The Story of Home: A taste of the good life
In the third instalment of the Ulster Bank Story of Home series we journey to Ramelton in Co Donegal to Pauline Sugrue’s home, a former bank and also the Wild Garlic Table cookery school
The table in Pauline Sugrue’s kitchen, in the picturesque heritage town of Ramelton, Co Donegal, is the true heart of her home. Made from the rafters of an old hospital in Queensland, Australia, they bought it around 30 years ago. It served as their family table for 20 years in Australia, and now students who attend Sugrue’s cookery school in Donegal, Wild Garlic Table, eat from it, too.
Sugrue and her husband Michael are both originally from Galway and moved to Sydney in 1989. They decided to return to Ireland with their four sons in 2009.
The couple always had a fondness for old houses and lived in a Victorian home in Sydney, and Sugrue originally grew up in a Georgian farmhouse. Her husband grew up in banks - his father was a bank manager - and lived in many old bank houses, so the couple knew they wanted an older home.
This is a remarkable house with lots of interesting and beautiful features. There are two stunning stained-glass windows that face the sun on the original staircase, and another talking point is the ground floor bathroom where its claim to fame is that De Valera actually sat on the toilet.
“Creating a home is about creating a space that you enjoy being in, that you feel loved and welcome in. Also, for me, it’s a very nurturing place as I do cookery classes from here and also feed my family from here. For me, it’s all about being safe, fed and loved,” she said.
She opened Wild Garlic Table in 2017. Her classes are small and demonstration style, where she cooks four or five dishes over three hours, trying some dishes along the way, then everyone eats the main meal together.
She knew her stunning, bright kitchen with tall ceilings, and her beloved table, was the perfect place to run the school from.
One of Sugrue’s most cherished places in her home is their magnificent back garden, where they have a small vegetable garden, flower gardens and a wild woodland. “We grow most of our ingredients in the garden. Tomatoes, peas, lettuces, scallions and lots of herbs. The garden brings us great joy and comfort. It is continuous work but we love it.
“Home, for me, is living in this lovely space that we have here. Cooking, feeding my family, feeling loved, warm and also creating a great welcome.”
About The Story of Home
The Story of Home is a six-part monthly print, video and online editorial campaign that explores the idea of home through the eyes of creative people who have found their dream place to live.
We are all writing our own Story of Home and to help inspire you we will travel around Ireland over the next six months to hear stories from a range of creative individuals on their own Story of Home.
For inspiration we’ve turned to a group of people who have managed to find a home that reflects their own personality and lets them live the life they dreamed of.
This is the third series of this award-winning campaign, again supported by Ulster Bank, which won the 2018 Global Media Award for best execution of native content at the International News Media Association.
That win reflects the global interest in these very local stories, reflecting the importance of the Story of Home to all.
Ulster Bank is also helping to write that story, working with customers all over Ireland: “One of the first major steps in creating your own Story of Home is getting a mortgage,” explains Susan Hogan, a mobile mortgage manager with Ulster Bank.
"In this series, we want to help with that and to help people consider the role of their homes at the very earliest stage so they can create a home that reflects their own story perfectly."
“We also want to take away as much of the stress from the mortgage process as we can, so we’re available to meet people at a time and place where they feel totally at ease,” she says.
“My role is to make the process as easy as possible and not one that is just about form-filling. We’re here to help. Building your own Story of Home has never been simpler.”
For more, see ulsterbank.ie
Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
The editorial team behind The Story of Home
Series editor: Gary Quinn
Series videographer: Ana Conlon
Photographer: Declan Devlin