The Australian elocution, etiquette and modelling circles grieve for June Dally-Watkins, whom shall forevermore remain synonymous with elegance, grace, etiquette and poise. The doyenne of Australian etiquette, the Amy Vanderbilt of her time, she inspired men and women to aspire to good manners, humanity, eloquence and kindness throughout the decades. In doing so, she created a legacy that etiquette teachers such as myself aspire to furthering. My thoughts are with her family at this time. (Picture from jdwbrisbane)
Etiquette, the art of being polite, eloquent and kind, has many proponents globally. If you've ever wondered if there is a repository of articles related to etiquette, or about the extent of the etiquette network and the wide range of fascinating aspects of this art, then let me introduce you to Maura Graber.
I first came across http://etiquipedia.blogspot.com/ when seeing a post on Instagram by Maura Graber talking about an silver orange holder I was instantly fascinated. At her recommendation, I took a further look and was instantly captivated by her website. Everything I could know about etiquette was there: its history and evolution, the forms of etiquette that exist in other countries and so much, much more...
When I asked Maura Graber more about Etiquipedia she stated, "It's fun though. I'm always learning new things. I love the etiquette history. It gives a much clearer picture of where etiquette is today, and legitimises its importance in the world. In late 2012, I started the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia with a trainee of mine, the late Demita Usher, she encouraged me to start the site as a way for me to dispel etiquette myths and etiquette misinformation that runs rampant on social media." Etiquipedia evolved into a project of the heart that saw Graber posting posting hundreds of articles annually.
"Now, with nearly 1,700 articles posted, there is still much more etiquette information needed," Graber says. "And I do call out the promotion of bad etiquette, I just do not name anyone specifically. It is not easy to keep up. I devote a lot of time to the site. But it is rewarding work and I want it to remain free of ads as long as possible."
"I encourage select etiquette professionals who I meet online to contribute articles who readily contribute terrific articles. Some come up with an article that I need to expand on. What I look for and explore are relevant etiquette and etiquette history articles. They are generally well worth the read."
I wondered whether her information had a wider readership beyond other etiquette teachers. Graber clarified that, "I have a lot of students email me directly, from all over the world. They want help with school projects or papers they're working on. So I have a lot of people who are doing school work using Etiquipedia as a reference. One large segment of followers are historical romance writers and those interested in the French royals and Versailles, Roman Empire etiquette, and other diversionary subjects." Weekly Etiquipedia has hundreds of interested readers from across the globe, from Russia, Kuwait, Australia, UK, Canada, Ukraine and Brazil to India, France, Germany, US, South Korea and Trinidad & Tobago!
One of the items that is currently in Graber's possession is the well preserved original seating chart for the Duke of Gloucester's visit to Australia in 1934. The Duke of Gloucester was the uncle of Prince Charles and whom Prince William is named after. Additionally, Graber has a photo of a full place setting in sterling silver, used by Queen Elizabeth II during royal visit to Australia in 1954 including the original menu. I was so intrigued by this since I teach dining etiquette!
I encourage those who love etiquette and history to save Graber's blogsite and cherish it! She continues to devote hundreds of hours to building it. Her dedication and love for etiquette is evident - after all, etiquette really is the art of thinking about others, being considerate and kind. Thank you, Maura Graber.
Headlines and newspapers from all around the world are buzzing with the surprising decision of the Queen's grandson Harry, his wife Meghan and their great-grandchild Archie to move potentially across over the Atlantic, to Canada. As it has been stated by the Queen herself, they will not be 'working' royals (that is, they will no longer take part in any royal tours or future ceremonial events). However, they will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Despite this, the training that Meghan has had in regards to etiquette will no doubt continue on in their new public lives as ambassadors to their brand www.sussexroyal.com. Having been trained by the very best etiquette coaches, Meghan will use to her advantage when in the public eye. Curtsying may well be left for family gatherings back in the United Kingdom, but their knowledge of what and how to speak in social settings with charm and grace, how to network, dine and host events to support the community will keep Meghan and Harry in good stead!
