AD is being way too modest here. One of the best kept secrets on RJ is that, once, he and his husband generously invited me to spend the weekend at one of their manors, in Wilton, I think it was, yes. Their life is nowhere near as quotidian as he makes it sound.
He does indeed awaken at first light of dawn, but that revival from fitful sleep in the arms of Morpheus is announced by his young catamite, Ali, (discovered not so long ago on a trip to purchase carpets at the old bazaar in Rabat.. the Persian Gabbehs in the guest wing bedrooms had begun to fray) who taps gently on the large mahogany doors to his bedroom suite, (handmade many years ago in India), and enters with a sterling silver tray bearing a pot of reserve Darjeeling and morning petit four freshly baked by his chef, Ling Ling, overnight in his Bulthaup kitchen.
He takes this first refreshment of the day reclined on a chaise lounge on his bedroom suite terrace (weather permitting), an intimate space made deceptively formal by a breathtaking arrangement of the many bonzai carefully cultivated over the years by his gardener, Mister Po.
The chaise itself is upholstered in genuine faux cloth of gold, inlaid with the rarest Majolica mother-of-pearl, a fabric won by his grandmother at a Mahjong game in Shanghai, shortly before the Second World War, when her third husband, Fang, was Honorary Consul of Iceland in that great port city.
Ever sartorially elegant - even at this hour when the lark at break of day arises - "home days" (so-called by both him and the Queen of England) find him robed in one of his collection of silk yakatas (he himself mercifully wrapped, below decks, in fundoshi), gifts each and every one from General MacArthur on his deathbed, in thanks on behalf of a grateful nation for future services to the United States Army.
But on days when he and his husband are "at home", he will without fail be swaddled in more refined regalia yet, often one of a set of three kimono presented to him in a formal ceremony in Biloxi many decades ago by Hirohito, late Emperor of Japan, for the blessings his service bestowed upon the people of Nippon.
This "first hour of the day" is brought to its close when Ali returns in the company of the household's social secretary, Hsing Hsing, who discusses the day's visitors and obligations, refining some, canceling others as needs be (AD is getting lazy, this part was true, and such pressures are beginning to weigh on him).
Moving to the formal breakfast room, the walls of which are bedizzened in a one-off wallpaper of Zoffany's best Ketti taffeta, he and his husband are then served - by the omnipresent Ling Ling himself - a breakfast of fresh Norwegian salmon. (During my visit I idiotically wondered why Nova Scotia salmon would not do, and AD was kind enough to guide me: "Child," he gently chided me, "it's simply too....bitter, for the mornings. Now, on a finger sandwich along with some foie gras at high tea, yes. And only then if it has been flown down fresh, overnight. But never in the mornings." A lesson I shall never forget.)
The card table in the After-Morning Room is then arranged by Ali for a few rubbers of bridge or canasta (often with close friends met on RJ), usually with an accompanying glass of 1928 Krug, or cheap amontillado, again depending on the weather.
So, as I have said, too modest by half, and this really is only "the first hour of the day." I have witnessed these things with my own eyes, and they are true.