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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.

Why train your staff with the British Butler training academy?

  • 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. 
  • We offer 2 day to 4 week courses all over the world.
  • We fly or travel to you or can train your staff here with us
  • Our Master Butler trainers and Housekeeper teachers are the finest and most experienced in the world. With over 200 years 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. Our mission is to pass on to you or your staff, our knowledge of this wonderfully unique profession.
  • Get ahead of the game with the British Butler Training Diploma new doors will open for you. 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
    The British Butler Academy (BBA) and the certificate is well known worldwide and is acknowledged as THE best Butler training school in the world.
  • Our Butler training offers the very highest private service that would be required by top society of today, managing and running their private residences and 5 star hotels and resorts.
  • We tailor make your training. Offering short seminars of 2 days and the courses run from 1 week to 4 weeks in 5 star Hotels and Domestic Staff settings worldwide.
  • Flexibility. You can come to us and either train in London and/or one of the stately homes we use or we can come to you.
  • We fly to all the corners of the world with recent years mainly focusing on China, Middle East and South America.
  • Our aim is for you or your Staff to come away as the PERFECT BRITISH BUTLER OR HOUSEKEEPER

Who trains with us?

  • 5 Star hotels and resorts turn to us for staff training, consultancy and recruitment.
  • Butlers, House Managers, Estate Managers, Housekeepers, Service minded people
  • Normal people with a service mind who wish to become qualified Butlers
  • Anyone in the service industry who wishes to excel and become one of the best Butlers in the world


Right now in the Domestic Staff 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 alot 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 uber trendy amongst the booming countries mentioned above.

We also find that tv shows such as Downton abbey and similar period dramas that are increasingly popular benefits 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’


Bespoke Bureau in the Media:

The Economist Oct 2012http://www.economist.com/node/21564544
Sky news Oct 2012-http://news.sky.com/story/1001022/wanted-queens-maid-pay-14000-a-year
Independent Oct 2012-http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/are-you-being-served-the-return-of-the-british-butler-8219086.html
Bloomberg TV Jan 2012-http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-13/english-butlers-wanted-for-emerging-super-rich.html
BBC Breakfast Mar 2012-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17520807
Butler trends in China-http://cqcbepaper.cqnews.net/cqcb/html/2012-07/30/content_1558724.htm

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, estate manager and head of household staff. 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, ie 20% of the market. Bespoke Bureau has female Butlers that are very good.

To be defined a great Butler, a person either have a great wealth of work experience or formal education through butler schools for distinguished excellence.


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

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

•             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

•             Keeping employee records and understanding HR and Recruitment structures

•             Keeping household accounts and Budgets

•             Stock control

•             Valuations

•             Inventories

•             Liaising with contractors, suppliers and services


A Bespoke Bureau Butler anticipates everything and overlook nothing. They instinctively know what to do and how to act in every situation. They are invisible yet always available. They know who to meet, how to greet and when to disappear. Friendly but not 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.


Butler Training-Our Modules/Curriculum

Please note: The above 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:


