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4-Day Introduction to Private Household Management

3rd - 6th February 2015 | Somerset | £1,200* plus VAT


This course is designed for those wishing to enter private household management, or who have just entered this field and wish to grasp the building blocks in order to progress quickly in their career. Whether you work (or wish to work) in an historic house, modern estate or super yacht, this course will help you understand the principals and foundations of luxury service skills and management.

Day One

Answering the door, telephone, computer and social skills

Uniform, grooming and appearance

Etiquette and interface for principals and guests

Managing a private household
• Definition of management
• The role of the House Manager
• Communication
• Accountability
• Managing your team – stress and time management, expectations, motivational skills
• The law – money, security, risk management
• Managing events and multiple properties

Basic kitchen management skills
• Menu planning, procurement and budgets for the private household
• Online ordering and inventory management
• Hygiene, food safety, storage and cleaning

Internal rolling programmes

Inventory procurement and management

Household systems and manuals


Health & safety, fire procedures

Day Two

Laying a fire

The care, storage and movement of antiques and fine art

The tea tray, coffee tray and calling tray

The dining room
• Setting the table
• Different types of service
• Calling trays, coffee and tea trays
• Drinks trays and canapés
• The protocol of the dining room
• Organisation of the dinner party
• The service and storage of wine – basic skills
• Pairing food & wines
• The care of silver, glass and china

The formal dinner
• Formal service
• Cocktails, wines and liqueurs
• The Cheese Board, Puddings, Savouries and Petits Fours
• Passing the Port

Evaluation and hardware assessment exercise

Practical tests of knowledge

Day Three

Housekeeping – general organisation, schedules & household information
• Household standards
• Household systems (The white board, the red book, daily graces)
• Definitions, housekeeping, housecleaning, deep-cleaning
• Cleaning products and tools
• Cleaning skills
• Dressing a room

• Symbols and care
• Starching
• Ironing
• Steaming
• Folding
• The linen cupboard

Day Four

• Basic cleaning techniques
• Common pitfalls
• Storage, care and presentation of towels
• Preparing for guests

• Cleaning techniques, daily graces
• Preparing for guests/little things that make a difference for luxury
• After the guest leaves
• Storage and care of bedlinens
• Valet skills: how to store and hang clothes
• How to pack a suitcase
• Evening turndown

Private service
• Employment – pay, accommodation and expectations
• Roles and responsibilities within different households
• Getting and keeping the job – do’s and don’ts, contracts, mentoring

After the course...

Following the training, we can help submit the CVs of successful students to our renowned network of agencies and employers around the world. The English Manner is well known in the luxury service industry as the leader in staff training and we are always happy to provide a reference for our students. We can also offer legal advice on contracts via top employment lawyer Andrew Hodge.

The venue

The course takes place in rural Somerset, only a few miles from Taunton, in a beautiful Grade 2 listed Georgian house, typical of English architecture and décor.

Course information:

  1. Early-bird booking rate (valid until 14th January 2015): £990 plus VAT.

  2. Regular price: £1,200 per person, plus VAT. (Group discounts available).

  3. 10.30am start for all days, 5pm estimated finish

  4. Course venue: Taunton, Somerset.

  5. Tutors: William Hanson & Barbara Allred

  6. Lunch & morning and afternoon refreshments included in the price

  7. Accommodation not included although preferential rates available at very good local B&B

  8. Minimum number of students: 3 | Maximum number of students: 6

  9. Please see our Terms & Conditions before registering.

Preferred accommodation

We are pleased to be able to offer a preferential rate at a very good local B&B for our students. It is a 3 minute walk from the course venue. Breakfast is included in the price of accommodation. Spaces are limited and subject to availability. We can recommend other accommodation venues in the event that our preferred supplier is fully booked.

What the students say...

"I would like to say how pleased I was with the Introduction to Private Household Management course. I felt the quality of the delivery was excellent and it was just what I needed in terms of an overview of how a formal house should successfully operate, together with the protocols and etiquette in running such a house. In particular, the practical sessions were most informative. Thank you!" Martin from Cornwall - October 2014

"I was made redundant in my previous job at the start of the year and decided upon a change of career direction and was quickly employed as a private household manager/nanny. I signed up for this course in order to learn some of the many refined skills and lessons in household management to push myself and be the best in the new role. My tutors were William Hanson and Barbara Allred and they were both full of helpful tips and anecdotes throughout the course. They complemented each other perfectly and had the patience to let us practice each element and question it as we went. I learnt everything from how to dress a room, make a bed and iron a shirt through to how to pack a suitcase, clean antiques and even how to greet guests at the door - all such valuable skills throughout this course and I now understand the importance of my role; I absolutely love my current position as a result." Jo from Cambridge - May 2013