Enchanting villa a double delight
Landore Hall, Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6: €2.95m
The talk these days may be mainly of house price inflation, and shortage of supply, but at the upper end of the market, the air is thinner.
The number of purchasers with the resources to stump up for a property costing anything over €1.5-€2m is limited. As a result properties at this level tend to take longer to sell than a typical three- or four-bedroom semi-detached family home. Buyers lucky enough to have deep pockets have plenty of choice.
Landore Hall first came to the market in May last year priced at an eye-watering €3.45m, but has since had a couple of price reductions, the most recent a whopping €300,000, and the asking price is now a more realistic €2.95m.
This latest price drop seems to have sparked renewed interest in Landore Hall, judging by the number of parties visiting one morning last week.
Landore Hall is tucked away behind tall electric gates towards the back of a small development of smart town houses off Orwell Road in Rathgar, one of Dublin's most expensive residential areas.
The development is called Landore, and previous owners of Landore Hall sold off part of the original grounds to facilitate its construction in the 1990s.
In fact, Landore Hall itself is not one house, but two, as there is a detached two-bedroom coach house with 92sqm of living space on the far side of the property from the shared entrance. The conversion of the original coach house was done less than a decade ago, and it now has a kitchen, open-plan living / dining room and bedroom with en suite shower room on the ground floor, with another bedroom and bathroom upstairs. It appears to be in excellent condition and makes Landore House an interesting proposition for anyone in the market for a property to facilitate multi-generational living - the coach house would be ideal either for granny or for adult children - or with a need for au pair or other staff accommodation.
Alternatively, the coach house could be rented out to provide an income. The two houses share an entrance, and there is ample parking for at least four or five cars.
But back to the main house, which is a handsome Victorian villa dating from the mid-19th century and has 465sqm of living space arranged over two floors. The current owners undertook a lavish restoration of the house, and it is clear that they dug deep - there is no evidence of stinting.
A flight of granite steps leads to the front door, surmounted by a fine fanlight, and on into the marble-floored porch and a long and elegant entrance hall that runs the full depth of the house.
To the left of the hall is a pair of formal interconnecting reception rooms, which are currently both used as drawing rooms. These have a host of original period features including sash windows and shutters, marble fireplaces, detailed cornicing, coving and centre roses, as well as elaborate Marie Antoinette-style chandeliers.
To the right of the hall at the front is a bedroom with fitted wardrobes currently used as a dressing room, and the master bedroom with an en suite shower room. There is also a separate bathroom on this floor.
To the rear of the house on the entrance level is one of two kitchens in the house, from which there are steps to a sunken games room, currently dominated by a full-size snooker table.
As there is another kitchen downstairs, these two rooms taken together are really an entertainment suite and it doesn't appear that much in the way of cooking goes on in the Clive Christian Alpha Range kitchen (although it does have an integrated Gaggenau oven and hob, but no dishwasher). It was apparently inspired by the Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut, which starred Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. No matter about dirty dishes, though, when there are two integrated Sub Zero fridges, and a breakfast bar with handy champagne sink.
Downstairs, on the ground floor, is the real kitchen, also by Clive Christian, with fitted cream units, a big black Aga with an additional gas modular unit, and integrated Neff appliances. This kitchen does have a dishwasher, and there is a separate utility room.
At this level there are also the family living room and a large dining room that looks out onto the back garden. There are two further en suite bedrooms and a fifth bedroom that doubles as a study, as well as a further bathroom. As much of the garden was given over to development, what remains is not large, and could be improved with landscaping. A spacious storage shed that lies behind the coach house could be re-purposed as a studio or workspace.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 490 7433
Viewing: By appointment