We Dine and Garden

Thursday 19th April 2012

Actually overcome with lassitude despite Poor Little Rich Gay life raving, absolutely raving: we’ve got: tulips, Spring modes (frockage), Val’s latest antics (he’s rather back on the refreshments), adventures in Hackney last night with the Multis (we penetrated a remote industrial yard)… tonight  piles in Rufus Pitman, his book launch (he’s caught Bangladesh), then on to Picasso PV at Tate Britain (at least I hope it’s Tate Britain), thence to dinner in Shoreditch.

BUT on Saturday Bruce MacBain, my private architect, gave a small dinner.  At 55, this award-winning architect is still winsome and flirtatious from a solid base of straight-acting (really not a hint of gay, which is unknown in a gay) down-to-earth Scots with Scottish accent. Women love him and carry on loving him despite lack of progress. Thankfully, scratch the surface and it’s My Suzie Cooper rare pattern side plates, my dining chairs by Ray Eames, originals at £400 a go, plus another set with slats (see graph below), also rare and designed by a designer. The Blond Multi said, ‘Is your vase chipped?’. Bruce MacBain had a fit. To and fro he’d gone for six months trying to decide whether to acquire this collectable by Lehmanfeld or whoever (Czech, I think. Huge in the 20th century vase world).

No, it wasn’t chipped.

The Photo Multi tried both kinds of dining chair. Tancredo Viamare, partner of Bruce MacBain (tremendous decor clashes: luckily Tancredo equally embattled; in fact only person who has been able to stand up to Bruce MacBain in years) remodelled Tiramisu. You may remember 3 years ago in Tuscany Angus Willis, of Angus Willis Home Store, Hastings , international food writer and stylist, told the villa maid to rethink her tiramisu. Can you imagine? An Italian! He said, No nylon custard and chocolate powder.

Tiramisu looms large in the Poor Little Rich Gay world, which may surprise some. It’s all right but it must be done differently.

Tancredo’s was decorated with those dried rose buds you use to make tea and saturated with an almond liquor. It was also turned out as a cake – highly complex to pull off.

A dispute broke out about the population of Bologna. The Blond Multi googled from his iPhone. But Tancredo said Google was absolutely wrong, no, no, couldn’t possibly be right, complete nonsense…

Sunday Robert Nevil and I drove out to Beth Chatto’s garden. She second most famous English gardener after C.Lloyd. C.Lloyd, of course, we adore because he was abominably behaved both in the garden and out. Such joy and colour and nonsense. Beth is just a teeny, wheeny bit dreary, despite some marvellous plants. It’s her design, so many curving beds, just a little interminable, and one part of the garden much like another. And rather a bleak Essex spot – flat, you know. Bang in the middle of the garden is her bungalow, heavily shrouded with net curtains.  We longed to megaphone: ‘Come out, Beth. We know you’re in there.’

Then we saw her at her kitchen window! She’s 89.

I told Val about this scheme and he recalled Cilla’s TV show of the 60s where she did just that: megaphoned from outside a person’s home for them to come out and meet Cilla. Blinking figures would emerge, bowled over at the surprise, unsuspicious, apparently, of vans, TV lights and personnel which must have been crowding round for some time before.

I’m sure the woman in Beth’s shop did it deliberately. After all, despite criticism, Beth is a cut above. The shop lady overheard us talking about where to get clematis and recommended a lovely garden centre near Tiptree. I’m sure she regularly seizes the chance to plunge la-di-da Beth lovers into Hell.

See graphs below!

Important Chair Belonging to Bruce MacBain

Important Chair Belonging to Bruce MacBain

Bruce MacBain's Table: The Photo Multi Tried Both Kind of Chair

Bruce MacBain's Table: The Photo Multi Tried Both Kinds of Chair

Tiramisu Loaded onto Suzie Cooper Plate at Bruce MacBain's

Tiramisu Loaded onto Suzie Cooper Plate at Bruce MacBain's

Beth Chatto's: Not Right Somehow

Beth Chatto's: Not Right Somehow

Rare Trillium: 'Not Rare Enough,' Robert Nevil Said

Rare Trillium at Beth Chatto's: 'Not Rare Enough,' Robert Nevil Said

Spotted Laurel: One of the Worst Shrubs Ever

Spotted Laurel: One of the Worst Shrubs Ever: Seen at Beth Chatto's

Lovely Magenta Shade: Seen in Garden Centre near Beth Chatto's in Essex

Lovely Magenta Shade: Seen in Garden Centre near Beth Chatto's in Essex

Charming Stoat Water Feature Seen in Garden Centre near Beth Chatto's

Charming Stoat Water Feature Seen in Garden Centre near Beth Chatto's

Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 under Adrian Edge day by day.

2 comments

  1. Bruce MacBain says:

    Chairs from Finn Juhl, Hans Brattrud, Charles and Ray Eames, Hans Wegner, Lucian Ercolani; glass from Kaj Frank; Wedgwood Corn Poppy from Susie Cooper; Studio Cutlery from Gerald Benney at Viners; folding table from the Conran Shop; carpet from Cairo market.

  2. Adrian Edge says:

    Superb detail: thank you for your information

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