Saturday 24 August 2019

Peek inside this stunning €2.75m Kinsale home with panoramic sea front views

Ultra-modern Kinsale holiday home with sea front views is selling for €2.75m

Birds-eye view of Scilly bay and Corafinne
Birds-eye view of Scilly bay and Corafinne
The recreation room with stunning views of the bay
One of the bathrooms
The open-plan dining room
The exterior of the ultra-modern property, clad in black zinc
The glossy kitchen

Eithne Tynan

Having lived all over the world - even getting a bit-part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita - the poet Desmond O'Grady finally settled in Kinsale in the late 1980s. His domicile was Scilly, east of the town, where he became a well-known and well-liked patron of the Spaniard pub.

"It took me 40 years of world wander before I shipped in here and dropped anchor. Some voice amid life whispers where to scuttle," he wrote in the poem The Spaniard Inn.

O'Grady died in 2014, aged 78, and was buried in the neighbourhood he had called home for a quarter of a century. His funeral reception was held, naturally, at the Spaniard.

The poet was not the first wayfarer to drop anchor at Scilly; supposedly the place gets its name from the Isles of Scilly sailors who visited centuries ago and never got around to leaving. Nor will he be the last, as the locality of Scilly - and Kinsale generally - is a magnet for tourists, many of whom also can't quite bring themselves to quit the place entirely when the time comes to go home.

One of the bathrooms
One of the bathrooms

The owners of the property Corafinne had the same problem. Though living in England, they were so drawn to the Scilly area that they built a holiday home there in 2013.

'Holiday home', though, is a term that doesn't do justice to Corafinne. 'Holiday home' suggests a quaint but uncomfortable bolthole where everyone bunks in on top of each other for the weekend and no one remembers to bring toilet paper.

Corafinne is not that. It's a huge, architect-designed property sprawling over 3,035 sq ft, packed with expensive fixtures, designed to supply every comfort, and enjoying stupendous views of Kinsale Harbour to the south.

The designers in question were Kiosk Architects in Cork city, an outfit so impossibly hip that they've had to forgo the use of capital letters on their website - even at the beginning of their sentences.

The sloping site they were given to work with is around the corner from the Spaniard, and the old stone wall around it was kept in place. This, the architects say, "helps the house sit comfortably into the tight grain of the area".

The house is also mainly clad in black zinc, which "references the slate cladding on many of Kinsale's historical buildings".

The open-plan dining room
The open-plan dining room

The reference ends there, however. Corafinne bears no other resemblance to Kinsale's historical buildings. It's as modern as they come, fashioned in concrete, steel and glass, with vast windows everywhere to take in the view.

As the view is best on the first floor, the daytime rooms have all been placed upstairs, with the ground floor given over to three en suite bedrooms.

The exception is the master bedroom, which is on the first floor as well, so the instant you wake up you can see exactly where you are.

It has an en suite and doors to a decked sun terrace overlooking the water.

The same sun terrace can also be reached from a sitting room measuring over 27ft by 12ft, which has a floor-to-ceiling window on the southern wall, so that Kinsale Harbour almost seems to be part of the room.

On the other side of the sitting room there are more glass doors giving onto an internal balcony, also decked, and with a retractable awning so you can sit out there in the rain if that's your fancy.

Birds-eye view of Scilly bay and Corafinne
Birds-eye view of Scilly bay and Corafinne

Beyond that then, at the southwestern corner of the house, is an open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge, also with a glass wall taking in the view.

At the back of the house on this level are the workaday rooms including a guest toilet, utility room, a store room and the en suite for the master bedroom.

This is where the entrance hall leads out to a walled and paved garden. There's a side garden as well, with a lawn, flowerbeds, a patio and a water feature, while on the lower level, down a flight of steps, is the gravelled parking area. The site size in total is 0.3 of an acre.

Corafinne's energy efficiency is up to the minute as well, with a geothermal heat pump, heat recovery ventilation and triple glazing uniting to allow for a B1 energy rating.

It's an easy walk of 800 metres or so along the river from here to the centre of Kinsale, with its bewildering array of award-winning restaurants. For more emergency eating and drinking needs, Desmond O'Grady's local, the Spaniard, is only 50 metres away.

The Scilly Walk starts nearby; you can follow it for two kilometres along the River Bandon to Charles Fort at Summer Cove, musing on Monty Python all the while.

Cork city centre is about 25 kilometres away.


Scilly, Kinsale, Co Cork

Asking price: €2.75m

Agent: Engel & Völkers (021) 477 3200

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