Archive for August, 2013

#Butler Service at a Private Birthday Function

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by Adriaan Coetzer No Comments

Adriaan. The service was excellent. Amazing in fact. They butlers were independent, self-sufficient, pleasant, and a joy to be around. Not once, during the entire 6-hour party, did any butler come to me with a question. Everything was managed behind the scenes so for the guests the experience was top notch. Cheers, Joe

Hi Adriaan. I agree with Josephs sentiments. The staff were really friendly and helpful. Ted and Samuel stood out for me in a big way. And the young lady behind the bar. She had a tough day and she never stopped once she was unbelievable. All in all the head butler had his staff under control and as Joe said everything technical was dealt with behind the scenes. It is such a pleasure having your butlers around. Thanks so much for everything. Martin

Table Napkins – The True Art of Table Service

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Butler Academy No Comments

The History of Napkins

by Newton Cross


The first napkin was a lump of dough the Spartans called ‘apomagdalie’, a mixture cut into small pieces and rolled and kneaded at the table, a custom that led to using sliced bread to wipe the hands. In Roman antiquity, napkins known as sudaria and mappae were made in both small and large lengths. The sudarium, Latin for “handkerchief,” was a pocket-size fabric earned to blot the brow during meals taken in the warm Mediterranean climate. The mappa was a larger cloth spread over the edge of the couch as protection from food taken in a reclining position. The fabric was also used to blot the lips. Although each guest supplied his own mappa, on departure mappae were filled with delicacies leftover from the feast, a custom that continues today in restaurant “doggy bags.”



In the early Middle Ages, the napkin disappeared from the table and hands and mouths were wiped on whatever was available, the back of the hand, clothing, or a piece of bread. Later, a few amenities returned and the table was laid with three cloths approximately 4 to 6 feet long by 5 feet wide. The first cloth, called a couch (from French, coucher, meaning “to lie down”) was laid lengthwise before the master’s place. A long towel called a surnappe, meaning “on the cloth,” was laid over the couch; this indicated a place setting for an honored guest. The third cloth was a communal napkin that hung like a swag from the edge of the table. An example can be seen in The Last Supper by Dierik Bouts (1415-1475), which hangs in Saint Peter’s Church, Louvain, Belgium. In the late Middle Ages the communal napkin was reduced to about the size of our average bath towel.


The napkin had gone from a cloth laid on the table to a fabric draped over the left arm of a servant. The maitre d’ hotel, the man in charge of feasts, as a symbol of office and rank, draped a napkin from his left shoulder, and servants of lower rank folded napkins lengthwise over their left arms, a custom that continued into the eighteenth century. Today in the United States, the napkin is placed on the left of the cover. But in Europe, the napkin is often laid to the right of the spoon.






By the sixteenth century, napkins were an accepted refinement of dining, a cloth made in different sizes for various events. The diaper, an English word for napkin, from the Greek word diaspron, was a white cotton or linen fabric woven with a small, repetitious, diamond-shaped pattern. The serviette was a large napkin used at the table. The serviette de collation was a smaller napkin used while standing to eat, similar to the way a cocktail napkin is used today. A touaille was a roller towel draped over a tube of wood or used as a communal towel that hung on the wall. It also meant a length of fabric laid on the altar or table to enclose bread, or a cloth used to protect a pillow or draped decoratively around a lady’s head.


By the seventeenth century, the standard napkin was approximately 35 inches wide by 45 inches long, a capacious size that accommodated people who ate with their fingers. Essentially, napkins were approximately one-third the breadth of the tablecloth. However, when the fork was accepted by royalty in the seventeenth century, the napkin fell from use among the aristocracy and neatness in dining was emphasized. According to Ben Jonson, “Forks arrived in England from Italy ‘to the saving of napkins.'” German-speaking people were reputed to be such neat diners that they seldom used a napkin


The acceptance of the fork in the eighteenth century by all classes of society brought neatness to dining and reduced the size of the napkin to approximately 30 inches by 36 inches. Today, the napkin is made in a variety of sizes to meet every entertainment need: large for multicourse meals, medium for simple menus, small for afternoon tea and cocktails.


