Charity windfall after Ivy auction
It was a hangout for Hollywood stars and a watering hole for the wealthy, but now London's most exclusive bar is perhaps the priciest place in town.
Last night The Ivy restaurant's private bar sold for more than 30 times its estimated worth at auction, fetching £31,000 after decades of playing host to celebrities such as David Beckham and Brad Pitt.
In a charity drive that raised a staggering £1 million, the Covent Garden hotspot sold everything from its finest artwork to its pane glass window and even the sign for the ladies' toilet.
A seat at the table that served dinner to Laurence Olivier and Diana, Princess of Wales was last night priced at £6,000 after the restaurant's top table went under the hammer.
Once one of the most difficult places to pass through in London, The Ivy's oak front door fetched £27,500.
Every item listed for sale at the Sotheby's auction was bought, with Bridget Riley's The Ivy Painting becoming the top lot of the night - selling at £413,000.
Turner Prize winner Sir Howard Hodgkin was among four artists who saw their personal auction records smashed, after his work, Ivy, was snapped up for £106,000.
The so-called "white glove" sell out will see profits go to the Child Bereavement UK.
Director of The Ivy Fernando Peire said: "I am thrilled that through The Ivy's sale of art and artefacts we were able to raise such a significant sum to benefit Child Bereavement UK. On the brink of the restaurant's centenary, the extraordinary interest raised by the Sotheby's auction underscores the public's enormous affection for The Ivy and its private dining room.
"We very much hope that the items sold tonight will become talking points in the homes for which they are destined - for at least another hundred years."