Perched on an island off the shores of Cornwall, England, the soaring castle of St. Michael’s Mount has been home to the St. Aubyn family since 1647. For nearly thirty years, Stanley Ager, one of the most esteemed butlers of the twentieth century, ensured that St. Michael’s Mount was an impeccable place to live and a gracious and welcoming one for guests to visit.
Revered by everyone from royalty to the estate staff, Stanley Ager considered it his calling to run a home gracefully and efficiently. Several of the men whom he trained at St. Michael’s Mount went on to serve in the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace and at British embassies throughout the world. But you don’t need a manor to benefit from Ager’s wisdom on homekeeping. This carefully detailed, charmingly illustrated, eminently useful volume offers important insights and techniques, including how to:
Wipe a glass—or a chandelier—until it sparkles *** Fold napkins precisely—in six different ways *** Polish furniture—or silver—to a mirror finish *** Lay a beautiful table and serve a meal impeccably *** Brush, buff, and maintain any manner of clothes and footwear *** Fold and pack for a trip—for business or pleasure *** Select and pour wine *** Stage “impromptu” romantic picnics *** And, among other graces, open a door soundlessly, roll an umbrella perfectly, and iron a newspaper
“The wisdom of butler and lady combine in this book to instruct anyone who wishes to ‘recreate that same grace in entertainment’ on how to lay down wine, polish brass, iron trousers, clean shoes, and so on. If you know people who aspire to these tasks, give them this book."" --The New York Times