Joshua Baring in a Starring Role

Thursday 16th June 2016

Last week was the visit to Sandringham St Kil -two nights in the remotest Fens for Robert Nevil and myself at Joshua Baring’s residence there. But Joshua Baring had only just opened Bruce MacBain’s new glass extension at the main Baring family residence in London. That was the Saturday before. Bruce MacBain has designed a structure to airy thinness beat with an upward thrusting roof on which sedums grow. Even Lord Baring is pleased with it. ‘I hope Bruce MacBain has given satisfaction,’ I said to him by the drinks table. ‘He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t.’ This was the setting for the Baring relations and friends who are ash blond and azure if ladies and in stout canvas trews in a raspberry shade if men. Except of course for Bover Baring, Joshua’s older brother, who is a hot lad from a good background and likes being married – which could be said to be unusual these days. And Lady Baring: ‘Your usual Catherine Walker?’ I enquired. It wasn’t but might as well have been. A white lace-overlay top, back-buttoning with millions of tiny self-buttons, and the finest navy slacks. I shrieked with delight on seeing Bover again but he complained to Joshua that he’d been mocked. Later, at the buffet, he told Joshua that he was a poor imitation of me which is most unfair because Joshua had created himself before he’d even met me. Brothers: they tear each other to pieces.

So on the Tuesday Robert Nevil and I arrived at Sandringham St Kil. I travelled in biscuit and azure, Robert Nevil was in a stainless steel shade. We didn’t change for dinner. The main purpose of the visit was gardening. Joshua’s got a new garden which turned out not to have everything in it as heralded but is very Elizabethan and herbal, restrained in fact. Only the delphiniums have been devoured by slugs so Joshua was craving them above all else. We settled to rosé and Joshua regaled us with tales of the adventures of the younger Poor Little Rich Gays who aren’t settling down at all. In fact it’s getting worse and worse with the to-ing and fro-ing from outlying provincial towns. But Joshua achieved an amazing pastry for the 1st night dinner, prepared with the help of Robert Nevil while I was on the phone re: estate business.

The next day we aimed for Holt – where Kate Middleton shops for home things. Then we were to go on to the scene of Normal for Norfolk, as seen on TV. Joshua Baring knew all the connections. Never was anyone more in touch with the general scene while planning a Henry James evening for two incredibly remote grandees. Finally it was to be Peter Beales, where Robert Nevil was commissioned to buy a rose for a person whose husband throbs at the heart of our Nation’s life although not always in a good way: the first film was horror beyond belief and there was an appalling toilet incident in one of the other ones which was hugely mainstream: the film not the toilet incident.

Well, I’ve no time now … come back later for more. Hear how we careered all over Norfolk, sweeping all before us and got a shelf at the scene of Normal for Norfolk.

Bruce MacBain Extension to the Main Baring Residence in London on the Opening Night

Bruce MacBain Extension to the Main Baring Residence in London on the Opening Night

Joshua Baring: Fritters as Pre- with Drinks at the Extension Opening

Joshua Baring: Fritters as Pre- with Drinks at the Extension Opening

The Buffet at the Extension Opening: Salade Nicoise was Excellent but There was a Lot left over. Lord Baring was Served it until the Following Wednesday at Least

The Buffet at the Extension Opening: Salade Nicoise was Excellent but There was a Lot left over. Lord Baring was Served it until the Following Wednesday at Least

Posted Saturday, June 18, 2016 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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