Sunday, May 29, 2011

London Calling

Well I arrived safely in London, England where I spent my first night at the renowned Langham Hotel. After both a wonderful reception from my friends here at the Langham, I left to meet friends and business colleagues in Birmingham. I took the train and the ride from Euston station to Birmingham New Street was wonderful, I was even served a full breakfast while en route! After spending the day in Birmingham I then took a cross country rail service to Alnmouth in Northhumberland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Go To Books on Etiquette

A reader named Mahnur wrote in and asked the following: "I came across your institute while surfing I read with interest your great review on Amazon regarding 'Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette'. You say that it is one of the three books used by the School [The Charles MacPherson Academy for Butlers and Household Managers]. I will appreciate it if you could let me know which are the other two (maybe Emily Post? or Letitia baldridge?)"

Thank-you for your question Mahnur and may I compliment you on your excellent guess work! In fact, the three books I recommend in order of preference are:
  1. The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette
  2. "The New Manners for the 90's" by Letitia Baldridge
  3. "Emily Post Etiquette", 17th Edition by Peggy Post
Please feel free to send in your questions to us.

Chocolates on the pillow?

Just in case you're wondering a private residence is not a hotel, and in fact it is not appropriate to place chocolates on the pillow for your guests in the evening. Even if you have household staff who turns down the bed at night, it is viewed as "flashy or Pretentious". Private residences should not be duplication of a hotel room.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When do you tip the Valet Parking Attendant?

When you arrive at a hotel that offers valet parking, when do you tip the valet parking attendant (when you arrive, when he delivers your car, or both?)

Great question Marie-Josée! The answer is rather simple, when you eat in a restaurant, when do you tip the waiter? At the end of the meal, it is exactly the same with a valet parking attendant. Once the service has been provided the tip is given. Remember the definition of a TIP is "a sum of money given to someone as a reward for their services".
Cordially, Charles MacPherson, Butler

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wedding Gifts, what & how much to give?

A very good friend is getting married for the second time. She's close to 55 years old, very in love and an old childhood friend. We keep in touch casually through e-mail. I do appreciate receiving a wedding invitation to go next spring to her destination wedding in Mexico, however, I'm unable to attend because I have lost my job. I'm married, so I could afford up to $200 but wasn't sure what the etiquette would be in this situation. Should I send money, gift or any suggestion would be appreciated.

Dear Mrs. Karen:
You are only required to give what you can afford. it would not be fair nor reasonable to expect anyone to put themselves into debt just to give a wedding present. Regarding giving money vs. a gift, that is hard question to answer. Some couples prefer cash (I personally hate this option) to help pay for the wedding and some are happy to get a gift. My first suggestion would be for you to follow through with them and see if they have a gift registry. If this is the case, than that is the answer. In this case remember to have the gift sent to the Brides home with a wonderful hand written card from you. Do not feel it necessary to make excuses but simply say that you are honoured to be invited to the wedding, you are sorry you are unable to personally attend and wish the couple best of luck etc. If you can add something personal about the person you know from the couple that is always appreciated and appropriate.
Cordially, Charles MacPherson, Butler

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gym Etiquette?

Have you ever thought about gym etiquette? Well earlier today on The Marilyn Denis Show I spent some time going over the top five gym etiquette tips that will make going to the gym much more enjoyable for all of us!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Washing a Down Coat

Good Day, I really like the Butler series on the new Marilyn Denis show. I have a down coat but don't have a front loading washer and the nearest dry cleaner is 45 min. away in Brandon, Manitoba. (We live in a small town 45 min. south of Brandon, Boissevian Manitoba, pop 1500ish.) We do have a store in town where you can take your dry cleaning to and the cleaners pick it up and bring it back about a week later but the cost is $ so this is not an option. My washer does have different water levels, temperatures, rinse cycles and a delicate cycle. Drying the coat is OK as the dryer has an air dry setting. Will I really wreck the coat if I wash it in my machine? Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Mrs. Florence Brodie

Dear Mrs. Brodie:
Thank you for your kind email. To address your down coat question, it is not my recommendation based on my experience that a top loading washer should be used when washing down filled garments. The centre agitator has a very high probability of damaging your garment, in addition, the spin cycle will most likely not be strong enough to extract as much water as would be ideal. Therefore without a front loader, it is our strong recommendation that you use a reputable dry cleaner.

All of us at The Marilyn Denis Show send you our best wishes, we are proud to have you as a viewer and hope you will continue to enjoy the program.

Cordially, Charles MacPherson, Butler

Housekeeping & Laundry 101 in Chicago

Last weekend in Chicago, The Charles MacPherson Academy held a two day Housekeeping & Laundry Class. The group was great and we are already planning the fall session. Some of the students in this class already want to sign up for the advanced class! The group of pictures show a typical "daily" cleaning caddy, the detailed textbook with full colour drawings and one of the students the proud Mrs. Blanca with her textbook. All students received a full colour 150 page textbook as part of their take home material.

All of us at Academy would like to also take this opportunity to thank our very gracious hostess Mrs. Erin Krex of First Class Care in Chicago. Mrs. Erin reached out to her clients and candidates to put this first group together. We also wish to thank our friends at DEMA (Domestic Estate Managers Association) who were integral at helping us with this event. We are proud to be the only registered Butler & Household Management School in North America. All students who successfully passed the final test will receive a fully accredited certificate.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Charles visits a Tokyo Noodle House

I just found this fun video from my trip last year to Tokyo, Japan. I was attending the Leading Hotels of the World annual General Managers Conference, it was lots of fun and great to see so many of my hotel friends from around the world
I hope you enjoy this short but fun video!

Michelle and the gang!

Recently our dear friend Michelle Papadamou borrowed the Butler School for a personal event. At the end of the event, Michelle and her gang of friends took a picture for us as a thank you! We thought you might enjoy seeing this picture and sharing how fun it was to meet everyone and we hope you enjoy this picture too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Official Royal Wedding photograph

The Royal Wedding at Buckingham Palace on 29th April 2011: The Bride and Groom, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the centre with attendants, (clockwise from bottom right) The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Miss Eliza Lopes, Miss Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Master Tom Pettifer, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton,

Taken in the Throne Room.

Picture Credit: Photograph by Hugo Burnand