  1. Answering the door to guests and visitors.
  2. A guest is seen “stealing”.  How to deal with this situation.
  3. A move by your employer to another house.
  4. All attributes a Butler should have.
  5. Christmas Day.  Organizing and running it.
  6. Dealing with a “greedy” guest.
  7. Dealing with a guest or guests who have arrived unexpectedly and uninvited.
  8. Describing the table plan, table index, seating plan and place cards.
  9. Hand-made shirts made to measure.
  10. Hand-made shoes made to measure.
  11. Hand-made suits made to measure.
  12. How and when to prepare the “morning tray” and deliver it to your employer.
  13. 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.
  14. How (if) to accept a gratuity from a guest who is leaving.
  15. How to address and treat guests with or without titles.
  16. How to balance menus.
  17. How to be able to meet a visitor at the airport or rail station with the skill and expertise of the trained chauffeur.
  18. How to behave and get on with everyone; from staff members to the most important guest.
  19. How to clean and prepare shoes.
  20. How to deal with special diets when serving a meal.
  21. How to deal with staff who have been caught stealing.
  22. How to deal with the guest who has no appointment and your employer does not wishes to see him.
  23. 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!
  24. How to deal with the task of having to ask a guest to leave the house!
  25. How to discover the likes and dislikes, diets etc. of guests before arrival!
  26. How to fire staff.
  27. Students gathering before formal event              
  28. How to get the very best value for the employer when shopping.
  29. How to give “Silver Service”, “Butler Service” and more.
  30. How to handle a situation when a guest is prying into your employer’s affairs.
  31. How to handle a situation where there is a drunken guest at the table.
  32. How to hire staff.
  33. How to lay up a perfect table for dinner and luncheon.
  34. How to maintain an efficient and hygienic kitchen.
  35. How to open a bottle of champagne.
  36. How to pour wine and water at table (the do’s and don’ts).
  37. How to prepare and serve afternoon and high tea.
  38. How to prepare and serve fresh fruit.
  39. How to serve breakfast.
  40. How to serve dinner with great style and skill.
  41. How to serve guests with refreshments.
  42. How to serve the breakfast tray to the bedroom.
  43. How to treat staff.
  44. How to understand and prevent the causes of food poisoning.
  45. How to welcome guests staying overnight.
  46. Making guests and visitors welcome.
  47. Packing a suitcase.
  48. Passing the port.
  49. Procedures to use when contractors are in the house.
  50. Security and fire precautions procedure within the house.  (Fire drills etc.)
  51. Serving guests and visitors refreshments.
  52. Setting up bars inside the house for parties.
  53. Staff inspection.  How to inspect staff before each meal and why it is done.
  54. Taking care of your employer’s clothes and preparing them daily.
  55. The Butler’s 24 hour day.
  56. The correct and incorrect way to answer the telephone.
  57. The correct bearing and attitude of a Butler within the house.
  58. The Guest and Menu Book.
  59. The importance of check lists for all occasions.
  60. The importance of loyalty, tact and dedication.
  61. The importance of personal hygiene and the means to attain it at all times.
  62. The importance of your own behaviour when off duty.
  63. The Pantry Book.
  64. The perfect technique and procedure to interview for a position.
  65. The reasons why the Butler might bow to guests and how to bow the correct way.
  66. The Visitors Book.
  67. What to do when overnight guests do not retire until very late.
  68. What you should never do and always refuse to do.
  69. Your attitude and respect for the Chef and Housekeeper.
  70. Your dress and appearance.


Please note: The above 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.



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)

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

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

Module 3
– 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
– 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
– The Difference Between the Different Types of Service
– Silver Service (English Service)
– Butler Service (French Service)
– Russian Service
– Keeping the Table and Cloth Clean
– Serving Coffee
– Guest Departure Etiquette

Idea/Example: Finish the day with canapés and wine/champagne/juice

At Bespoke we hope to capture the ethos of our time by offering you an affordable luxury service with the personal touch. Our fees start at £100 per month for a basic concierge service that will offer you


  • Lifestyle Management
  • Priority Reservations at some off London’s top restaurants
  • Discounted Theatre Tickets
  • VIP Tickets to exclusive events
  • Secretarial Services
  • Errand running
  • Personal shopping
  • Pet Care
  • Exclusive Travel Service- sourcing the best deals on luxury travel and hotels.
  • Events Planning Service


Contact Us


Main Office

Bespoke Bureau
Blackwell House
Guildhall Yard
Near Bank
City of London

Main phone: +44 (0) 2031670925
Main email: main@bespokebureau.com

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Ask for the person you are meeting at the reception but only after agreed appointment or we will not allow you access.

Please do not show up un-announced as we are often busy and we would like to offer all clients and candidates you a peaceful meeting with us

We have two small dogs with us some days so if you are scared or allergic then please advise us beforehand and we will try and make arrangements for you.