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5-Day Finishing Touch Etiquette Course

Mayfair, London | 4th - 8th August OR 15th - 19th December 2014


This course is ideal for those who wish to add that extra bit of polish to their lives and ready
themselves for university, their first home, or a new, exciting chapter in their lives. It covers
essential life skills that are often forgotten, which will give the students the competitive social
and professional edge. We have run the course for many years in the heart of Cheshire and are excited to bring a revised and improved programme to London for the first time in 2014. Notes and further reading will be provided following your week with The English Manner via our online student portal.

Below is a précis of the course content. We would be delighted to send potential students a more detailed outline of the programme upon request. Please contact us to request more information.


HandshakeSocial Introductions & Networking
We begin with a warm welcome to the programme followed by going back to basics for the first part of the course as the tutors discuss and explain social interaction. We will explain the secrets to the perfect handshake, making small talk less awkward, how and when to social kiss, how to get rid of the social bore and much more! During the morning, students will be asked to role-play different social scenarios using their new or relearned knowledge: these will be filmed and played back for some light-hearted yet informative analysis.

The lunch tableDining Etiquette 101
The second part of the day focuses on food and how to eat it. Western dining is very much focused on minimising the awareness that one is eating, and the many rules and protocols that come with the dining room can confuse many people, but once explained the myriad of cutlery and glasses is demystified forever. Ideal for those who are new to Western dining, or even for natives of the Western table who have no idea how to tell a lunch napkin from a dinner napkin, how to hold fish cutlery, or which person to talk to first at a formal dinner. This is always the part of the course that brings up the most questions from the students!

Judith Blacklock Flower SchoolThe Joy of Flowers
We are thrilled that for the first time on our Finishing Touch course, master florist and one of our exclusive preferred partners Judith Blacklock, from the Judith Blacklock Flower School, will be giving the students a tutorial in creating simple, yet stunning, floral arrangements with a view to entertaining at home. Judith is the author of 11 books on flowers and floristry, editor of Flower Arranger magazine, and for many years has arranged flowers for Kensington Palace. [Students will be able to keep their arrangements following the class.]


The Art of Entertaining
Thanks to various television shows, plus the recent recession, staying in is the new going out.
Entertaining at home is now the preferred option when it comes to getting a group of friends together. Many are unaware of how to do it properly and the very thought of having people for dinner at eight can induce a mild panic and cold sweats. Fear no longer as we school you in how to put on that 10/10 dinner party, cocktail soirée and buffet lunch for 12!

We are firmly in the digital age, and many of us spend too much time hunched over our computers, slaving away at hot keyboards. Understandably, our posture has drooped, dropped and deteriorated and if not corrected then we’ll be very familiar with the chiropractor in later life. Seeing how we judge others (rightly or wrongly) within the first seven seconds of meeting them, we need to look the part. Who wants to date or do business with a hunched mess? Learn how to walk, stand, sit and enter and leave a room with grace and poise.

Devils on Horseback & Devils in the Kitchen! Simple Canapé Cookery
With one eye on your first cocktail party, we teach the students how to create some mouth-watering canapés that don’t need to take all day.

Cocktail Hour!
To finish off the second day, students will learn how to create and serve several cocktails and mocktails to have as part of their new entertaining repertoire. Learn how to produce a Bloody Mary, the perfect gin & tonic, a Manhattan, frappe mint julep and more to impress your friends and family with delicious and colourful drinks.


Fountain penWritten Communication Skills
Whilst many will now be invited to a party via Facebook rather than a postal invitation, knowing the correct form and done thing helps any guest or wannabe host negotiate the social minefield that is correspondence. This module will cover everything from simple thank you letters, to how to write a condolence letter, what your choice of pens and parchment says about you, at home cards, save the date cards, online and formal invitations as well as the monitoring your social media presence.

A Formal Lunch
To reinforce what was learned in Dining Etiquette 101, students and tutors meet at a top central London restaurant for a three course lunch to practice and hone fine dining skills.

An excursion to a site of historic interest
Students will be taken to an historic house for the afternoon to learn about social history and learn about the Downton age where etiquette was heightened and governed every aspect of a person’s life. What similarities are there today with what went on in the past? [July & August excursion may differ due to attraction opening hours.]


Interview Technique
Earlier in the week, students will be set the task of preparing for a mock interview. This could be for a new job, promotion within an existing job, university or college place, or even a media interview. Each interview will be recorded and played back for analysis and group discussion.

