It’s not everyday you get invited to have a lesson on Etiquette by Grant Harrold aka ‘The Royal Butler’ in a mansion in Darling Point, so when that opportunity knocked on my door I was in!
The event was a celebration of the Queen's 90th Birthday and the long weekend coming up. Who knows; this might even inspire you to hire a mansion for the long weekend after reading this story.
Firstly, let me share with you something about the property this event was held at. This stunning property is hidden away in the midst of Darling Point, one of Sydney's most prestigious inner Sydney suburbs. It has 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, an outdoor heated pool, spa, Cabana and a beautiful garden. I think the photo below will give you an idea.
On arrival it was champagne in the Cabana with heaters keeping us warm after that recent awful weather Sydney had. Here we mingled with other bloggers and media and then the 12 of us wandered up to the house for an Etiquette Master Class with Grant Harrold. Now I probably won’t remember everything Grant told us but I will give it a good try.
ENTERING THE HOME
Do this with confidence and straight posture. Do not be shy. In fact we practiced walking around with books on our head at this stage, which is one of the tips Grant told us to learn to stand tall.
Ladies may continue to wear their hats however gentlemen must take hats off.
When it comes to greeting people a lady may offer her hand to a gentleman who should extend his hand with 3 shakes. If a lady chooses, she may decide to offer a kiss on the cheek if she knows the person, and if offered to a gentleman he will reciprocate. Gentlemen should not extend the handshake or offer the kiss first.
Boy I’m sounding posh now!
We were then then ushered into the Dining area where we we had a demonstration on how to lay a table for Royalty.
It’s obviously easier if Grant shows you himself, so I found this You Tube video….
I was taught how to set a table in my younger days, however in this Masterclass I did learn a couple more things such us measuring the distance where the cutlery, dishes and glassware are placed; the correct position of the chair, and that ladies napkins should be folded in half with the fold facing the table. Speaking of napkins one should not place the napkin on the table if they are intending to come back to the dining table; it should be placed neatly on the chair.
Oh and big no no…. mobile phones are not to be placed on the table. Oops…guilty of that one!
Following our Dining Room lesson it was off to the Drawing Room for Afternoon Tea Etiquette. This room was beautiful and I have to admit I felt rather like a princess during this whole experience. Some tips I learnt from Grant regarding afternoon tea:
Pour the milk in after the tea
Put the cream on the scone first before the jam (guilty again of doing this wrong lol).
You can use your knife to cut the sandwiches and the scones
You can use a fork for the cake.
While enjoying your tea, you keep your saucer on the table unless you move away from the table, at that point you raise your saucer with the cup.
The lady of the house always plays “mother”, meaning that she will pour the tea and invite her guests to help themselves to the sandwiches etc. When the lady of the house pours in the tea, she will use a tea strainer, as she should be using loose tealeaves, which is more traditional.
Well there you have it. You may refer to me as “Your Royal Blogness” because I know how to behave now! In all seriousness it was a great event and Grant is a very entertaining presenter.
Pictured: Deb with Anton GM of Stayz Australia
If you want to experience living in a mansion then with a group of friends, it could be quite affordable if you all chip in together and an alternative to a hotel. Stayz offers over 40,000 properties including a range luxury homes (such as the Darling Point venue last night) across Australia.
37-year old Grant Harrold, known as the “Royal Butler”, spent over a decade (April 2004 –May 2011) working as a butler to members of the British Royal Family including The Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Kate and William), Prince Harry, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Grant has also worked alongside many other Royals, VIPs and celebrities during the past 19 years.
Today, Grant runs The Royal School of Etiquette and The Royal School Of Butlers in the UK – providing demonstrations on afternoon tea, dinner parties, entertaining and the role of a modern-day butler. These classes are held at The Ritz Hotel and the Millennium Mayfair in London as well as Blenheim Palace (Oxford) and Thornbury Castle, (Bristol).
In September 2015, Grant was appointed to the position of personal aide to Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and Serbia. Grant also helps with the day-to-day running of the Royal Household of HRH The Princess Katarina.