An exciting opportunity is available for an experienced Housekeeper/Groundsman Couple for an estate in East Devon. The property features a main house and 2 cottages. The employer is looking for enthusiastic, cheerful and experienced individuals. The employer is in residence about a third of the year (mainly at weekends and school holidays). A 2-bedroom apartment is provided to the couple with utility bills paid by the estate.
The Housekeeper is required to have simple home cooking ability to see to simple meals when needed on occasions when the Principal’s Chef is not on site.
The main house has both smart technology and antique fixtures and fittings, therefore the Housekeeper must be able to adapt to the different requirements.
The successful applicant will require excellent knowledge of running a house and must demonstrate enthusiasm and drive with a keen eye for detail to produce the very best results whilst working harmoniously as part of an established team. They will present themselves as a helpful and patient individual, who will take direction and be flexible where necessary.
Working hours consist of a 45-hour week, with days and times depending on the employer and guest requirements and projects being undertaken (weekend work will be required).
Working with the Gardener to maintain and develop the main gardens, lawns, borders, rose garden, vegetable gardens, greenhouse, fruit cage, polytunnel and woodland gardens; assisting with the cultivation of fruit and vegetables; harvesting produce and preparing it for use in the house; assisting with the cleaning and care of garden tools and machinery; keeping the gardener’s yard and stores clean and tidy; care for the parkland, games field, lake and pond, fields and grounds.
The Housekeeper will be responsible for ensuring that the employer’s home is kept to a high standard and runs smoothly including:
- Cleaning and tidying
- Preparing the house for family visits and guests
- Monitoring household supplies and shopping as necessary
- Checking for pests and taking appropriate action
- Assistance with cooking and food preparation
- Monitoring larder and freezer food supplies and shopping as necessary.
- Assisting with harvesting garden produce and preparing it (freezing, cooking or preserving)
- Responsible for occasional menu planning in liaison with the Chef.
- Laundry and clothes care: laundry and ironing, mending, organization of dry cleaning, shoe cleaning, keeping cupboards clean and tidy
- Packing and unpacking for travel.
- Assisting wider family members: helping with the weekly cleaning of the 2 cottages, shopping and running errands as and when needed, keeping an eye out and checking on both occupants.
- Driving: Running errands, airport/ train transfers and occasional other driving
- Occasional supervision (possibly overnight) of 2 children (aged 14 and 16)
- Emergency duty phone cover: being on call 2-4 nights a week with responsibility for the estate duty phone and locking up the house
- Pet care: 2 dogs and occasionally putting the chickens in their coup in the summer
- Management of the part-time cleaner
- Supervision of contractors: window cleaners, decorators, plumbers etc
- Responsible for updating the staff calendar with their own days off, annual leave and any other relevant information.
- Updating databases and inventories when needed
- Any other appropriate duties commensurate with this role.
- Working with the Groundsman/ Caretaker. Assistance with cleaning (regular sweeping and seasonal jetwashing) and maintenance of steps, paths around house, patios and terraces; regular cleaning of outdoor sports areas (pool, tennis court, cricket net, pavilion); cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of leisure facilities and equipment (hot tub, tree house, caravan, boats etc); cleaning outdoor furniture, putting out cushions and umbrellas, opening pool ready for use and shutting up afterwards, assisting the housekeeper to keep changing areas clean and tidy; clearing leaves from the tennis court; stocking tennis pavilion fridge; helping set up for outdoor meals; setting up barbecue etc.
- Resident Caretaker duties, working with the Groundsman: daily unlocking and locking up of the grounds and estate buildings; organising rubbish and recycling; collecting and distributing post; being “on call” when required; responsibility for the estate “duty phone” when requested
- Animal care: responsibility for the chickens; dog walking and occasional sole charge of a family pet when the family are away.
- Assistance in the house: clearing and laying fires, bringing in wood; occasional help with general housekeeping if the housekeeper is away or when the house is very busy.
- Previous experience working as a housekeeper for a UHNW private family
- Gardening and groundskeeping experience in a similar position
- A keen eye for detail and knowledge of housekeeping
- Full driver’s licence
- Hard-working, reliable, flexible, adaptable and self-motivated
- Keen attention to detail and the ability to spot what needs doing
- Organisation and time management skills
- Product, fabric and surface knowledge
- Able to work harmoniously with an established team of private staff
- A confident level of cooking ability (a Private Chef travels with the Principal and is not always on site)
Start date: 2 October 2023