Friday 4 December 2009

Dorma Luxury Bedding & Homewares - Fit for a Queen (literally !)

"At Dorma we are incredibly proud of our reputation for producing Great British bedlinen of top drawer quality since 1921. So it is no surprise that we still set our standards above the industry benchmark for quality and design. Our unique blend of heritage and innovation harmoniously blends traditional luxury with modern materials to create quality that delivers the comfort, ease and longevity you demand for your modern lifestyle." Oooh it sounds very posh already.

"We choose sumptuous materials like cotton; Egyptian, satin & sateen, quilted damask and Hungarian goose down. You can feel the difference every time you turn down your bed, open your curtains or snuggle down to relax after a busy day." Just from looking at the pictures on the website, you can actually see how soft, fluffy and high quality the products are. Just glancing at the gorgeously fluffy towels made me almost want to reach out and stroke my screen ! And what amazed me was the price - "from £1.49" !! Admittedly, that's for a face cloth but even a bath sheet, the biggest size available, is only £19.99 in the Dorma Pima collection, so that's no more expensive that the decidedly-lower quality ones I recently bought from a well-known online catalogue store ! I'm gutted - for the same price, I could have bought these ones and showed off about using the same supplier as the Queen !

No, I haven't gone mad ! "We are able to count Her Majesty the Queen amongst our most satisfied and discerning customers having granted Dorma two prestigious royal warrants." Dorma's first Royal Warrant was awarded for services to the Queen in 1961, a second Royal Warrant was awarded for supply of bed and table linen to the Prince of Wales, and in 1992 a Royal Warrant was also awarded for the Queen Mother. Wow, they must be good then !

Dorma may be famous for their bedlinen, which does look incredibly luxurious and palatial (I can see why the Queen likes it !), but they also sell a whole host of other homewares, from towels, as I mentioned, to curtains, table linen and even gorgeous-sounding room fragrances : Orange & Cedarwood; Rose, Freesia & Lily; Rosemary & Bergamot; and Cinnamon and Clove which sounds perfect for setting the Christmas mood.

I was sent a boudoir cushion for review and I am very impressed with the quality. It's a plain off-white cushion, which sounds very boring, but the detail makes it anything but. The central panel has a detailed pattern in white that shows up in the light against the silky cream thread - the pattern is reminiscent of the red flock wallpaper that was popular in the 1970's, but in a more upmarket version ! The diamond shapes oversewn on the panel, like quilting, add texture, as do the curly loops along the edges of the central panel. It's a good example of what they mean on the home decoration TV shows when they tell you that there are several shades of black or white that you can overlay for added depth and interest - I didn't really know what they meant, but I do now !

The cushion is also lovely and soft, but firm enough to keep its shape, which is another sign of its high quality. The main cover is 100% cotton, the filling is 100% polyester, and the jacquard (which sounds more impressive than the term "central panel" that I've been using up until now !) is 55% polyester and 45% cotton. This is proof that polyester doesn't have to look and feel cheap and nasty !

The wording of the online description leaves you in no doubt that you are buying luxury goods. "This Belvoir Cream Collection Cushion is designed by Dorma. Belvoir is a classically timeless damask jacquard, finely detailed scalloped braid styling and a deep top border add a glamorous decadence to the cushion and create a real love affair with luxury. Resplendent with its own accessories Belvoir is certain to add finesse and elegance to any bedroom." But once again, I was pleasantly surprised by the low price - £30 for a cushion of this quality seems very reasonable to me.

That would be my one piece of advice - don't be put off by all the mentions of the Royal Family and luxury goods. I thought the products would be well out of my price range but amazingly, they aren't much more expensive than similar products you'd find on the high street or in online catalogue stores. The site is really easy to navigate around, the prices are all clearly marked so go and have a look - I'm sure you'll be as surprised as I was ! Go on, treat yourself to a bit of luxury - and tell all your friends you shop at the same places as the Queen !!
star rating : 5/5

RRP : for the boudoir cushion, £30

Some ranges of Dorma products are also available at selected Debenhams stores.

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