Nowhere is the cliché of leafy Foxrock more evident than in the wonderful gardens that encircle Navarone, a four- bedroom detached house on an acre of grounds on Brennanstown Rd., which runs from Cabinteely village up to the crossroads at Glenamuck Rd. To the front of the house stands an enormous blue cedar; there's also a massive willow, a substantial acer and a multitude of other mature trees and shrubs.
On a late summer's day, the sky is blue, the birds are singing and the lawn is freshly mown - no small task, it has to be said. The new owners of Navarone will definitely need to invest in a ride-on machine, but for anyone who yearns for outdoor space and the prospect of an enormous garden by Dublin standards, this will be a pleasure rather than a chore.
Navarone is of course the location that we all associate with the classic 1961 war movie, The Guns of Navarone, starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.
It was the second highest grossing movie in the US in its year of release. Based on Alistair McLean's novel of the same name, the movie tells the story of an Allied commando team determined to destroy a German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea, and prevents 2,000 isolated British troops from being rescued.
Navarone is more commonly known as Leros, and the Battle of Leros in 1943 served as the inspiration for the movie. The film's theme tune was a hit for The Specials in 1980 when they covered the original version by Jamaican group, The Skatalites.
Whether the original owners had a particular affinity with the movie, had holidayed on the island, or just liked the song, remains a mystery.
Built in the 1970s, Navarone is a comfortable family home that has been outgrown by its current owners, who are down-sizing now that their children have grown-up.
At almost 3000 sq ft, it is a substantial house that will be big enough for most families, but if that isn't enough for the new owners, there is ample room to extend, whether to the side or up into the attic, which spans the entire house. A decade ago, the purchaser for a property such as this might have been a developer who planned to raze it to the ground and build apartments or a small development of 'executive' houses on the site.
Indeed, there was an application to demolish Navarone and its neighbour some years back and construct 76 apartments in their stead. In the current climate, the purchaser is more likely to be someone seeking a family home that they are willing to spend money on to up- date, although the grounds are so extensive that the possibility of a site for a second house is something that could be worth exploring in planning terms.
Well set back from the road, Navarone is accessed through electronic entrance gates. There is parking for at least half a dozen cars on the gravel apron in front of the house. The attractive creeper that covered the front of the house when the photo above was taken has been removed, which seems a pity as the house has a bare look without it and the exterior appears to need painting.
The front door leads directly in to the porch and from there to a spacious entrance hall. There is a guest lavatory off the hall immediately to the left of the front door. The ground floor has a large drawing room with a marble fireplace that looks out over the gardens to the front and side of the house. Also on this floor are a smaller, informal family room and a formal dining room, both of which overlook the gardens.
The kitchen/breakfast room spans the rear of the house and has sliding double doors that open out to the garden and directly on to a south-facing terrace that is arranged for al fresco dining with a large table and chairs and barbecue area.
The seamless flow from inside to outside is very appealing and you can imagine summer days with children running in and out, playing in the garden, that would make for some idyllic childhood memories, particularly if the new owners were to invest in a swimming pool or tennis court - there might even be room for both.
The kitchen is fitted with serviceable painted wood cabinets and beech countertops. It is dated but adequate, and - as with the rest of the house - there would be no immediate need to upgrade. A utility room off the kitchen has direct access to the garden. On the ground floor there is also a den - a perfect gaming retreat or study - which leads directly to the single-car garage that forms part of the house. This is currently used for storage.
Upstairs there are four double bedrooms, one of which has been constructed by knocking two smaller bedrooms together. It would be possible to reinstate the wall that has been removed if the new owners had a preference for two single bedrooms.
The perfect family home at Brennanstown Road, Foxrock.
The master bedroom has an en suite with a bath and separate shower, and a good-size dressing room. The master bedroom is a large room with fitted wardrobes, good light and views out over the gardens.
One of the other bedrooms has an en suite shower room and there is a further bathroom with separate bath and shower on this floor. The bathrooms are, like the kitchen, out of step with current trends but more than adequate.
In decorative terms, Navarone is in good order but showing its age. A modest makeover in terms of carpets, curtains and wallpaper could make quite a difference, if the new owners are not ready or have no need to embark on a full refurbishment or extension programme. More ambitious changes and deep pockets could turn this into an exceptional home.
Outside there are sheds and a boiler house that could be demolished if an extension is planned, and a charming, though dilapidated, tree-house that might benefit from a refurbishment plan of its own. Beyond the back garden fence is a one-off single house.
Location-wise, Navarone sits on an enviably large plot on one of the best roads in Foxrock, in a neighbourhood populated by smart and substantial houses. The Luas stop at Lehaunstown is close by, as are the bus routes of the N11.
Cabinteely village is within walking distance, and has a good collection of cafes and restaurants. There is excellent food shopping in Foxrock village, home to an excellent butcher and specialty food store, and the Cornelscourt Shopping Centre, which has a large branch of Dunnes Stores, is just five minutes way.
There are several national schools in the area, and secondary schools in the vicinity include Loreto Foxrock and Clonkeen College.
The 100-acre Cabinteely Park is a terrific amenity, with a children's playground and dedicated dog run. The Stable Yard Café and Japanese garden, both located within the park, are popular with people in the area and the local tennis and golf clubs are active and well-supported.
Brennanstown Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Asking price: €1.75m
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, Dun Laoghaire, (01) 2844422