine Art
– Making Beds and Changing Sheets
– Turndown Service
– Polishing Wood and Care of Furniture
– The Different Types of Flooring
– Dusting
– Vacuuming and Sweeping
– Cleaning the Bathroom
– Wardrobe Management
– Folding and Sorting Clothes
– Hand Washing Clothes
– Washing Silk and Other Fine Clothing

Example of how we can run the modules:
(The below modules can run from half a day to 1 week depending on what level you want the students to learn and how much role play you want them to experience. The more the better)


Required Attire upon Attendance
(Please note: The following options are available for Male and Female Butlers)



Male Requirements


Female Requirements

  • Formal black shoes- comfortable low heel, closed front
  • Laced up or slip on
  • Sensible black high heel/comfortable low heel shoes
  • Laced up shoes, closed toes and simple
  • Formal Black Pants



  • Choice of black skirt or long black pants


  • Formal white shirt that buttons at the neck for when you are wearing a bow tie
  • Formal white shirt that buttons at the neck for when you are wearing a bow tie
  • Formal Black Jacket to match your black pants


  • Formal Black Jacket to match your pants/skirt
  • Formal Tie (preferably black)



  • Formal Tie (preferably black)
  • Black socks



  • Black socks


  • No earrings, no visible tattoos
  • One ring and no visible necklaces


  • Minimal Jewellery, no visible tattoos
  • One ring, no necklaces and small earrings
  • Nails – short, clean and trimmed


  • Nails – short, clean and trimmed



  • Hair – Short and neat.
  • If long: tied back in a ponytail and neatly combed
  • Hair is not allowed in the facial area
  • If long: must be tied back and neatly combed.
  • Hair is not allowed in the facial area.
  • Required to shave daily



  • Presupposed





The Academy’s Training Venues

The Bespoke British Butler School is the leading 5 star Butler training establishment devoted to the training of Butlers, Housekeepers & House Managers.

Our 2 week residential training courses in the countryside are held in Morley Old Hall

Our Stately home for the British Butler training.

“Morley Old Hall” provides both the venue for the training and accommodation for the participants.












For more information, please contact:

Bespoke Bureau
Phone:  +442031670925



Morley Old Hall











Morley Old Hall History is well documented in a number of reference books including Pam Boys’ “Beautiful Homes of Britain”, Pevsner’s “Buildings of England” and Burke’s “Guide to Country Houses”.

The house dates from the late 16th Century and was built by the Sedley Family who acquired the manor in 1545 and owned it until around 1790. The Hall is enclosed by an Anglo Saxon moat which was probably dug 700 years ago to make the walls for an earlier dwelling.

Ownership since 1790 has included Field Marshall The First Lord Ironside, who was Chief of the Imperial General Staff in May 1940 and Commander-in-Chief of Home Forces during the Second World War.

Other owners include Mrs Janet Shand Kydd, first wife of Peter Shand Kydd and stepfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is now owned by a private HNW individual who is good frahmani and the Hall is used partly by the Bespoke British Butler School.

Course dates are July the 8th 2013 for 2 weeks and various other dates over the year.

Your accopmodation:

Morley Old Hall currently has three holiday cottages and two moat rooms on site available for guests to enjoy the tranquillity of the site and explore the grounds and nearby Norfolk Broads.

The site provides guests with luxury accomdation and a base to explore the local area or further a field with the Norfolk coast and Norwich a short car journey away.

We have the following guest accomodation available on the Estate and can be booked online for a minimum break of 3 nights throughout the year


For more information, please contact:

Bespoke Bureau

Phone:  +442031670925



Our Prices:

Our 2 day courses in London are £480 plus VAT per person
Our Hotel and Household Training range from £1000 per day (1 trainer) and up depending on the number of staff, your needs and length of training. The longer you book the lower the price.

Courses regularly run once per month. Upon booking, further information will be disclosed.

 We suggest discussing your needs with us and we will try and arrange an affordable price to suit your budget.


Our booking terms:

Payment in full before the training commences (upon receipt of invoice)

Hotel, Airfare and Transfer to be arranged for and/or paid for by the client


For more information and/or to book, please contact sara@bespokebureau.com

or call  +44 (0) 2031670925


We look forward to training your staff soon


Bespoke Bureau

Blackwell House

1 Guildhall Yard

Near Bank

City of London

Phone:  +44 (0) 2031670925


More informations:


All our trainers are TOP Butlers with at least 20 years experience in household Management and Butler Management. We really only have top people.


We can come to you and train you or your Butlers can come to us. You decide.

If you have 10 ppl, I recommend that we send you 1-2 trainers plus a Manager/Director from us that will assess and quality control all staff.

The price to come to your premises is usually: £400 per delegate per day

but I have some great TOP Butlers free at the moment so I can offer you this for 10 Butler attendants:


  1. TOP Butler plus Director (£2000 per day) which is £200 per day per delegate. For 5 days it would be £10,000 and that’s a very good deal.
  2. TOP Butlers plus Director (£3000 per day) so £15,000 in total
  3. If you come to us, we arrange pick up, food and Hotel an its £600 per person per day


I can tailor make a program that suits your staff, your locations, your requests. You can otherwise pick a ‘normal’ course for Hotel Butlers/Managers that will include:


  1. Information on the duties of the Perfect Butler, and during this week we will instruct students in being familiar with what is expected of a Butler.                                                          How to behave, dress and speak to their employers and guests. How to greet guests, attend to their needs and make them welcome.
  2. Learn what happens in The Pantry, e.g. the care of fine crystal, silver and china. You will learn how to make trays for various meals. Preparing the Dining room for Luncheon and Dinner, and other Parties. The serving of wines Port and cigars.
  3. Valeting: The many aspects it covers.

The care of fine clothes which includes: – The care of all types of clothing, uniforms, suits, ties etc. Care of shoes. How to lay out clothes. How to pack a suitcase.

  1. Toast mastering duties. Presentation, dealing with complaints, difficult customers, cultural differences etc.


They will be assessed accordingly and receive a British Butler Diploma from the Bespoke Butler Academy.


The course is a packed programme. It provides them with all the expertise they need to carry out their duties as a professional Butler.

and it was found to be exciting and a different approach to a Butlers course.


5 days is short but we can do it, we are the experts.



  1. Full payment upfront
  2. Flight and Hotel plus meal paid for
  3. We prefer to fly out one extra person (you only pay flight and Hotel) to have as a back up in case one Butler falls ill or something happens.


Would you like more information? Pls let me know if you feel the prices are in your Budget etc.


It really is a very very good school we run.



Great course, the instructor was very clear in explaining everything to the last detail and I found it all extremely useful. I am now able to initiate my career as a Butler, and with the skills I’ve learned I can now put them into practice.

–       Candidate (change)

It was clear the course was delivered by someone notably experienced within the trade. I highly recommended the course, it was tremendously thorough, yet the tutor made it easy to understand.

–       Client (change)

Bespoke Bureau provided us and our company with a first-class service tailor made to the needs of our organisation. Their course successfully trained our staff in all the specific and relevant areas to the particular needs of our organisation.


–       Hotel (change)