The French court imposed elaborate codes of etiquette on the aristocracy, among them the way to use a napkin, when to use it, and how far to unfold it in the lap. A French treatise dating from 1729 stated that “It is ungentlemanly to use a napkin for wiping the face or scraping the teeth, and a most vulgar error to wipe one’s nose with it.” And a rule of decorum from the same year laid out the protocol:


“The person of highest rank in the company should unfold his napkin first, all others waiting till he has done so before they unfold theirs. When all of those present are social equals, all unfold together, with no ceremony.”


Fashionable men of the time wore stiffly starched ruffled collars, a style protected while dining with a napkin tied around the neck. Hence the expression “to make ends meet.” When shirts with lace fronts came into vogue, napkins were tucked into the neck or buttonhole or were attached with a pin. In 1774, a French treatise declared, “the napkin covered the front of the body down to the knees, starting from below the collar and not tucked into said collar.”
Around 1740, the tablecloth was made with matching napkins. According to Savary des Bruslons, “Twelve napkins, a large tablecloth and a small one, comprise what is called these days a ‘table service.'”




Butler Academy Member of Association Des Majordomes d’Europe

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Butler Academy No Comments



The European Association of Butlers and Household Staff (AMEPM) aims to bring together Europe’s Butlers and Household Staff through their passion for their profession.

Motivated by the protection and promotion of these professions for future generations, employers and international recruitment agencies, AMEPM is also dedicated to establishing a network and private concierge service of quality suppliers for its members.

In partnership with specialised training institutions, the Association also suggests conferences and seminars to broaden members’ knowledge and expertise in this fast-growing profession.

Lastly, AMEPM wishes to build a “professional social environment”; dinners and events are organised regularly in order to make contacts and encourage constructive exchange between members.


Association des Majordomes d’Europe et du Personnel de Maison, l’AMEPM a pour objectif de regrouper en Europe des majordomes et gens de maison passionnés par leur métier.

Motivé à défendre et promouvoir ces métiers auprès des générations futures, des employeurs et des agences internationales de recrutement, l’AMEPM s’attache également à mettre en  place un réseau et une conciergerie privée de fournisseurs de qualité ouverts à l’ensemble de ses membres. En partenariat avec des instituts de formation spécialisés, l’association propose également colloques et séminaires propres à améliorer connaissances et savoir-faire dans ces métiers en pleine expansion.

Enfin, l’AMEPM se voulant également une « amicale professionnelle», des dîners et réunions sont régulièrement organisés afin de permettre prise de contacts et échanges constructifs entre chacun de ses membres.

Please note we are the only South African Member for AMEPM

The Butler – Butler Movie

Posted on: August 21st, 2013 by Butler Academy No Comments

The Butler –  Forest Whiteker by Lee Daniels




Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) and his parents working on a cotton farm. His mother is pulled away to be raped, his father retaliates but is killed. Cecil is taken in by the caretaker who assigns Cecil to being a house slave. As he grows older, he is told to leave before he is killed. He returns to his mother who now is speechless after being raped. One night Cecil breaks into a bakery and then hired. After service, he is told he was recommended to be a servant at Washington which he gladly accepts. As his reputation grows, he is hired by the White House who looked for him.


Cecil now being the father of 2 children. His oldest son, Louis Gaines (David Oyelowo) becomes a first generation university student. Cecil is hesitant as he thinks the south is too dangerous and tells him to relocate to another university. Louis joins a program to fight for rights where they sit in a diner and remain put regardless the abuse they take and where they are eventually arrested. Cecil furious, goes down south and is enraged that his son has to take 30 days of prison.


As Kennedy (James Marsden) is elected, Louis and a dozen others are attacked while on the freedom bus but they manage to escape before the bus explodes though are then arrested. Cecil is told this by Kennedy’s daughter. Cecil pays a visit to Kennedy who then tells Cecil that he changed his heart and makes a speech to tell citizens to stop. Shortly after, Kennedy is announced to be assassinated and Jacqueline Kennedy (Minka Kelly) gives Cecil the tie Kennedy wore when he was assassinated.


Louis comes home for the first time in years and tells his family he and a few friends created a party called the Black Panthers. Cecil furious, tells Louis and his girlfriend to get out of his house. Once again, Cecil and his friends are arrested. Charlie Gaines (Elijah Kelley) tells his brother he will fight in Korea and he will fight for his country, not against. Louis tells him he won’t come to his funeral but Charlie says he doesn’t want his brother to come if he doesn’t change.


