There are times when only a butler will do…

Head butler David Edney and his team are the backbone and nerve centre to any event undertaken at Goodwood House, providing the personal service that you can only truly find in private family homes of this calibre.

Whether it’s holding the hand of a nervous bride, arranging for a bride to arrive at her ceremony on horseback or deftly clearing the plates before a motorbike mounts a banqueting table, David has overseen it all, taking it all in his stride calmly and exuding serenity.

Over the past 15 years, David has taken delight in immersing himself immediately into the planning of an event from the start of the proceedings and particularly enjoys masterminding the perfect wedding.  His attention to detail and obvious dedication to ensuring that every event is perfectly orchestrated has taken him to Buckingham Palace where he enhanced his skills still further, using knowledge gained to train his junior butlers.

The House team is augmented by a team of “regulars” – families who have grown up in the area and who know the Estate intimately.  Sometimes, several generations of the same family work together at an event, returning “home” time and time again.  As Goodwood House is a family home as well as an Estate enjoying public access, there is an immense camaraderie that has been built up and everyone working there is really deemed part of an extended family.

For the Goodwood team, whether it’s a small board meeting for ten people, a team building day, a major product launch involving all aspects of the Estate or a wedding or anniversary, each event deserves total commitment, that extra bit of effort and that special touch.

Individual menus are custom devised by Goodwood House’s Head Chef, Henry Mac Askill, and his brigade of  seven  using local produce predominantly, much of which comes from the Estate’s own organic farm and tenderly cared for kitchen gardens.  Wines are paired seamlessly with any chosen menu by David and his team.

Tours of the house are easily arranged.  Curator James Peill is always happy to relate the story of Goodwood to interested parties and the topics can range widely from horse-racing, to art, from royalty to government, fromWaterlooto the birth of the sport of cricket.  They will even talk about the conservation of the house on occasion.  James overseas a team of conservators and specialists who maintain the historic antiques, the artworks and the fabric & upkeep of the House.

The grounds of the Estate are particularly beautiful, with sweeping vistas from the portico over 12,000 acres.  The team of 20 gardeners and groundsmen are always on the go, maintaining the grounds and their efforts ensure there are hundreds of photo opportunities available at any time of the year.   Of particular note are the 300 year old cedar trees throughout the park, which were grown from seeds collected by the Duke of Richmond.

Of course, anyone arranging an event at Goodwood House has access to the entire Estate’s facilities – flights in historic aircraft, laps around the historic racetrack, vintage car access, Regency singers and actors, literary salons, rounds of golf, circuits of croquet – and of course spa treatments and accommodation in the adjoining Goodwood Hotel, which has just enjoyed an extensive refurbishment.  As this is a privately owned and maintained Estate, there is a little more flexibility at play in what you can actually do than with other similar establishments.

The only limit to what can be organised at Goodwood House really, is the imagination and budget of the guest…

Join Goodwood House during one of their house tours on a Sunday and Monday 1pm – 5pm until 15th October 2012.  Entry costs GBP9.50 for adults and GBP4.00 children aged 12-18. Children under twelve are admitted free. Student rates are GBP4.00 and there is a family ticket for two adults and two children for GBP22.00.

Afternoon tea is served between 2pm – 4.30pm with prices starting at GBP4.00.

To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Summer Exhibition for 2012, running from 6th August – 15th October, will look at Goodwood’s royal heritage and how it is represented in the art collection. From 5th – 30th August the house will be open Sunday – Thursday.

About Goodwood House:  Set within magnificent grounds in the Sussex countryside, seven miles from the sea, is one of the truly spectacular English country estates.  The seat of the Dukes of Richmond and Gordon for over three hundred years, Goodwood remains in the family while affording guests an opportunity to experience the historic architecture and interiors of the grand house and the opulent modern amenities, award-winning dining and a range of sporting activities from golf to world class vintage car and horse racing.

To enquire about holding events or weddings at Goodwood please telephone 01243 775 537 or email  For information on visitor opening times for  Goodwood House and for more information on the Goodwood Estate, please call +44 (0) 1243 755 000 or visit

Contributer:  Sue Lowry

Goodwood House is a client of Magellan PR.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
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3 Responses to There are times when only a butler will do…

  1. Pingback: The Goodwood Hotel: Reborn | magellanstraits

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