A day in the life of our deputy director of housekeeping

Claridge’s Deputy Director of Housekeeping Anne Barnes won’t settle for anything less than perfection.

Mayfair lady

I’m a London girl, through and through. Just like me, Claridge’s is wrapped up in the capital and our guests’ first experience of that is often when stepping into their room or suite. My housekeeping team and I are there to ensure everything is flawless: every surface, every object, every single piece of linen, every arrangement and piece of furniture must be checked and rechecked to ensure a perfect space. In a profile in the Financial Times, I was quoted as saying, “I nag people,” but I like to think it’s in the way a mother watches over and supports her children. After all, somebody has to be the boss or nothing gets done!

Bedtime story

As well as general household management, cleaning, tidying, bed-making and laundry, we have our fair share of unusual requests. One family asked for a “bed” for their daughter’s teddy, perhaps an old shoebox with a little blanket. But I decided we had to do it in true Claridge’s style, and enlisted the in-house carpenter to fashion a bespoke wooden bed, the technical services team to wax and French-polish it, and the seamstress to run up a mini sheet, duvet and pillow set. The result was a very happy young lady and an enormous smile.

Outside interests

Basset Hounds have been a big part of my life, and I’ve spent a lot of time on Wimbledon Common over the years. I’ve accumulated an extensive collection of porcelain Bassets, in all shapes and sizes, which I’ll display in my new house in a custom glass case. I’m a big fan of the theatre too, and I enjoy nice restaurants and good food and wine – and sharing a jolly time with friends. I like to be out and about.

She's done it

Like many people, I took up a new past-time in the pandemic: cross-stitching, which helps me to switch off. I like to give my all when I’m on duty, but I wouldn’t be able to be sustain it without time to unwind. It all comes back to the idea of a job well done – which is, after all, what keeps me going.

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