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Classic Butler’s Tray


The classic butler’s tray table is a versatile and practical piece of furniture that has stood the test of time, making it a true classic of campaign furniture design. Lodges and hotels often use the Butler’s Tray as a tea and coffee station.

Smaller versions have also been used as Bedside Tables – particularly useful in mobile camps where the equipment must be folded and stowed away for transport to the next camp.

The Butler’s Tray was developed in England in the mid – 1700s. It has had many design iterations since then, culminating in The African Touch Classic Butler’s Tray!

For more tray table designs, see here.

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Quantity based pricing table

The design

The classic butler’s tray table is a classic piece of campaign furniture that has been in use since the 18th century. It was originally designed for use in wealthy households, where it was used by butlers to serve food and drinks to guests. The table consists of a removable tray that sits on top of a folding stand or base. This design allows the table to be easily disassembled and transported, making it ideal for use in a variety of settings.  The butler’s tray table was popularized in the 19th century by British Army officers who used it on military campaigns and expeditions.  It was also a favourite of explorers and adventurers such as Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott.

Material and fittings

The tables may be constructed out of Zambezi teak (Rhodesian teak) or African mahogany. The solid brass snap hinges are imported from the UK and are the finest quality, snapping open to 90 degrees when the tray sides are lifted up.

The size of the classic butler’s tray when folded out is 850 millimetres (thirty-four inches) by 645 millimetres (twenty-six inches). With sides folded, the tray is 620 millimetres (twenty-five inches) by 420 millimetres (seventeen inches).

Uses for the Classic Butler’s Tray

The African Touch classic butler’s tray table is used in hotels and lodges as a tea station in rooms or a coffee station in the lounge area. Smaller versions are also been used as bedside tables or nightstands – particularly useful in mobile camps where the equipment must be folded and stowed away for transport to the next camp. One of the key features of the butler’s tray table is its portability. The table can be easily moved from room to room, or even taken outside for use on a patio or in a garden. The tray can be used as a serving surface for food and drinks, or as a decorative display for books, flowers, and other items. The table can also be used as a side table or nightstand in a bedroom or living room.

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Weight 8 kg
Dimensions 85 × 65 × 72 cm

1. Zambezi Teak, 2. African Mahogany

To protect your lacquered finish Butler’s Tray place it away from direct sunlight. Apply a good furniture wax or polish, initially twice a month, thereafter once a month. Apply sufficient wax to thinly cover the surface. As it dries (becomes dull) buff with a clean cloth until a beautiful sheen is achieved. Between waxings, keep the finish clean with a soft cloth or duster, and buff without wax.

When you make your enquiry we will discuss delivery options with you.

Camps and lodges:

For camps and lodges in Southern Africa we can quote on delivery
with our transport or you may arrange collection.
For East Africa and beyond it is often more convenient for us to
quote containerised freight for large orders and air freight to nearest
airport for smaller orders.

International Orders:

Certain knock down products can be delivered by courier direct to you.
Slightly cheaper is to organise air freight to your nearest airport.
For large orders we can quote containerised delivery by sea.

Smaller orders in Southern Africa:

We will quote for delivery by courier or our transport depending on your location.


For orders to Africa, Europe, Australia, and North America we provide a
Certificate of Origin so that duty is not payable in your country of destination.

Orders supplied from stock we request payment in full when the order is placed.
For products made to order we request a 50% deposit on order
with the balance paid on completion.

Due to the stresses and strains that a Butler’s Tray can be subject to, we cannot offer a lifetime guarantee on this product. However, we do offer a one year warranty against defects in construction or material.

Please note that the timber used to hand make an African Touch Butler’s Tray is a natural hardwood that varied in colour and grain, so no two Butler’s Trays will look exactly the same. Natural knots and growth cracks may be present, but these will not affect the integrity of the piece, but rather add to its charm and appearance.

The African Touch will not in any circumstances be liable for any claim which falls outside the scope of our warranty or for any consequential damages whatsoever.

We offer 10% discount for orders of 5 or more Butler’s Trays, and to Professional designers and decorators. The discount will reflect in your quote.

Prices include shipping to your nearest main port. Should you require shipment ‘Door to Door’ or to an isolated port we may need to update your quote depending on the extra cost. The price excludes fees at the port of entry (customs clearance, tax such as VAT etc).

Questions? Call +27 68 246 2513