An Arrival like no Other

Wednesday 9th November 2022

10 years ago Joshua Baring took 30 years. Now he’s 40. 40 years of Joshua Baring was marked with the total occupation of a Shoreditch restaurant called Lyle. Although a harsh industrial cement box, in it a menu flowered like no other. All the staff were men and not Gays. Indescribable. Seasonal, a foraging element, a pheasant broth, but honed and styled.  Usually this sort of food tastes of nothing, but miraculously robust flavour was retained. The chicken liver parfait with prunes was piped onto sourdough with all the flourish of the Bournemouth School of Icing – my Aunt Olive was once a week in Bournemouth on a cake decorating course. At Lyle seven courses of art and elegance were given.

Nobody else would have chosen Lyle, only Joshua Baring with his finger on London’s pulse, including the best dry cleaners and fabric sources. And the guests? 40 or 50 were received. Can you imagine the ££££? Easily £100,000, I would say, not including Joshua Baring’s jacket by Dior (of which more). But what of the guests? In a way they were subsumed into the menu. There was a whirl of flown-in Gays, some Netflix stars and at the other end of the spectrum Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s old lady-in-waiting. What a range! The throbbing core of Our Nation was present: the money world, TV, the magazines, the books, then the old stalwarts, the Ducal Nephew, as well as Patrick Lockyer, who sues for Celebrities and doesn’t look a day older than he did at Joshua Baring’s 30th birthday party ten years ago – proving that pharmaceutical intervention works.

No question about it: this function marked arrival and no hint of departure. Joshua Baring has arrived and will be staying. It’s strange how long it takes to arrive. Few arrive before 40, I imagine.

I was seated with Bovver Baring, Joshua’s older brother. Heaven. We’ve got our thrilling secret underworld of denial and refusal. Also a woman from Channel 4 who might have been dreaders (Channel 4 – so ghastly) but is more at the fun, Arts end. In fact from what she said she is rarely at home because of filming and never watches the news. She made no mention of needing to cancel me, Adrian Edge. Finally Robert Nevil and myself had audience with Sir Akbar Framingham, a leading Parsee, a figure seen by me in the distance 45 years ago in Oxford’s golden gardens when I ‘hung out’ with Twirly Godfrey – of whom mention was made. ‘Is he dead?’ Sir Akbar enquired. I said he was not dead when last heard of. Katherine Duncan Jones, on the other hand, is dead. Robert Nevil and Sir Akbar had funeral and mem talk. ‘Nuclear war,’ Sir Akbar said. ‘Some people are most concerned about it. But I see no point in worrying about what you can’t control. If we all get wiped out, then so be it.’ ‘Quite a relief in many ways,’ I added. Despite the glory of the occasion, in these ‘permacrisis’ days, as one’s private strength fails, one falls more and more into a craving for the grave.

Outfits must be mentioned. I had planned a new grey suit by Sandro. It was planned, newly bought at reduced price, for months. But at the last min, like a fool, I had a wen for the Palm Beach look i.e. bare ankles, white slacks, blue blazer and loafers. This was because Laura Malcolm by amazing coincidence was weekending with Troy Banner and Lansdowne Reindorp (of Palm Beach) in Wiltshire. She’d never met nor heard of them before. Crazily, I thought I’d have the look in stock but didn’t really. So ended up in white tux by Zara and black Prada slacks. Disaster. Exactly what Joshua Baring was wearing. Except his white jacket was silk wool by Dior, bespoke, easily £8000. Horror! The contrast.

I do fear that with Rishi Sunak’s high frockage in charge, the high street labels are going to start looking cheap. He has no plan for a clothing allowance that I’ve heard of. In fact ferocious taxes for the rich. So what are we to do? Theft the only hope.

Disaster: Joshua Baring's £8000 Dior Silk Wool Jacket versus Adrian Edge in Zara

Disaster: Joshua Baring’s £8000 Dior Silk Wool Jacket versus me, Adrian Edge in Zara

 

Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2022 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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