Down to the Woods today
This five-bed South Dublin home is the lap of family-friendly luxury
One of the main reasons that families want to live in Booterstown and Blackrock is because the choice of schools in the area is unrivalled by that in any other Dublin suburb - although perhaps Dublin 6 gives it a good run for its money.
Prospective purchasers of 1 Hampton Park, a substantial detached house on a corner site in St Helen's Wood, are likely to be families with children of school-going age, and they'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which of the local educational establishments is best suited to their offspring.
For the Irish speakers, Coláiste Eoin and Coláiste Íosagáin (which are both non-fee-paying and always figure very high up on those league tables of Leaving Cert results) will be top of the list. For the cosmopolitan set, it's got to be the mixed St Andrew's, which offers the International Baccalaureate and has a student population from many different countries. And for the rugby crowd, well, there really isn't anywhere better than Blackrock College, although the school must still be smarting from its defeat at the hands and boots of Belvedere College in the Leinster Senior Cup in March.
For younger children, there are also plenty of crèches, Montessoris and national schools in the area, and University College Dublin is just up the road, with the Smurfit Business School also close by on Carysfort Avenue.
1 Hampton Park has 2540 sq ft, of living space, and an additional 323 sq ft in the detached double garage, which can be used for storage, as there is already plenty of parking to the front of the house.
Given the propensity of adult children to remain in the family home far longer than they should these days, the amount of parking space is probably just as well - there's room for a car to go with each one of the five bedrooms in the house. The house sits on a sheltered site in a secluded cul-de-sac with a private southwest-facing rear garden.
Built in the early 1990s, No. 1 is part of the original St Helen's development, which has matured nicely and is now the very essence of the leafiness for which this area is known.
The house is practical and comfortable, with every room in daily use, and decorated in a contemporary style that will have broad appeal. Windows on either side of the front door make the entrance hall a bright space. The sitting room has a large feature fireplace with gas inset and ornate marble hearth. Double frosted glass sliding doors link the sitting room with the family room behind.
The bay-windowed formal dining room lies to the right of the entrance hall and is currently used as an entertainment/games room, in keeping with the needs of the current owners.
On the ground floor to the front of the house, there is also a bright study with custom cabinetry and bookcases. The family room is open-plan, and adjacent to the dining area and kitchen, which has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors overlooking the garden. This is clearly the heart of the home, the space light and bright thanks to Velux roof windows.
An island unit with breakfast bar is both smart and practical, housing the stainless steel sink with mixer taps, wine cooler and Fisher & Paykel twin-drawer dishwasher. A number of appliances, including the Neff five-ring gas hob, stainless steel Neff extractor, two Neff single ovens and microwave, and Siemens plate warmer, are all included in the sale. A separate utility room is kitted out with a Siemens washer and dryer and integrated freezer, and there's a door to the side entrance.
Upstairs, there are five double bedrooms. The master bedroom overlooks the front garden and has enough closet space to satisfy even the most ardent of clothes hoarders. The ensuite has 'his and hers' wash-hand basins and a bath with an integrated Mira shower. There is also a family bathroom.
Outside, the garden has a patio area, built-in barbecue and raised beds planted with mature shrubs and flowers.
Public transport in the area is good, with Booterstown Dart station a brisk five-minute walk away and several bus routes along both the Rock Road and the N11.
In terms of shopping centres, both Blackrock and Stillorgan are close by, the latter currently undergoing a major renovation.
Blackrock is home to Ireland's newest Michelin-starred restaurant, Heron & Grey, although the house's new owners will be doing well to secure a booking there any time soon - the tiny 22-seater is currently booked out many months ahead.
Just as well that Italian favourite Dunne & Crescenzi and El Celler, a Spanish tapas restaurant, are there to step into the breach.
1 Hampton Park
St Helen's Wood, Booterstown Ave, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.795m
Agent: Janet Carroll 087 4002020/ 01 288 2020