Your Voice & How to Use It
Aside from the prospect of having to entertain guests, the other great fear we have found people have is public speaking. We all have to do it at some point in our lives and it needn’t be such a worry if you know the tricks of the trade.

Black TieDressing for Success
It’s all very well knowing how to shake a hand and how to introduce the Chief Executive, but if your clothes don’t match your new found confidence and soft skills then you’re back to square one. We will look at the numerous formal and semi-formal dress codes and what these really mean for men & women, as well as discussing how to carry your designer handbag and wear those sunglasses without looking tacky! Our clothes can say a lot about us and many do not think enough about what they pick out to wear in the morning and the connotations and silent messages that they give out.

Make-up Masterclass (for the ladies)
We are thrilled to be working with a leading makeup manufacturer, who will give each student a customised tutorial in the art and science of makeup.

A Gentleman's Wardrobe (for the men)
Whilst the ladies enjoy their makeup session, the gentlemen will be taken to several leading gentlemen’s outfitters on Savile Row and Jermyn Street for a discussion and talk on styles of suits, shirts & shoes and how to create the essential wardrobe for work and play.


Barbara Allred teaches ironingBasic Household Survival
If you are moving away from home, to university or college, into that new flat – whether it’s with your new spouse, friends or you are going it alone for a while, knowing how to look after it is fundamental to promoting good, healthy, clean living. Yet it doesn’t have to be a long battle with the vacuum cleaner and take up your every waking hour. Like with everything else on the course, once you learn the tips and wrinkles everything suddenly makes sense. We will cover the art of packing a suitcase, ironing, budgeting and basic sewing skills.

Protocol for the Workplace
We are a very small world nowadays due to the ease of international travel, internet and an improving cross-cultural awareness. The top businessmen and women will tell you that handling people correctly and deferring to protocol has been a key part of their success.

Afternoon TeaThe History & Customs of Afternoon Tea
The week ends with a lesson in the social history, nuances and etiquette of this most English of pastimes at a top Knightsbridge five star boutique hotel. Learn about the changing shape and taste of the scone, how an unhealthy love of gambling invented the sandwich, and how to correctly stir your tea and hold your teacup. Parents, partners and friends are invited to join the students (limited spaces available for guests: allocated on a first-come, first-served basis) for this part of the course for an informal graduation where successful students will be presented with a certification of completion.

What past students say...

"I very much enjoyed the Finishing Touch Etiquette & Social Skills course. My tutors made me feel very welcome and they taught me valuable skills that have helped me tremendously in becoming a more confident, self-assured person. I now walk, sit and eat with confidence and feel at ease when in a group. I had a great time with the fellow student, William and his great sense of humour and Diana's warmth, kindliness and very helpful advice. It was a week of essential learning for me and great encounters."
Zohra, 25, 2013

"I’ve always been slightly shy so on the first day of the course I was apprehensive and unsure what to expect however I needn’t have worried as my tutors, were so welcoming and put me at ease immediately. The time I spent with The English Manner were filled with fun, laughter and plenty of skills to put into practice and I was truly sorry for it to have come to an end. Since completing the course my confidence has increased tremendously throughout both my professional and social life." Rachel, 28, 2012

"The course has made a real impact as to how I go about my everyday routine. I feel more confident and have gained maturity since taking part. Whilst it was an intense course, it was very enjoyable and included a lot of time to get to know new friends. I would recommend it to anyone."
Charles, 17, 2011

Further information...

  1. August: £1,800 (excluding VAT) per person. Group booking discounts available.

  2. December: Price TBC

  3. Detailed course information available upon request. Please contact us

  4. Please contact us for individual quotes

  5. Principal tutors: William Hanson & Lara Brotherton (August) | Diana Mather, Lara Brotherton & Emma DuPont (December)

  6. Venue: Lansdowne Club, Mayfair (July) | Central London (August)

  7. 10.30am start on Day One. 10.00am start for all other days.

  8. 5.00pm projected finish for all days.

  9. Price includes morning & afternoon refreshments and a light lunch on each day, as well as a formal, three-course lunch. Entry and travel to the excursion for day three is also included.

  10. Accommodation not included but we are able to offer preferential rates at several nearby venues.

  11. Please note that course structure may change slightly from what is listed above but all topics listed will be covered during the course.

  12. Post-registration information will be sent out upon receipt of payment.

  13. Please see our Terms & Conditions before booking.