The Modern Butlers’ Journal, October 2020

Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

This month we welcome a new contributor, My Butler Julius, who has something timely for us: Why butlers wear white gloves and what this may have to do with pandemics.

In the last column entitled The Butlers Speak, we say “Goodbye and many thanks” to the butlers, household managers, and estate(s) managers who have contributed each month over the last almost four years…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

The Royal Butler cannot be used commercially by Mr. Grant Harrold, according to recent court findings. The Trademark hearing officer, Mr. Allan James, stated: “I find it inherently likely that the user of a trademark featuring the words The Royal Butler in relation to training/instruction of a butler would be assumed to be someone who holds the official title of The Royal Butler in the Royal household. The mark would therefore indicate that the user has, or recently….

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 41: Dinner Service

by Steven Ferry

When the host was carving, the butler always placed the head of a fish, rabbit, and roasting pig pointing to the left of the carver, and for all birds, pointing to the right—unless it were stuffed, in which case most carvers, being right handed, preferred the head pointing to the left, etc.—with different instructions given for other cuts of venison, mutton, and hams. In all, it was a matter of knowing the carver’s preference and accommodating that. Another point of detail: Carving boards often had channels…

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The Butlers Speak

by Steven Ferry

So finally, The Butlers Speak series comes to a close. The first issue was January 2017 and each month a different aspect of life as a butler or estates manager was covered.

Maybe one day, these luminaries will be quoted just as we are quoting the world of the butler two centuries ago in the ongoing MBJ column, The Wisdom of Butlers Past.

Now that the work is done and no statement can be linked to any butler…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 60: Nutty Apple Martini

by Amer A. Vargas

Happy October, dear readers!

Fall is already here in the Northern hemisphere, and this month we are paying tribute to the season of rain and yellow and brown leaves, a perfect time for quiet, cozy afternoons snuggled under a warming blanket.

On such an occasion I propose that you could indulge yourselves with a Nutty Apple Martini, a delicious cocktail with a beautiful mix of nutty aromas…

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Tea Notes: Would You Like some Plastic with your Tea, Ma’am?

by Monica Ferry

Plastic teabags? Amazing though it may seem, they really do exist. It appears that over the years, tea companies around the world have started replacing those little paper bags that were once used to present us with sufficient tea for a single cup, with bags made of a type of plastic, or bags that use plastic components. The idea was to add plastic to the paper in an effort to strengthen the bags, or in some cases to glue them shut, or even to take the place of the whole paper bag…

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My Butler Julius

by My Butler Julius

One of the most iconic images of a butler is a figure in a tailcoat wearing a pair of white gloves but how did this come about? Traditionally in Victorian times, only footmen would wear white gloves whilst doing table service. It was deemed their hands where not as clean as the butler’s and also, they would be carrying the hot trays so the gloves would act as protection from the heat. Another reason the butler would not wear gloves at the table was, whilst pouring the wine, the decanter or bottle could be slippery and if…

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Paying Attention to Details

by Steven Ferry

Because one image can speak a thousand words, click on “read more” to find out how good (or not so good) can attention to detail be, and be left wordless…


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Consulting the Silver Expert: Tarnish Removal When in a Hurry

by Jeff Herman

If company is on the way and you don’t have time to read the entire Care of Silver guide, use the following instructions (steps I personally use most often).

  1. Wax porous attachments like wooden handles and ivory insulators prior to cleaning;
  2. Rinse the object under warm running water assisted…

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Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

This clay figure of an Amazonian warrior represents the continued drive to master the world of sculpting in order to provide works in a variety of media that wow guests. Professionalism is a hallmark of butlers, and while Mr. Gutman has already developed considerable skills, he knows that professionals become so by continued study and practice. He says of this particular sculpture, which is made of clay but will not be cast or shared with guests, “It is 100% original, I even designed the clothes, shoes, etc. I’m very happy….

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Scholarship Opportunity

Mr. Jim Grise has created a scholarship for those in the domestic service industry in the US and abroad, including yachting crew, who might be interested in attending Cornell University and earning the Executive Certificate, Leading a Culture of Service Excellence. Other industry luminaries who have contributed generously to the scholarship fund are Ms. Denise Collins of Aunt Ann’s In House Staffing and Ms. Susan Feigon of Feigon Hamilton…….

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The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.