Hubert Burda Media

The Butler Did It

Very well, Sir. We have, today, a butler school devoted to maintaining elite service standards and ensuring the preservation of this English tradition in today’s modern world

The word “butler” immediately brings to mind an image of a tall, mildly mannered gentleman with salt-and-pepper hair, suited up smartly in dignified black. A welcoming smile poised perfectly on his face, he attends to your needs in the most discreet manner possible, from fetching the paper (ironed, of course) to carving meat for your guests.
An old English custom reserved only for aristocrats? Certainly not.
While such services may find its roots in upper crust circles during the Victorian times of Britain, it has become increasingly in vogue worldwide. And who better to preserve this great tradition than former royal butler Rick Fink?
A perfectionist with 55 years experience of managing and running residences and stately homes, Fink has the art of butlering down to a precise science. In 2002, he established the Butler Valet School in a picturesque countryside eight miles north of Oxford — housed in former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s former weekend mansion — and has trained numerous aspiring butlers since.
More recently, to cater to a burgeoning demand in this part of the world, Fink has opened a branch in Bangkok, Thailand, which is run in partnership with Image Matters Asia, a consultancy which has trained executives of renowned organisations such as Bangkok Airways and The Four Seasons Hotel.
A typical course includes lessons ranging from exclusive English service etiquette and food and wine protocol, down to everyday tasks of ironing clothes and packing suitcases. At the end of it all, a diploma is issued to successful trainees, certifying them capable of demonstrating the most exceptional service standards to the world’s wealthiest.