On Cecil’s birthday, he learns Charlie was killed in Vietnam. At his funeral, Louis is nowhere to be seen, making Cecil furious. Cecil’s popularity grows enough that he is told he is to be invited at an event not as a servant, but a guest.


His wife, Gloria Gaines (Oprah Winfrey) tells him to give Louis a call but he refuses because he didn’t even bother to go to his brother’s own funeral. Gloria tells Cecil one day when she passed out, Louis came over and told her she was the best mom anyone can ever have.


Cecil soon learns his son wasn’t a criminal, as he appeared to be, but a hero. He then quits his job and protests with him where they both get arrested.


The film forwards to 2008, during the campaign for presidency. Gloria dies but shortly after, Obama is elected as the first colored president, leaving the two in tears.


The Butler is Superbly Excellent! Comment By: Newton Cross the principal of the South African Butler Academy.



Hôtel Butler Formation – français

Posted on: August 16th, 2013 by Butler Academy No Comments

Hôtel Butler service est unique et diffère de la description de poste de majordome résidentiel, l’hôtel Butler fournit un service sans faille , non seulement un invité ou une famille mais à de nombreux invités et de nombreuses familles sur les séjours courts ou longs . L’effet qui est créé par l’hôtel majordome est toujours dans l’esprit de son / ses clients.

L’ Afrique du Sud Butler Academy base de nos programmes littéralement sur ​​la formation pratique , nous sommes de loin le choix numéro un dans le monde quand il s’agit de l’hôtel formation majordome. Quand nous touchons place sur les sens et le développement interpersonnel de chaque élève – nous laissons une marque qui ne peut copier ou réclamer.

L’Académie Butler se spécialise dans la formation des majordomes Hotel & Resort ainsi que les majordomes qui travaillent dans un cadre exclusif , par exemple, des pensions et des réserves de chasse privées.


Notre programme est personnalisé et depuis 2009 notre expérience sera bénéfique pour votre organisation à travers les méthodes Butler sud-africaines de l’Académie.


Le Butler Academy Hôtel Butler Programme de formation en Afrique du Sud :



Nous fournissons à chaque Hôtel ( notre client ) avec notre dernier livre intitulé ” Permettez-moi ” disponible uniquement pour sélectionner les clients et le personnel . Nous allons également aider à longue distance avec Skype formation si nécessaire.
Nous fournissons Hôtel Butler formation dans de nombreux pays parmi qui sont:


N’hésitez pas à contacter l’ Butler Academy sud-africaine à tout moment pour une référence sur les différents hôtels formés , nous sommes hors de ce mois pour former hôtel de luxe sur l’île des Maldives ! Gardez vos yeux sur notre page Facebook : / butleracademy


hotel butler training

Next Butler Course 13th of January 2014

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by Butler Academy 3 Comments

Apply now for the 13th of January 2014 butler training course: 


The next 8 week Butler Training course will commence on the 13th of January 2014 .  The Training Program is almost full, please apply early.


Due to the popularity of the Program and the high amount of employment available we can only accommodate 18 – 20 students per course.  Currently to date in 2013 we have 99% employment rate – the best ever! Well done to Guild Recruitment our sister recruitment company!


To all applicants please note we have an “everyday open day” policy – please feel free to “Skype” or pop in at the Butler Academy at any time.  We are here to assist you with the correct career choices.



You may apply for admittance to our training program .  


Next available course – 13th of January 2014





Butler Student Blog – Butler Training

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by Butler Academy 9 Comments



The following took place on the 8th of August by P. Brodie

The start of the day was and early rising for everybody as we were to be embarking on our first outing of the course and we needed to arrive earlier as to prepare for the day that lay ahead.


We all departed from the Butlers academy with great anticipation and high spirits. When we had arrived we were greeted by the curator of the Groot Constantia grounds who showed us around the grounds of the estate and explained the history behind the architecture, layout and art works of the buildings and also explained the various ages and owners that the estate had belonged to.


After the tour of the main house and the history of the farm were over, we all sat down together for some tea and scones and exchanged banter and pleasantries. Once we had rested our legs and had enough tea we continued to the tour of the winery where we learned of the different methods of wine making and all the work and processing that is required to make the wines. Shortly after we had concluded our tour of the winery facilities we got the chance to sample the wines that we had just been taught about.


