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Manservant About Town

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Big Ben: The Brit concierge has an in at the Palace -- and Rao's!  

Who: Ben Elliot, smooth-talking, golden-Rolodexed 27-year-old British aristo (his aunt is Camilla Parker-Bowles) and co-founder of Quintessentially, a concierge service that has lots of Londoners (including Madge and Gwynnie) feeling very VIP. Heralding global expansion, he's just opened shop in New York. "I'm ambitious for an Englishman," says Ben a bit apologetically.

What? For $750 a year, Quintessentially is your personal Paul Burrell, arranging everything from villas in Ibiza to tickets to the Marc Jacobs show. Unlike Burrell, discretion is guaranteed, but behave! Naughty members can be fired. ("We have had to do that on a few occasions," coughs Ben.)

When? Anytime.

Where? Anywhere. "Our members are internationalists."

Why? "We take a broader view of the individual." Which in the case of Lord Archer, who called from jail, meant securing some sod from Lord's cricket ground (where he'd been stripped of his membership). Done! -- now it's the centerpiece of Archer's garden. But why take on notoriously demanding New Yorkers? "I'm very excited," says Ben. "It's like I've put my finger in an electric socket."


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