Traditional elegance in Dalkey for €2.5m

Four-bedroom detached house with sea views is close to the beach, village and Dart

Coliemore Road winds out of Dalkey village, dipping down to the pretty harbour, before finishing up at Sorrento Terrace. With views across the sea to Dalkey Island and beyond, it is unspoilt, almost picture-postcard perfect.

Cnoc Aluinn is on the village side, "There's not even a hill between us", says Tara Hammond, whose mother is selling the house as the family, having grown up here, have now moved on.

We're sitting in the kitchen, drinking tea, and I'm thinking, 'What a perfect spot it is', while admiring the slate tableware, which turns out to be from Hammond's company, Slated. It complements the atmosphere of the house: traditional elegance, but with a twist.

“It’s a lovely family home,” she says. “There’s the peace and tranquillity, but then you have the Dart, the beach, the village.”

Hammond’s father bought the house as a restoration project in 1990 from Ernest Gébler, writer and husband of Edna O’Brien, who had lived with him for a period.

Improvisational streak

Gébler had an improvisational streak, and Hammond shows me photographs of the hole-in-the-ceiling and ladder arrangement he had constructed between the kitchen and drawing room above. Restoring the house was “a labour of love for Dad,” says Hammond. “He was here till all hours working on it.”

The results are a cosy but elegant, and very charming home, where the period features (the original house was built in 1843) marry well with contemporary conveniences, such as the bespoke cherrywood kitchen, and the pair of wooden French windows that lead from the drawing room to the sunny garden. There are four bedrooms, one of which is an en suite, with three on the upper floor, and one at garden level below. The family bathroom is on the lower level, and there is a separate WC above.

You also get a sun room, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, store room, garage and utility room. The store was once the pantry, and there’s a lovely old Belfast sink, and hooks and beams to prove it.

“There’s no room that’s never not used,” says Hammond, moving through the sun room which connects to the kitchen to present the garden where the original brick and cobbled paths survive and where the secluded patio is a perfect suntrap.

The house is on a third of an acre, and is for sale with Savills for €2.5 million. The hole in the kitchen ceiling is long gone, and if you want to bring your tea up from the kitchen to enjoy a cup while gazing through the tall windows and out to sea, there's a very nice wooden staircase to use instead.