From seaside haven to seafood business
Built by a sea captain and refurbished by his great-grandson, Lismaura is priced at €1.75m
A former courtyard now works as a “library” with a striking cast-iron spiral staircase in the corner leading upwards to the master suite, flanked by two original arched interior windows. These were sourced in Wilson’s salvage yard outside Newry, along with all new doors and handles.
Off this room is the kitchen handcrafted by a local carpenter, who also did the wood panelled storage and built-in wardrobes throughout the house. Charlotte wanted to achieve a “shabby chic” country feel in the newer part and as a result went for a free-standing design with varying surface levels.
A huge double electric and gas Aga at the heart of the kitchen, and an original Belfast sink rescued from a corner of the family farm, achieve the country feel, while a pulley lamp over the huge granite-topped island and underfloor heating give a modern feel.
Steps lead up to an open-plan dining-living space that runs the width of the house and takes in views of the garden and the sea beyond, with French windows leading on to a deck. The bright living area retains the “big house” feel with 12ft- high ceilings, a huge sandstone fireplace with a log burner at its centre, and a baby grand piano in the corner.
Off this is a wood-panelled TV room ideal for growing kids who want their own playroom and later hangout space. With its own door, it leads out to the all-weather tennis court.
For the garden, the Lyons – who are nothing if not up for it – handed over the design to landscaper Diarmuid Gavin for one of his TV series designs. The benefits of the beachfront garden here come with the downside of constant exposure to bracing sea winds. To counter this Gavin came up with a sunken barbecue and dining area, which Charlotte says has accommodated up to 60 people. A sheltered pavilion and large decked area complete the seaside idyll.
So why leave? Jimmy and Charlotte opened Matt the Thresher seafood restaurant on Dublin’s Pembroke Street in 2010, and since then the business has grown steadily (US first lady Michelle Obama dined there last year) and the boys have settled into their city school. Though they are sad to move on, they have created a fine family home for the next occupants.