City-centre Victorian with interior flourish
35 Lombard Street West, Dublin 8: €595,000
The last time 35 Lombard Street West was on the market was in 2011. Back then, it sold for €340,000, having originally been priced at €425,000. The buyers were Prunella Hanbury and Michael Parsons, the younger son of the Earl and Countess of Rosse, who live at Birr Castle in Co Offaly.
Prunella is an interior decorator, and she set about waving her magic wand over the house to charming effect, retaining the period feel yet adding a modern sensibility. Now, though, the couple and their young daughter, Bea, have moved to London for work reasons and the house is on the market again. Within the last couple of months the property was sale agreed at €610,000, but that fell through.
"I loved the house as soon as I saw it," says Prunella. "It was the perfect size for us, and I loved the layout and the fact that it hadn't been modernised, or mucked-about with. It's a lovely street too, and because all the houses in the area are low, there's lots of light."
With 90 sqm of living space, No 35 is ideal for a couple or small family. To the front, there is a small railed garden laid out in gravel and period tiles, bounded by cast iron railings. Inside, the entrance hall has proportions that are grander than one would expect in a house of this size, with 3.7m high ceilings, original cornicing and ceiling rose. The dining room is to the right and has solid pitch pine floors and a pretty cast iron fire surround.
From the entrance hall the staircase leads up to two of the three bedrooms, and down to the kitchen, third bedroom and bathroom. The upstairs landing is bright thanks to a roof light, and the two bedrooms - one double, one single - both look out over the back garden. Downstairs, the kitchen/breakfast room has hand-crafted units, a smart Fisher & Paykel range that is included in the sale, along with all the other appliances, and French doors out to the small garden, which has gated pedestrian access.
The third bedroom also has French doors out to the garden. The bathroom is spacious and luxurious, with a rainwater shower over the double-ended bath, and a vanity unit with marble counter tops.
Prunella says they were very sorry to leave the house, especially as they have such happy memories of their daughter being born there.
"We were lucky to fall within the catchment area of the domino mid-wife scheme; we have a huge hot water tank and the mid-wives couldn't believe that we had constant hot water all through the delivery!"
Portobello is one of the most desirable residential enclaves of the city these days. No wonder - Grafton Street is just 15 minutes' walk away - and by a happy accident it has become the area in which the most exciting of the capital's many new restaurants have located. Rents for city-centre restaurants have soared in the past few years, and so most of the new leases in and around South William Street and close to Grafton Street and St Stephen's Green go to chains and well-established restaurant operators. Independent restaurants, many owned by chefs venturing out on their own for the first time, have migrated into Dublin 8, where rents are cheaper.
The Fumbally, Gaillot & Grey, and Pupp, where all the city's most sociable canines go for doggy beers, are all close by on Clanbrassil Street, while at Leonard's Corner there's Bastible, where chef Barry Fitzgerald has a big hit on his hands. Prunella and Michael's favourite, Bibi's, is less than a 100 metres from the house and known to serve a mighty fine brunch.
Size: 90 sqm
Agent: Hunters (01) 275 1640
Viewing: By appointment