Monday 24 October 2016

Interior designer's 100-year-old villa in Kerry can be yours for €390k

This 100-year-old villa has been tastefully refurbished

Alison Gill

Published 01/07/2016 | 02:30

The turn-of-the-century villa sits on an elevated site.
The turn-of-the-century villa sits on an elevated site.

For interior designer Breda Clifford, who has undertaken a number of refurbishments over the years, Golden Pond Lodge has been her longest running project yet. She bought the property 25 years ago as a holiday home, and has been working on it continuously ever since. Finally, it's at the point where there's nothing left to tweak and Breda is itching to get to work on something else.

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"I love projects and this is completely finished," says Breda, who adds that it's not easy to walk away. "I absolutely adore the house; it's to die for. I also can't believe I'm moving on when all of the new roads are finally complete. I can now get from Dublin to Killorglin in just over three hours. When we first bought it, it took about five hours to get there!"

The turn-of-the-century villa was in a very sorry state when Breda took it on all those years ago. Since then the property has been refurbished from top to toe and also modernised but the designer was careful to keep the old charm of the house, and retained features like the marble fireplace in the drawing room and a slate fireplace in the kitchen/living area.

In more recent years, the house has been rented out as a luxury holiday rental. It's ready to sell as a holiday home or indeed as an ongoing rental proposition, as it comes complete with its own website and Facebook page already set up and running as well as headed paper and postcards. "There's a housekeeper and a gardener, that I'm sure would be delighted to stay on at the house. It would be great for an overseas buyer because it's ready to go. There is even a chef who comes to the house."

Interior designer Breda Clifford has spent 25 years refurbishing Golden Pond Lodge.
Interior designer Breda Clifford has spent 25 years refurbishing Golden Pond Lodge.
The conservatory.
The drawing room's antique marble fireplace.
The entrance hall.
The open-plan kitchen.

Golden Pond Lodge is a 100-year-old villa that sits on an elevated site just outside Killorglin village, renowned for its annual Puck Fair. On top of this, all furniture, fixtures and fittings are staying put for a new owner to enjoy including a range of antique furniture, paintings, and even bed linen and towels.

At 1,600 sq ft, it would make a very comfortable holiday home indeed. You enter into the hall with its stone tiled floor and hand-painted wall mural. From here you are led into an open-plan kitchen/family room. This also has a stone tiled floor, exposed oak beams and a slate fireplace with steel surround. The kitchen units are country-style and blend well with the Aga and Belfast sink.

The drawing room is very bright with double-aspect windows. There is an antique marble fireplace, wood-panelled walls and wool carpet in this comfortable room. There is a conservatory off the drawing room with a hardwood floor and stone fireplace.

The two double bedrooms on this level have wood-panelled walls, wool carpets, fitted wardrobes and bespoke plantation shutters. One of the rooms has a hand-carved oak wood fireplace with an electric coal-effect fire. The family bathroom is tiled with a bath and shower.

Upstairs there is a twin bedroom and a bathroom with a double walk-in shower.

The house sits on half an acre. The south-facing back garden is large enough to land a helicopter on: "It's been put to the test," says Breda. The grounds were professionally landscaped, with a belt of mature trees ensuring a good degree of privacy. There is a large patio with barbecue area - ideal for entertaining a crowd.

Annadale Road is a short walk in to Killorglin which is on the Wild Atlantic Way and is the first stop on the Ring of Kerry. The tourist town of Killarney is a 20-minute drive away and Kerry Airport is about half an hour away. The coast and many of the county's better beaches are also within reach. Killorglin itself has plenty of amenities, and supermarkets like Supervalu, Aldi and Eurospar. A drive to Dublin city centre takes about three-and-a-half hours.

Killorglin is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. This world-famous drive takes you around the Iveragh Peninsula through the charming towns of Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare and Killarney. The renowned Rossbeigh beach is only about 15km away and is ideal for swimming, windsurfing, horse trekking and sailing.

The open-plan kitchen.
The open-plan kitchen.
Interior designer Breda Clifford has spent 25 years refurbishing Golden Pond Lodge.
The conservatory.
The drawing room's antique marble fireplace.
The entrance hall.

Anglers come from all over the world to fish on the River Laune, which is straight across the road from the property. It is an excellent salmon river and is also known for its brown trout. A map of the river showing locations of individual fisheries is issued to visitors when they buy a permit.

Golfers have the Dooks Links Course just down the road, and Waterville, Ballybunion and Tralee golf courses all within an hour's drive.

There is a huge variety of walking routes in the area, from quiet country strolls to longer coastal walks. The more experienced hikers might like to take on the challenge of a trek up Carrauntuohill, Ireland's highest mountain.

If you feel in need of some pampering after all of the exertion, Hotel Europe is only 15 minutes away on the road to Killarney, and has an award-winning ESPA spa with lots of day packages on offer.

In August the famous Puck Fair brings in tourists from far and wide for craic and music, though the keynote spectacle may not appeal to all. It's the tradition to capture a wild mountain goat, parade it around the town and leave it on a 60ft raised stand for three days and three nights, while the fair takes place.

Activists have been calling for the goat to be taken out of the celebrations for the last few years, as they fear it is too stressful for the animal. When it comes to eating and drinking you are spoilt for choice in Killorglin.

The Bianconi Seafood Restaurant has been around for 30 years and just seems to get better with time. At Nick's Gastro Bar and Restaurant you can pop in for the bar menu or relax over the a la carte dinner. Sol y Sombra Tapas bar is set in a former church in the town and has an open kitchen, great wine list and an interesting 'tapas fusion' menu - that's traditional Spanish tapas with local Irish ingredients.

For lunch, Jack's Bakery is the place to go, with a fine selection of salads, sandwiches and cakes.

You'll never be stuck for a bar stool in Killorglin, with over 10 pubs to choose from.

During the Celtic Tiger years, Germans were snapping up property all over Kerry, not giving the Irish a chance to make an offer.

As things pick up, more wealthy Dubs are buying second homes in Killorglin and enjoying the different pace of life in this small but buzzy town. Although it's 20 minutes from Killarney, it's not overrun with tourists because there is no hotel in the village. This means that holiday home owners can feel more part of the community and not just be mistaken for day trippers.

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