FURNITURE ‘GOING, GOING…GONE’ AT DORMY HOUSE

Around 1,000 people packed into the Dormy House auction to bid on hundreds of items of furniture on Monday, in advance of the hotel’s £10m refurbishment.

Up for grabs were 291 lots ranging from sofas and a four-poster bed to more than 600 plates and even the kitchen sink. The items went under the hammer for a total price of £35,429.

As well as offering bargain hunters the chance to snap up deals – one lucky bidder bagged the hotel’s sauna for just £70 – the day was a great chance for former guests and local people to buy items with nostalgic value.

Julie Dove, whose son James used to be a porter at the much-loved hotel, bought a pair of chairs that she first saw at Dormy House years ago.

“I came with specific lots in mind, especially a pair of walnut and upholstered chairs that were in reception,” she said. “I’ve loved the chairs for years and, because my son used to work here, there is sentimental value to them too.

“We’ve also just finished renovating a house in France and I was able to buy some other furniture to complete a couple of bedrooms too, so I’m really happy with how it went.”

Rupert Williams-Ellis had a similarly successful day at auction, buying the four-poster bed among several other lots.

“We are planning to open a B&B in Blockley in three or four months so I had my eye on quite a few lots to help furnish that,” he said. “I came on Sunday to take a look at what was for sale and managed to buy about half the lots I was after.

“I haven’t been to an auction for about 20 years and I’m very happy with my purchases and the fact that I kept to my set budget.”

Among the other lots were a cocktail bar and banqueting bar, which sold for £270 and £450, an antique three-drawer oak dresser table, which fetched £650, the manager’s mahogany desk, which reached £520 and the kitchen sink, which went for £150.

The family-owned four-star hotel near Broadway has now closed its door for the first phase of its refurbishment.

General manager David Field said: “We’ve been open as a hotel for 35 years so there’s a great sense of history here, but we have some really exciting plans for the new-look hotel and spa.

“The auction was great fun and it was lovely to see so many of our regular guests here. I’ve been at the Dormy for around 30 years so it was a little emotional seeing some of the items go, but the redevelopment will be fantastic and it will position us perfectly for the next 35 years.”

Auctioneer Martin Homer, from Littleton Auctions, added: “I couldn’t believe the turnout. We had 579 people register to bid but many of those came with friends and family so there would have been many more people here in total.

“Having the auction at the hotel made all the difference as it really helped people understand that they were buying a slice of local history.”

The £5m first phase of the redevelopment will see the hotel’s public areas and 40 bedrooms renovated. Another £5m will be spent during the second phase to create the stylish House Spa.

The work begins this week and the hotel reopens this summer. It will remain open while work continues on House Spa, which is due to launch in early 2014.

For more information visit www.dormyhouse.co.uk.