Between the city and the sea: An unfinished 'shell' transformed into this luxurious family home
An unfinished 'shell' transformed into this luxurious family home, writes Katy McGuinness
Delgany is one of those best-of-both-worlds places. It's close enough to the motorway and the DART to be within commuting distance of the capital, and with enough in the way of shops and amenities that it doesn't feel remote or isolated, yet it also comes with a bucolic Wicklow sea proximate environment that makes for wonderful summer weekends.
The first phase of the nine-house Glenair Manor development was launched in September 2004, with the houses - there are three different styles - priced at between €1.65m and €1.7m.
Things did not go wholly according to plan, however, for NAMA developer and Northern Ireland bankrupt, Alastair Jackson and his company, Eassda Ireland Limited, and there were some delays in completing the project, with one disgruntled purchaser bringing court proceedings against him.
In 2012, the incomplete Number 8 was on the market with a guide price of €400,000 and the current owners bought what the selling agents described as "effectively a shell, a step up from a site" in 2014 for €510,000. They set about transforming that 'shell' into this super-luxurious family home. They are now down-sizing because their children have left home.
Number 8 is certainly a house for a large family, sitting behind electric gates and with 5,026 sq ft of living space and no fewer than five large bedrooms, each with a lavish bathroom or shower room en-suite.
The finishes throughout - the carpets on the stairs and in the bedrooms, the walnut timber flooring in the main reception rooms and the Andrew Ryan kitchen - are top-notch, and the décor palette uses soft, neutral tones that are stylish and sophisticated.
The double-height hallway is overlooked by a galleried landing and leads to five generous reception rooms - drawing room, dining room, family room, study and conservatory - which flow together nicely and are geared towards entertaining yet work equally well for everyday family living.
Andrew Ryan is one of those names that crops up whenever anyone talks about smart kitchens and here the bespoke solid beech in-frame handcrafted cabinetry is painted in Little Greene's subtle French Grey, with a black Aga with an antique mirrored back taking pride of place alongside a range of integrated appliances. The separate utility room lies between the kitchen and the dining room, and there is a handy guest lavatory.
Outside, there's a detached double garage and the gardens - about two-thirds of an acre in total, enough for fun and play but not too much to be overwhelming - are nicely landscaped.
For anyone interested in food, Delgany is a dream village. There's the Firehouse Bakery for one thing, where Patrick Ryan sells his excellent artisan breads and decadent doughnuts; it's so popular that there are often queues out the door. (If you want to avoid the wait, you can pick up Firehouse bread in SuperValu in Greystones.) Locals says that The Pigeon House restaurant is good value and has been upping its game consistently since it opened, while The Delgany Grocer is as fine a local food store as one could hope for, with plenty of fresh herbs and organic Irish vegetables. Farrelly's Butcher stocks organic beef and lamb from Philip Emmet who farms at Altidore Castle in nearby Kilpedder. Philip is a direct descendant of Thomas Emmet, brother of the Irish patriot, Robert Emmet.
The best coffee in Delgany is to be found at the Bear Paw deli, where Ballymaloe graduate Claire O'Brien dishes up fresh, vibrant salads and tasty sambos to take away, and provides the food for the smartest local gatherings. There's a Bear Paw café down the road in Greystones too, which gives the Happy Pear a run for its money. Some locals sniff that the Flynn brothers' extraordinary popularity means that Greystones is overrun by tourists, walkers and Happy Pear groupies at the weekend, making parking difficult, but business owners in the town are no doubt delighted.
Other good places to eat in Greystones are Daata and Chakra, both serving Indian food, Buoys Kitchen and Three Qs, while La Touche Wines is a relaxed and friendly gathering place. Sunil Ghai's Tiffin, which opened last year, is everyone's favourite takeaway.
There is plenty of equestrian activity in and around Delgany, with the local pony clubs gearing up for a summer of fun, and the sailing and tennis clubs in Greystones putting together summer programmes to keep children and teenagers occupied during the long school holidays.
For golfers, the Charlesland course is just down the road, while the Greystones Yoga Studio and SoBe at the South Beach Pavilion keep locals flexible with yoga and pilates.
Delgany has its own national school and there is a good choice of secondary schools in the area, including St David's in Greystones, St Gerard's, and the new North Wicklow Educate Together in Bray.
8 Glenair Manor
Delgany, Co Wicklow
Asking price: €1,395,000
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, (01) 2874005