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With the very appreciated support of Simon Rosset (*), one of the top butler trainers worldwide, POLO & LUXURY is starting a series in its latest edition about the field of activity of butlers. In the past, a good butler was part of every good household and today there is more demand than demand for first-class butlers when suitable candidates are available.
The Modern Butler can turn his hand to anything; from Grouse Shoot drinks in a bothy perched on a Highland mountain, to a 1000 guest formal wedding Breakfast in central Glasgow. A Butler should never be confused with a Silver service waiter or a toast master. A good Butler should be an expert in these fields, but, the real difference is a Butler will look after every detail for you without needing to be asked.
In addition, in a special section on the new POLO & LUXURY web-portal, Simon Roset will show in videos which range of advantages the use of a butler offers – be it as an integral part of a household or for temporary use. At the start of the series, a small authentic episode from Simon Rosset’s many years as a butler is waiting for you.
When you are looking to employ a butler, it is important to first consider how our butler will serve you. Every butler is different but so is every employer and they need to compliment each. If we look at probably the most famous fictional butler, P G Wodehouse’s indomitable Jeeves, we see that even in the modern world where the concept of his employer; the bumbling Bertie Wooster, the idle rich, an aristocrat who remains rich no matter his foolishness is improbable and almost an impossibility. However, the stoic Jeeves with his presence, style and intellect would still represent the perfect butler.
A butler’s overriding objective is to make their principal’s lives better and one of the most important aspects of this is saving the principal time. In 2017 a scientific study by The National Academy of Sciences (USA) ran a study of over 6000 people from different nationalities including over 800 multi-millionaires. They discovered that individuals who spend money on time-saving services like household staff report greater life satisfaction and that using money to “buy time” can protect people from the detrimental effects of stress caused by ever increasing demands time.
When you are searching for the perfect butler it can be a grueling journey if you do not get the best advice. One could say one must set a butler to find a butler. First and foremost, the butler must have a genuine love and hunger for the role. As Aristotle said – Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. I would suggest that this passion is the most important characteristic of a butler. Anyone who did not have that passion would never be able to meet the constant challenges and demands that come as par for the course.
If there is a more varied role than that of the butler house manager I can’t imagine what it is. During my career, I have project managed multi-million-pound renovations, served A list celebrities and Royalty in locations as varied as super yachts and sports stadiums. I have served dinners on the top of mountains, dived for underwater delicacies. I have even had to negotiate with the Scicilian Mafia.
The greatest skill of a modern butler is not strength or intelligence but adaptability. Every butler must be in a constant state of self-improvement and situational awareness. I am a keen martial artist and there are a lot of parallels when it comes to training . You can never truly master the skill because you will always find more to learn, ways to improve your skills and new skills to learn.
You can often tell a lot about what sort of butler someone will be by their training and experience. There are two main ways for a butler to start their journey and learn the way of the butler. The first, and arguably the best way, is to get a training position within a large household, working as a footman or assistant butler. This is a difficult way to enter the industry and very few butlers get the opportunity to get this sort of apprenticeship-style training anymore and are only really suitable for very young people.
These sorts of positions are rare as people rarely wish to pay for a person on the butler team who does not already know what they are doing and is there primarily to learn. It is only within large households where such positions are common. Places like Buckingham Palace take on a large number of butlers in training, but the wages are very very low as it is considered “an honor and a privilege” to work for the British Royal family. The downside to this sort of training is that unless they manage to progress through the ranks the skills they learn will be limited to the specific position they hold.
If you like to read the complete article, please download the new edition of the POLO&LUXURY Coffee Table Book
In the 16 years since Simon has started his career at leeds castle where he worked as Head Butler. He has gone on to work as an exclusive international Butler working in castles, shooting estates, super yachts and Palaces across Europe. In that time Simon Rosset has worked for “A” list Celebrities, Royalty, Dukes and Duchesses, Oil companies and Banks. Serving people such as: HRH The Princess Alexandra, Luciano Pavarotti and Tony Blair.
More bout Simon Rosset: www.rossetbespokebutlers.com
Photo credit:Kim Ayres
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