“I always had my eyes set on a career in hospitality and the elegance of being a butler really stood out to me. My first role was as Chef d’etage at the luxurious Claridge’s Hotel in London. I spent four years here, serving some of London’s finest gentry, looking after the Penthouse Suits and catering for the likes of Sir Hugh Wontner & Lady Wonter GBE, CVO – Chairman and then President of the Savoy group. It was an honour - every week was always exciting with such prestigious guests.
“I then spent time as Room Service Manager at the iconic ‘The Grand’ Hotel located centre stage on Brighton’s famous seafront. After four years, I journeyed North and found Oulton Hall, falling in love with the complex of beautiful buildings and grounds. I became head butler in 1993 and now manage a team of butlers, working to offer bespoke dining experiences with exceptional attention to detail.
“One of the most exciting new offerings we have been working on here at Oulton Hall is our butler conferencing. We have supplied butler services for many years, in line with our high-quality offering, but we have more recently added this to our conferencing services in order to add a particularly memorable element to an event if required.
“The idea came about when a conference organiser approached us looking for a more personalised, bespoke service. His conference was for 20 higher-end guests whose expectations needed to be exceeded. We realised that the butler team could offer this unique level of service.
“All of our packages are unique to the individual. We will have an initial site visit or conference call to establish the nature of the event and then plan the itinerary and menus. Each experience is different, but a typical event may begin with butler dining in our library and a silver-service four-course meal the night before the conference. The following day we can serve breakfast in our Repton Lounge followed by the meeting in the adjoining Repton Room. Our butlers are then on hand to serve coffee breaks, lunch and to ensure all needs are met.
“Our butler conferencing services have been praised for allowing ease of communication and setting the mood and ambience for a meeting. For example, the delegates don’t need to worry about getting up to get refreshments as this can be served to them, meaning they can be more productive and focused. Oulton Hall is used to dealing with high profile guests so if discretion is needed for an event, our team will respond with a high level of professionalism.
“We have noticed butler conferencing becoming a lot more popular over the past year or so. In this day and age, organisers are looking for not only something more bespoke, but clients expect a higher level of service. Organisers want something that wows their colleagues and butler conferencing does just that. We’ve found that once a client experiences it, they often return.
“If you are after a smaller event that goes beyond a simple package and gives that premium ‘wow’ factor, then butler conferencing is a well-worthy element to consider.”