'Blue space' therapy in Sutton
Views over Dublin Bay are in abundance, even from the bathroom
It was Hippocrates who first used the word 'thalassotherapy' to describe the healing effects of salt water, which is thought to improve the function of the immune and circulatory systems, the skin and general well-being.
It seems as if this summer the Irish population has taken to sea-swimming with a vengeance; everywhere you look near the coast there are people scurrying to and from the beach with towels rolled up under their arms, pre- or post-'fix', and the roads near the coast are jammed with cars looking for somewhere to park.
Whatever about actually swimming in the sea, research from American analysing data collected in New Zealand shows that there are health benefits to be gained just from living by the sea. This is said to boost mental health and generally make people happier and more relaxed. Sea air has been shown to promote good sleep, thanks to its charge of healthy negative ions that accelerate the ability to absorb oxygen.
If you are lucky enough to have sea views from your house - something that's known as 'blue space' - then that's even better; views of green space apparently didn't have the same positive impact on the mental health and well-being of the cohort of people whose data contributed to the research.
Alta is a six-bedroom detached house on half an acre of garden in Sutton with panoramic views over the blue space that is Dublin Bay, and it's close enough to the sea that anyone living here must exist in a state of continuous bliss, their lungs filled with all that sea air.
Alta was completely remodelled in 2005 and has 3,143 sq ft of living space, with a reasonable BER of C2.
Understandably, given the views from the back of the property, the focus of the living space is to the rear, with the bedrooms to the front. Five of the six - three of which are doubles, with one single and another currently used as a study - are on the ground floor, while the main bedroom suite is upstairs, positioned to make the most of that life-enhancing panorama. There is a magnificent modern bathroom, with the bath positioned beside a large window that affords more of those spectacular views, as well as a large walk-in wardrobe. In total, the house has four bathrooms.
The main reception hall leads through to a large open-plan kitchen/dining/family room with direct access out to the decked patio area. The adjacent sitting room also has doors out to the deck. The kitchen features a Stanley solid-fuel stove, and has fitted wall and floor units, a sliding pantry press, wall-mounted oven, five-ring gas hob, integrated fridge-freezer and integrated dishwasher. The vibrant turquoise island is fitted with a Corian worktop.
One of the six bedrooms is in a self-contained one-bedroom apartment to the side of the house, which has a separate entrance. This could be re-incorporated into the main body of the house without difficulty, but could also serve as handy accommodation for an au pair, granny or guests as it has a kitchen, living room and bathroom.
Most of the gardens are in immaculate lawn to the rear of the house and face south-west ensuring that whenever there is sun to be had, the patio area to the back of the house will get it. Most Irish families have eaten outside more this year than in the last five, and if that's a pattern that's set to continue thanks to climate change then there's a sense that we might as well make the most of it.
The front garden, meanwhile, is also laid in lawn surrounded by mature plants and trees throughout. There's a dual entrance and plenty of off-street parking.
Sutton lies 12km to the north of Dublin city, at the foot of Howth Head. It's an area known for its attractive combination of good amenities and relative tranquillity, located within easy reach of the city centre thanks to being on the DART line and 31 bus route. Dublin Airport, the M50 and M1 are all within easy reach. There are secret beaches dotted all along the coast here, ideal for getting away from the summer crowds.
While Sutton Cross has good shopping thanks to a flagship branch of SuperValu and a lovely little café/deli, Minetta, with a retro Italian/New York feel that's unique in Dublin, Howth has more in the way of cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as a farmers' market. Amongst the best of the plethora of fish and seafood restaurants in the village are Octopussy and The Oar House.
Local schools include the Church of Ireland Burrow National School, St. Fintan's High School and the fee-paying Sutton Park, while the local sailing and tennis clubs have active junior programmes.
St Fintan's Road, Sutton, Dublin 13
Asking price: €1.65m
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald Sutton, (01) 839 4022