By Anita Rogers
Britain has a long, rich tradition in domestic services as recently highlighted in television by series like Downton Abbey. Until the mid-1920s, owning a large, family property in England without full domestic staff was unheard of. Household staff positions such as a head butler, under butler, lady’s maid, scullery maid, chef or cook, nannies, and footmen would form the basic make-up of a formal, British home.
The landscape has changed drastically over the past 100 years. It was thought traditions like fully-staffed, formal homes would be completely eradicated. The need for polished and competent staff has not changed, however, clientele and their needs have evolved to be in line with modern, high-tech life.
Beyond traditional necessity, families hire domestic staff to support a quality lifestyle. Families with established wealth are modernizing with new technology and younger generations coming of age.
For these individuals and families, the quality of their lives depends on the quality of their domestic staff. When the home is in disarray and staff are doing bare-minimum work, the quality of life in that home suffers. In these instances, the home is another source of stress and not a safe place to rest and recuperate from busy life. Proper decorum and well-cared for furnishings make for an orderly and happy home.
Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring the best domestic staff. British American Household Staffing is able to provide high-quality candidates that will support a high-end lifestyle and perform luxury service.
The most popular hires in these London homes are:
Professionals that can manage multiple estates and teams of staff are essential to smooth running. The estate manager will hire and train staff, oversee budget and renovations, and act as a gatekeeper between a principal and all household workings.
Depending on a family’s needs and ages of the children, they may employ a part-time nanny, career nanny, or team of nannies to work a rotating schedule. Some nannies specialise in newborn care, while others have extensive teaching and governess backgrounds.
Private chefs can cater to unique schedule and dietary needs, providing relief for busy families. Common responsibilities include stocking the kitchen, preparing lunch, dinner, and breakfast for the next day, and planning for events in the home.
Modern butlers may look more like house managers than valets. Their duties may include serving guests, scheduling vendors, managing budgets, and overseeing a principal’s wardrobe.
An experienced private driver will have years of experience working for a single principal and extensive knowledge of the city. Drivers with backgrounds in security are popular hires.
Domestic staff that are ready and able to travel with a family for time away from the main residence are popular. A chef, housekeeper, or nanny are common members of staff that will travel for summers and holidays.
Executive Housekeepers and Laundresses
Beyond basic cleaning, an experienced housekeeper will have experience caring for all types of fine furnishings, deep cleaning, closet organization, clothing care, and some meal prep.
These are the new formal homes of modern Britain. As domestic staffing specialists from England, BAHS celebrates any requests for a traditional British domestic staffing hiring structure. We are proud our London property investors have readily embraced our history, bringing it back to life on a larger scale.