Today we see the rise of etiquette schools around the world from Africa to Asia. Their veritable explosion in China is a testament to that, for etiquette schools offer courses that help one straddle the cultural divide between east and west through acquiring cultural sensitivity and competence. Programs detail European customs and expectations both within the private and work domains as well as more specific courses such as British dining and how to conduct a royal afternoon tea, which are all hugely popular and constantly sold out.
The western world had etiquette schools in most cities; however, by the 1970's - 80's they had slowly closed their doors, with wider society feeling the schools had little to offer. What, they wondered, did schools like the longest standing finishing school is IVP, Switzerland, where Madame Neri and family have dedicated their lives to teaching European etiquette to international ladies, royality, wives of diplomats, prime ministers and society notables, have to do with them? With the advent of the Internet, globalisation and screens, the way in which we communicate has evolved rapidly - and some would argue that it has devolved. Etiquette schools themselves have adapted to such a change and now offer the ever-popular cross-cultural courses such as Chinese etiquette, how to cope with bullying courses for teenagers, and basic table manners that are open to everybody.
We have seen figures such as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, transformed through their training in royal etiquette that improve their confidence, posture and body language and enable them to feel at ease and conduct themselves appropriately in a wide array of formal and non-formal events. Today etiquette and finishing schools are flourishing globally: migrants and business people in particular have sensitised themselves to the reality that the respect and understanding of other cultures are the keys to unlocking the capacity to integrate and work successfully with others, for both themselves and their children. In doing so, they gain knowledge, confidence and the capacity to find that competitive edge within business and social situations.
Etiquette and finishing schools are the schools of the future.
21/8/2019 1 Comment
I recently chatted with Elizabeth Soos, consultant and principal of Auersmont School of Etiquette. Auersmont is a boutique etiquette consultancy firm that provides professional advice and expert knowledge in the world of etiquette, social conventions and good manners.
Prestigious British etiquette educators, Emma Dupont in London and Paris and Shanghai-based etiquette and service consultant, Guillaume Rue de Bernadac at Academie de Bernadac, trained Elizabeth.
Her training, coupled with a European background and extensive knowledge in cross-cultural issues, has enabled her to build Auersmont School of Etiquette to what it is today.
Elizabeth believes that it is crucial to start with etiquette in the formative years of a child’s life, setting them in good stead for the future in their adult years.
The courses that Elizabeth provides at Auersmont School of Etiquette have been tailored to match etiquette to the needs of all ages, from children to teens and adults.
She has even devised specific training for business professionals and those newly entering the workforce. One of her speciality subjects is Interviewing Etiquette. At any age, applying for work and attending an interview can seem daunting, so this course that she offers will guide you through the interview process to be prepared and equipped.
Thank you to Matthew Coppola for writing this wonderful article. www.clientcentric.com.au
#etiquette #etiquettetraining #etiquettespecialist #melbourne #perth #victoria #australia #clientcentric
Afternoon tea at the grand Hotel Windsor is certainly a grand experience. Welcomed past the warm sun-soaked stone façade and the pretty window boxes of red geraniums into the charming reception of this five-star Victorian-era hotel, one of Australia’s finest, we were ushered through to the luminous room hosting the afternoon tea whose large windows offered views over Spring Street to the stately Parliament House.
Seated at one of the finely dressed round tables where we were again welcomed, our afternoon of indulgence commenced. A 19th century practice imported from England to Australia, afternoon teas are a celebration of high-quality reinterpretations of the basics – tea, finger sandwiches, sweet and savoury tarts, and a selection of deserts. Windsor Hotel – or The Windsor, as it currently calls itself – has been the place in Melbourne to experience afternoon tea for over 130 years.
Served by the highly attentive staff with a fine attention to detail, our experience unrolled as smoothly as the gentle apple notes of the French sparkling wine gave way to a rounded wood finish and we worked our way through each tier. We were presented with petite savoury pastries on the upper tier: Cornish pasties and confit onion tart. The balance of organic vegetables in the Cornish pasties were encased in utterly buttery pastry that reflected the season’s change to autumn. The slow-cooked caremelised onions were a perfect match with the goat’s milk cheese and orange reduction, served with a half-slice of cherry tomato for an acid bite and visual appeal.
