Activities during the Courses

Mr Fink will teach and oversee the four week course. On arrival he will take you on a tour of the mansion in which the school is held.

Ditchley Park was built in 1722 and is a truly beautiful and magnificent environment in which to acquire the skills of a butler. You will be allowed full access to the house during House Management training.

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The course will include the following skills:

  • Daily running of a large household.
  • Butler and pantry duties.
  • Carving of meats: Poultry, game, smoked salmon.
  • Care of fine silver, jewellery, antique furniture and glassware.
  • How to organise large dinner parties.
  • Shooting and hunting weekend.
  • Laying the table.
  • Correct procedures for serving meals.
  • Cellar control.
  • Serving finest wines.
  • The laying of vintage wines and ports.
  • Making various cocktails. using spirits.
  • Temperature for liqueurs and their different flavours.
  • Wine Tasting.
  • Care of fine cigars.
  • Valeting.
  • Dressing room duties (bedrooms provided for practice).
  • Laying out clothes, including eveningwear, uniforms and daywear.
  • How to pack a suitcase.
  • Care of hunting and shooting clothes.
  • The art of caring for all types of apparel and footwear.

A practical approach is vital and you will have many opportunities to practice your newly acquired skills on a daily basis, including serving lunch.

The course emphasis will be on the formal way of carrying out butling/valeting duties.

During the four week course there will be visits from various speakers.

Sarah Preston a first class Pru Leith trained cook, will demonstrate how to cook a quick nutritious meal.

Mr Fink will instruct on the correct procedure to be followed at a wedding and other formal functions. On how to announce meals in the house and how to introduce guests. He will also discuss titles and equivalent ranks and how to address them.

Tom Clifton an Associate of the Butler-Valet School will attend the course to help with CVs and conduct mock interviews to help prepare you for interviews with future employers.

You will also be taken to other great houses of interest, including Blenheim Palace and the four week course will also include Windsor Castle.