16 FEBRUARY 1991, Page 22

Polly's folly • • EVERYTHING must go from 42 Berkeley

Square, where Polly Peck set up its head office, regardless of cost or taste. The house is crammed from cellar to roof with lavish purchases — giltwood torcheres in the boardroom, gross chandeliers, wall-to- wall tapestries, a Turner or two, and period furniture from the stately dealers of Bond Street which must soon be on its way back. The auction is at Phillips on Tues- day. Polly's palaz_zo bears out one of the oldest rules of all: building an ostentatious head office is a sure sign of trouble in store. Professor Parkinson applied this to New Delhi and St Peter's. I would add Lloyd's of London, Commercial Union, P&O and, I expect, the £60 million pad now on order for Sir Richard Attenborough as chairman of Channel 4. I found my first and last visit oppressive, but if you like the Polly style, go along to the sale — and see whether the dealerse will maintain, as buyers, the fabulous prices they got when they were selling.