The lower tier presented ribbon sandwiches with a distinct English touch with a nod to Asia: the salmon sandwiches with dill, mayonnaise and gherkin were served in a milk bun reminiscent of Hokkaido. Roasted walnuts give a delightful textural crunch to the sandwich containing tender roast chicken with celery. Finally, the traditional egg with mayonnaise ribbon sandwich hit a new high with a daring dash of horseradish.
The middle tier we kept for last to finish on a sweet note. The three desserts were simply too beautiful to eat, but we did anyway, to our delight. The shining sphere of almond sponge and basil mousse covered in strawberry lacquer was a triumph. Caroline and Stéphanie Tatin would have approved of the apple tarte tatin whose walnut sablé crumbled delicately in the mouth, the perfect foil for the apples and classic vanilla cream. The buckwheat and dark chocolate tart gave us a taste both of Bretagne in the west of France and South-East Asia, the former through the buckwheat sablé and the latter through the tart gelée of the kalamansi citrus fruit, joined by a delectable dollop of 65% dark chocolate cremeux.
Of course, the afternoon tea wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without the tea! Our server helped us to choose teas that would most suit our preferences, giving information that supplemented the brief descriptions given in the tea menu. The aromatic tea, after being brewed at the correct temperature, was served into porcelain cups. For those who had room, the scones – plain or with plump sultanas – were just as they should be: buttery with a giving crumb, light and well-risen. They were served with the hotel’s eponymous jam and thick clotted cream.
There are many hotels and restaurants around the world who offer afternoon teas. However, to succeed, the venue needs to strike the right balance between ambiance, food and beverage quality and service standards. Whether staying in the hotel or not, the staff answered all questions in a friendly manner and served the afternoon tea in an unobtrusive way. The delicious food showed originality and the teas utmost care in their sourcing and serving. The Windsor’s building itself has stood the test of time – and whose guests have included several Australian Prime Ministers, Don Bradman, Claudette Colbert, Margaret Thatcher, Gregory Peck and Meryl Streep, among others, and provided an unparalleled cadre in which to enjoy the city’s best afternoon tea.
When teaching etiquette to students, I always endeavour to introduce the old idea that etiquette is a genderless subject that is valuable because it shows that respect knows no bounds. I like to give students a background of the European origins of etiquette. However, I do get asked about Australian Etiquette. Is there such a thing? Yes, there is.
Etiquette has changed in Australia over the years. It was introduced when English gentry settled here in the country’s colonial infancy. Essentially, etiquette, like new laws, relationships, and services that underwrote the changes to its environment, economy and society, was re-written from the birth of Australia.
After teaching a student etiquette in the Melbourne CBD, I decided to take a walk to the State Library of Victoria, where I found an interesting read, A Guide to Australian Etiquette by Lillian M Pyke (Lillian Maxwell), published in Melbourne at the turn of the century and re-published through to the war years. Her use of archaic English wording was replaced with modern English for the newer generations. Her book entailed subjects as how to perform introductions and topics of conversation to how to dress and manage matters of hygiene.
Polite society did value the worth of the usage of etiquette and adjusted its mindset towards that. Emphasis was put on social graces, dining behaviour and being well dressed was a must. The Victorian-based television series Ms Fisher Murder Mysteries and Dr Blake Mysteries use forms of British etiquette in speech and comportment.
In 1985 Ita Buttrose published A Guide to Australian Etiquette detailing what she perceived to be correct comportment for modern Australia. Ms Buttrose discusses subjects such as de-escalating ‘trolley-rage’ at a store to what to expect and experience in a mosque. In a nod to our outdoors lifestyle, she showed great concern about bare feet and having armpits on display.
During an ABC radio interview with Richard Aedy, Ms Buttrose, herself described Australian society as having changed over time to become “an informal society,” However, the “fundamentals of how we treat each other, really, have never changed over the years.” Ms Buttrose went onto say that manners “are a sign of a civilised society” that “make the world a much nicer place to be.” I agree with Ms Buttrose wholeheartedly.
