My Bank Holiday Weekend Shows the Rich Span of Poor Little Rich Gay Life

Tuesday 31st May 2011

Don’t forget – my great meditation on Wotan and marriage, the other PLRG terrace ducklings (Peter Acharya to pamper them this week while terrace owners on cruise), Lord Arrowby, my part-time love interest, all to come.

On Saturday, I was at L’Anima, near Liverpool Street Station. It’s supposed to have Michelin stars but doesn’t. Absolutely honed environment. The Photo Multi enchanted by way the marble was done in the lavs – no grout between the slabs. Also marvellous curved marble wall leading to the display wine cellar. No grout there either. The Multis strike up with the staff in the Poor Little Rich Gay way: the Blond to the Latvian Maître d’: ‘Who owns this restaurant?’ ‘Is he here now?’ Where does he live?’ ‘You don’t know. You’d better find out. Could be useful.’

The Multis are expanding: they’ve been lunching with more banks to gain something called leverage. As you recall, their economy is about the size of a small town’s but it’s just for two Poor Little Rich Gays. They’ve also been on some country visits about which the less said the better. I’m storing for another day.

Sunday, I set out, with Robert Nevil, for Sandringham St Kil, where youngster PLRG Joshua Baring is establishing a res. Collecting RN, I’m left sitting in his drawing room – awful dread feeling it might be nicer than mine.

It occurs to me for the first time that the reason why people live in their own houses and not mine is that they like them better.

We stop on the way at a nursery near Cambridge (no garden centres for us) and buy rare varieties of rare plants. Robert Nevil wants garden string. I say: ‘There’s a lovely big ball there.’ ‘Oh no,’ he arches, ‘I only have green – so it can’t be seen.’

In the car – the one I’ve been keeping quiet about, but its Xenon driving lights sweep all before – we discuss our intimate lives. Many fallings-out and scenes – Poor Little Rich Gays are volatile, of course, and we love difficult people – but we’re agreed that marriage is absolutely finished, near-marriage much to be preferred.

Then we gain St Kil – my God, it’s in the Fens! Fabulous air of menace and all the inhabitants sinister in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. But it’s an architectural gem. So brilliant of Joshua Baring to home in. Soon it’ll be looking very new indeed. 18th century merchants’ houses heeped up beside a muddy river-bank, a great mass of buildings arising apparently out of nothing. I was reminded of Venice’s Riva dei Schiavoni. Unique effect.

As my private architect, Bruce MacBain, is always pointing out when we take a walk and he briefs me, many 18th century facades are as pared down, minimal and ‘abstract’ as any Modernist structure.

Joshua is queening his house, of course. It’s beamy and woody, which I’ve condemned.  But now, and with Angus Willis’s outstanding Hastings Tudor House, I can see I’m going to have to re-think.

So, yesterday, Monday, I ram the rare plants in and tend my three gardens. So much to do before this visit from earnest Islington gardeners on Saturday.  In the evening, Prince Dmitri Hersov, top world accountant, dines and I try to reproduce the veal with pistachio ragù the Blond Multi had at L’Anima. There was some weird mystery ingredient eluding me: finally, via those ice-creams launched last week by Angus Willis, I have an idea: could it be rose-water? Rose-water with mince? I dash, shattered, to Waitrose. They’ve got it. With the Prince we experiment and taste and decide to risk it. It was good and, I’m fairly sure, what was in the L’Anima version.

Well done to Waitrose for being open at 6pm on a Bank Holiday and having rose-water.

L'Anima - Fully Honed

L'Anima - Fully Honed

The Display Wine Cellar at L'Anima

The Display Wine Cellar at L'Anima

The sepulcre-style PDR at L'Anima: Note Groutless Walls

The sepulcre-style PDR at L'Anima: Note Groutless Walls

Paint Samples at Joshua Baring's Res at Sandringham St Kil: This is the Way to Select Your Colour

Paint Samples at Joshua Baring's Res at Sandringham St Kil: This is the Way to Select Your Colour

The Other Wall: Joshua Baring at Sandringham St Kil. A Detailed Approach

The Other Wall: Joshua Baring at Sandringham St Kil. A Detailed Approach

Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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2 comments

  1. Tree Purslane says:

    Maybe the restaurant would get its Michelin star if it got rid of those plastic Ghost chairs by Philippe Starck. Briefly fashionable, but now generally agreed to be horrid, as well as uncomfortable.

  2. Adrian Edge says:

    I do agree, Tree. How right you are!

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