Yes, she said! In fact she'd just gotten an early morning email from the lady-of-the-moment asking her to investigate renting a small castle in Scotland - large enough to accommodate twelve people for a ten-day golf outing and birthday celebration. It's not clear who's birthday, hers I suspect. Certainly not my cranky old employer's who was born on the first of January - which makes it seriously hard to enjoy New Year's day.
Anyhow, needless to say I was overjoyed! Ten days is a good long while. Thinking fast, I told her about my Twitter pals Charles MacClean and David Bruce in Scotland who specialize in this very thing. As you may recall, a while back I wrote an essay about Experiential Travel.Well, it seems MacLean and Bruce, along with their partner Vikki, are experts at handling this very thing.
Far from the madding crowd of most mass-service tour operators, this dedicated team relies on their deep roots in Scotland and their network of family and friends to create unique and highly individualized holiday experiences for each and every one of their clients - whom they welcome as friends. Not only can they find a castle, but they can also book transportation, restaurant reservations, golf outings, Whiskey tours, entertainment events, sight seeing, and unique shopping spots off the beaten path. Here's a look at their dreamy website.
Now, if you want your castle fully staffed these fellows can provide a chef, chauffeur, valets, maids, even a butler is so desired. In fact they conduct their own butler training classes. A couple of times a year they team up with another favorite Twitter friend Grant Harrold, publicly known as The Royal Butler. Not only has Grant been in service to various members of the Royal Family, but he now conducts etiquette and butler classes at the renowned Blenheim Palace in the UK. Here's a link to his splendid school, The Royal School of Butlers.
You can't imagine how much I'd love to join these guys for a few refresher courses. Mind you, I have all the basic skills about running a luxury home, entertaining large parties, and international protocol. But the thing is my attitude sucks. Really bad. And I could use some adjustment in that area.
It's one thing to be in service to royalty - where history, admiration and respect come into play. But quite another to tolerate the silly mindless needs of the new rich in America. If it weren't for the high-dollar paychecks I'd be out of here in a flash. (And you see, right there - that's the attitude that needs adjusting!)
If you'd like to follow these gentlemen on Twitter, Charles and David's Twitter name is @MacLeanAndBruce. And Grant's name is @TheRoyalButler. There's a lot of fun tweeting and new ideas being shared right along. Grant even gives brief and humorous etiquette lessons in the tight space of one-or-two sentences as allowed by Twitter - to which I always look forward.
In spite of seriously crappy weather this year, I do hope you're having a good summer. Mercifully cooler weather is just around the corner and all the fun holidays that autumn brings.
As always, thanks for dropping by this evening,