Etiquette almost became a lost art form from the 1960s. In the last few years, it has been making a comeback. New schools Australia-wide are being established to teach subjects such as dining, afternoon tea and social etiquette in the form of workshops and courses. Parents are enrolling their children during school holidays in group classes to learn how to introduce themselves, use the correct cutlery, and how to navigate social media.
Etiquette is genderless, timeless and elegant. May you use etiquette.
Other Books on Australian Etiquette:
WA royal family fans take etiquette lessons to study Meghan Markle sparkle
Regina Titelius PerthNow
January 13, 2019 12:42PM
Renwed fascination with the royals is inspiring West Aussie women to get etiquette training. Class enrolments are up since Meghan Markle took royal lessons before getting hitched to Harry. Perth etiquette expert Elizabeth Soos runs “how to be a duchess” classes, which include lessons on proper manners and protocols. Her pupils include Germaine Koh, of Fremantle, who said she felt outside her comfort zone at high-end cocktail events a few years ago for her fiancé’s work in Monaco, Italy and London.“ I felt really uncomfortable because the level of etiquette at the posh places we went to, particularly in Monaco, was beyond anything I had come across before,” Mrs Koh said. Not only has she learnt the high tea rules of engagement and other palatial requirements, but the Singaporean-born woman, who is stepping into real estate, was schooled on how to make the best first impression. Armed with the training and a new wedding band, Mrs Koh was ready to mingle with the Hermes bag clique when she again accompanied her new husband for overseas functions late last year. “I was so much more confident at these events compared to my previous trips, I just wish I had done the duchess course sooner,” she said. “To know the proper etiquette is good for everyone, it shows respect to your partner, respect to business. It’s not only a matter of my husband making a good impression but also for partners.” Ms Soos said the royal wedding had helped return etiquette to the spotlight. She said Meghan had gone through a phenomenal transformation in a short period, with royal watchers noting her improvements in how she curtsied and interacted with other family members and the public. “People might think etiquette sounds old fashioned and they think of Queen Victoria or young Queen Elizabeth but etiquette is respect for other people and it goes back to treating people how you would want to be treated,” Ms Soos said.
For Australians, the BBQ is an icon and institution. All of us crave the taste of a bbq, I know I do! It is a relaxed jovial gathering which everyone loves to attend. Here is a few tips when you receive that invitation:
Reply back as soon as you aquire your invitation. Find out what your host would like you to bring. It could be drinks or a salad. If your host person says “bring nothing”, think about offering a gift such as candle or 6-pack mix of international beers (great talking point). Steer away from chocolates (meltable in the Australian summer) or flowers, taking it out of water in the heat will cause the petals to wither and burn. Arrive at the suggested time. Assist the hostperson, where they need it and lastly leave at the suggested time.
#auersmont #summer #bbqetiquette #etiquette #dining #eating #manners
Summer is here and so are the holidays. When we think December holidays we think of lounging beside the cool water, swimming and boats. For some, chartering a yatch is just the perfect time to reflect and unwind. To make your yachting experience that much easier, these are the captain’s top tips:
Safety - It’s essential to listen to the safety briefing. It really does save lives. Give your captain and crew your attention at the bringing of your trip.
No ‘Shoe Rule - ’When you board and cross the passerelle or gangway, there will be a basket for your shoes. Reason for this, beautiful teak wood boards are laid and highly polished. Wearing black souled shoes to colour and scuff, any heel will leave indents and shoes generally will bring in dirt, dust, gum and even tar from roads and sidewalks. This is your chance for your pedicures to shine and don’t be afraid to show them off.
Service Staff - If you have boarded an American yatch, then service staff have been trained to interact with clients. European service staff will give you the service you need and require however they will keep invisible and quite.
Planning Ahead - The company you have booked through will provide a chance for you to fill in a preference sheet. This will list your likes and dislikes and what you plan to do while on-board.
#auersmont #etiquette #yatch #rolexsydneytohobart #summer #boats #water