At your service: the most exclusive butler academy in the world

Deep in the heart of Holland is a 17th chateau known as Slot Zeist where elaborate table settings are refined, suitcase packing is elevated to a high art and the protocol of politeness is so brightly polished you can see your face in it. Here beneath the chandeliers and painted ceilings, among the baroque statues and ornate carvings, figures dressed in long dark coats and brilliant white gloves flit from room to room carrying trays laden with crystal glass and sparkling silverware. The composure of these people is as immaculate as the manicured grounds outside and their behaviour as well ordered as the chateau’s elaborate gardens. And so it should be. This is the headquarters of the International Butler Academy. Crunch up the long gravel drive, through the ornate iron gates into this former royal palace and you enter a world where discretion is king and everyone is your servant. In the 21st century, it feels slightly anachronistic to be surrounded by the ghosts of Jeeves and Wooster, but it shouldn’t be. Being a butler is big business these days. To read full story by Andy click on images above.

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