A day in the life of our butler
Claridge’s butler Michael Lynch embodies the charm of the hotel itself. We look at what motivates this engaging man.
“An almost mind-reading capacity to understand what’s needed”
“Is Michael working today?” That was the question posed by the three children as they rushed through the doors of Claridge’s, flushed with excitement. By the time the family had got to their room, Michael had appeared to screams of “It’s him! He’s here! He’s here!” and an ensuing barrage of breathless stories and questions.
After calm was restored, the children’s mother explained to Michael that they had seen him on BBC’s documentary ‘Inside Claridge’s’, and having fallen for his smile and charm, decided he could be their very own Mrs Doubtfire.
Meeting Michael has that effect. He has a magnetic warmth as well as an almost mind-reading capacity to understand exactly what is needed and precisely when.
Caring comes naturally to Michael
“He takes care over every small thing, always with a twinkle and a smile”
Michael’s journey to one of the world’s best-loved hotels began in a village of 1,000 souls in the west of Ireland. He grew up with five brothers and five sisters, all under the loving care of his magnificent mother, who when not looking after 11 children, found the time to run the village shop and post office.
Maybe that explains Michael’s natural ability to look after others and the care he takes over every small thing, always with a twinkle and a smile. He remembers his mother with love; sadly he lost her in 2001. He recounts a fabulous holiday they spent together at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, where he tried to spoil her as she had spoiled him as a child. What hit them both was “the heat”, and to cap it off, they just managed to escape before the arrival of Hurricane Floyd. You definitely don’t get that in Ireland!
Football and music
“Michael’s heroes are an eclectic bunch”
Beneath the open exterior lies a man with a diversity of interests. He has a love of football – Michael is a “red and white in my veins” Gooner, or an Arsenal fan to those of us with limited knowledge of the beautiful game.
He also loves to listen to music during his hour-long walk home, and lists ‘The Lark Ascending’ by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, ‘Adagio for Strings’ by Samuel Barber, and the ‘Miserere Mei, Deus’ by Gregorio Allegri as among his favourites.
For laughs he lists both Dave Allen and Benny Hill, and in sport, it just has to be the ‘Mac’, John McEnroe. He is also an avid reader, and enjoys all the ‘soaps’ on television, as well as anything with David Attenborough in it. It is this breadth of interests that explains the richness of Michael’s character, and is perhaps a clue to why his company and conversation is so relaxing.
Creating a home from home
“He wants to you to love Claridge’s too”
Listening to Michael can be a humbling experience. He is, as the Irish say, ‘genuine’ – at home with both princes and paupers, confident within himself, but more interested in the feelings of others. He loves and understands Claridge’s, and he wants you to love her too. The strong caring values he learnt at home are the values he brings to this, his and maybe your, home from home.
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