Peek Inside: This mansion's whopping master bedroom runs the full depth of the house
Set on a private and secluded site within easy reach of the city, writes Katy McGuinness
Barna, Co Galway
Asking price: €1.85m
Agent: Mullery Auctioneers, (091) 567275
Halfway between Salthill and Barna, adjacent to Barna Woods and Silverstrand beach, a discreet avenue leads to an enclave of just five detached homes, each standing on its own private site.
One of these sold in July for €2m, according to the Property Price Register. That was an older property, built around 1995. Barna Gardens is the latest house to go on the market in this enclave and this property dates from 2009. The current vendors are the original owners, and are now downsizing.
A set of electric gates with an intercom system open onto a sweeping gravel driveway that leads to a parking area at the front of the house. Either side of the driveway there are lawns, maturing trees, shrubs and flowerbeds.
Barna Gardens is a substantial house, with 4,200 sq ft of living space and an additional 1,300 sq ft of attic rooms. It stands on an acre of landscaped gardens, and there's a wooded area with a picturesque stream running through it.
The setting is private and secluded, yet within easy reach of Galway City, and the current owners have made the most of the outdoor space by installing vegetable beds as well as manicured lawns. Everyone wants to be able to grow at least some of their food these days, even if it's just a few herbs and salad leaves, and the new owners of Barna Gardens have plenty of room to do that and more.
Limestone steps lead to the front door, which opens into an entrance lobby tiled in Travertine. Glazed doors lead to the grand entrance hall, which has high ceilings, ceiling coving and a fireplace with a basket gas fire on one side and a curved staircase on the other side.
To the right of the hall is the sitting room, with a distinctive herringbone timber floor, gas fireplace and timber wall panelling. The sitting room opens directly onto the kitchen/ dining room.
The solid wood kitchen was made especially for the house and features Silestone worktops, a large central island unit with sink, a Lacanche range and a pantry. Pantries are close to the top of every upper echelon house-hunter's wish list these days.
A set of doors leads directly from the kitchen out to the rear garden. Off the kitchen is a large utility room and guest lavatory, and there is also a shower room on the ground floor - ideal for muddy children coming in from sports practice.
On the opposite side of the hall to the sitting room is the living room to the front and a family room to the rear, with folding double doors connecting the two. The living room has fine proportions, walnut floors, a basket gas fire and ceiling coving and centrepiece, while the family room has direct access to the rear garden.
Upstairs, a very large landing area is almost another living room; it has views over the front garden and towards Barna Woods and is a fine place in which to relax with a book or a cup of tea.
The four double bedrooms on the first floor are all en-suite and three have walk-in wardrobes. The master bedroom is modelled on a luxurious hotel suite and runs the full depth of the house. At attic level, there are three rooms, two of which have shower rooms.
The current owners employed the services of an interior designer and the internal finishes are of a high standard, with many bespoke features and a mix of painted walls, wallpapers and panelling.
There are two primary schools - one a gaelscoil - in the area, and a selection of secondary schools including Salerno for girls, and St. Enda's and the new Colaiste na Coiribe, both of which are mixed. The Galway Golf Club is also close by.
Barna is known as the home of good seafood, and O'Grady's on the Pier is one of the most popular restaurants in the area, its customers' appetites for oysters and chowder no doubt enhanced by the views of Galway Bay from the dining room. Donnelly's is another local favourite.
The Twelve Hotel (named after the Twelve Bens), meanwhile, has two excellent places to eat. Chef Martin O'Donnell's West restaurant upstairs showcases the best of local produce, and Fergus O'Halloran's wine list is a thing of beauty that has won numerous awards. West hosts wine dinners and food events throughout the year and is a destination for gourmands from all over the country. Downstairs, the more casual Pins gastro bar is every bit as popular (its cocktails are legendary) and even brews its own stout, which is described as smooth and smoky with a hint of chocolate.
The Twelve also has its own pizza kitchen, La Dozzina (it means 12 in Italian), which uses a pizza oven imported specially from Naples, and offers a take-out service with pizzas ready 12 minutes after being ordered, along with wine, if required. The on-site bakery caters for both hotel guests and locals, so the purchasers of Barna Gardens are assured of plenty of good eating within easy reach of their new home.