After we had all tasted the various wines and had gotten the chance to purchase our own mementos and had excellent lunch, we all got back into the various transports and left for the academy. Once back at the academy a few people stayed behind to clean up and pack away for the weekend and once every one had completed the tasks given to them, everyone went home to enjoy the long weekend.


Please note “I am having the time of my life” !!



Butler Academy Training Reference “Virgin Active” Alice Lane

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by Butler Academy 1 Comment

Butler Training – Virgin Active Health Club


Virgin Active South Africa (Pty) Ltd
8 August 2013
Newton Cross
South African Butler Academy



Dear Newton & South African Butler Academy,
I would just like to extend my thanks once again for the impactful Guest Relations training you delivered to our Alice Lane Classic club staff.

The manner in which the training was prepared and facilitated was extremely professional and highly enjoyable.  The staff gained massive insight into the correct manner of dealing with our Classic members and really honed their five star service skills.


I have no doubt that they will carry these skills with them for life.
Thank you also for the manner in which you tackled this task. It was a first for both of us and I truly value the effort that was placed into tailoring the training to the health club environment.


I have no doubt that we will be making use of your expert skills again in the near future.


Warm regards,
Shannon Hazelhurst
Operations Training Manager
Virgin Active South Africa



Butler Training – Body Language and Behavior Skills

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 by Butler Academy 4 Comments




It seems almost incredible that, over the million or more years of man’s evolution, the non-verbal aspects of communication have been actively studied on any scale only since the 1960s and that the public has become aware of their existence only since Julius Fast published a book about body language in 1970. This was a summary of the work done by behavioural scientists on nonverbal communication up until that time, and even today, most people are still ignorant of the existence of body language, let alone its importance in their lives.



Charlie Chaplin and many other silent movie actors were the pioneers of non-verbal communication skills; they were the only means of communication available on the screen. Each actor was classed as good or bad by the extent to which he could use gestures and other body signals to communicate effectively. When talking films became popular and less emphasis was placed on the non-verbal aspects of acting, many silent movie actors faded into obscurity and those with good verbal skills prevailed.



Most of the basic communication gestures are the same all over the world. When people are happy they smile; when they are sad or angry they frown or scowl. Nodding the head is almost universally used to indicate ‘yes’ or affirmation. It appears to be a form of head lowering and is probably an inborn gesture, as it is also used by deaf and blind people. Shaking the head from side to side to indicate ‘no’ or negation is also universal and may well be a gesture that is learned in infancy. When a baby has had enough milk, he turns his head from side to side to reject his mother’s breast. When the young child has had enough to eat, he shakes his head from side to side to stop his parent’s attempt to spoon feed him and in this way he quickly learns to use the head shaking gesture to show disagreement or a negative attitude.





– Always smile

– Do not fold your arms

– Do not point at people

– Do not touch your face

– Do not put your fingers in your mouth

– Do not scratch your head when talking

– Keep your hands behind your back – ready for action

– Stand up straight

– Remember the intimate zone when serving guests!! Personal space = Boundaries!!

– Shake Hands confidently – 2 strokes – be aware of a “dead fish” handshake


butler training service

Join the Butler Academy and become the ultimate professional 


Butler Blog 5th of August 2013 – The Leading Butler Academy

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by Butler Academy 4 Comments

Dear Butler Academy,


Herewith the summary of what took place here at SABA today Monday 5th August 2013 from approximately 12:00 :-  I took over from Samuel as he had to accompany Mr. Cross for a television appearance.


We had a lunch of rolls with ham/chicken and salad as well as rolls with peanut butter and syrup.  Mrs. Wiese then continued teaching on Etiquette & Protocol from page 38 in our lectures starting with Tools for Verbal Communication. She showed us a dvd regarding the subject as well. She also taught us about Cultural Differences deing with several countries including the English, America, etc.


She then lectured on the Project that we need to submit towards the end of our eight weeks here. We then had a clean up session with everyone actively participating.


From 16:00 we watched the television show : Hectic Nine in which our Principal, Mr. Cross, Samuel and Philip participated. We thoroughly enjoyed it.


We then had a brief clean up session.


Kind regards,