This sprawling €1.275m red brick home is a hideaway in the city
House in commuter town offers more square footage for your money
In the 1930s, the North Dublin coastal village of Portmarnock and its sandy stretch of beach, known locally as The Velvet Strand, was the starting point for two important pioneering flights.
On June 24, 1930, legendary Australian pilot Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, known as 'Smithy', and his crew, including an Irish navigator called Paddy Saul, took off from the beach in his tiny Southern Cross aircraft and flew to Newfoundland. From there they flew on to Oakland in California, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe by aircraft.
Two years later, in 1932, the first solo westbound transatlantic flight began its journey from the same stretch of beach, when British pilot Jim Mollison took a de Havilland Puss Moth from Portmarnock to Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick, Canada.
The seaside town is almost as important as Newfoundland in Canada in terms of world aviation history, yet it took over 80 years for Portmarnock to formally acknowledge is pivotal role in the pioneer years of flying. Since 2012, it does so every year in June in the form of a festival known as Southern Cross Day.
For years this commuter village has been somewhat overlooked, playing the wallflower to bigger, prettier and more popular Malahide with its period marital mansions, luxury waterfront apartments, restaurants, cafes, day spas, bars and boutiques.
Portmarnock may not be as picturesque or ever be as popular, but the reputational imbalance between the two towns is starting to change. And Portmarnock is forging a new name for itself as a seaside retreat on the up.
Indeed, it has much to offer potential buyers. For starters it occupies a prettier position on the north Dublin coastline with views of Ireland's Eye and Lambay Island beyond. Its seaside setting also boasts an actual seaside. The three-mile long sandy beach was recently awarded the covetable annual Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards, one of just five beaches in the country to achieve dual status.
Then there's the golf. Portmarnock offers not one, but two courses: a world famous course dating back to 1894, and a Bernhard Langer-designed links course. Recent investment in the latter's accompanying hotel has done much to broaden the town's appeal and increasingly vibrant social scene, and make it sought-after in its own right. Other additions - including McHugh's Wine & Dine Restaurant and Il Panorama Café, - have had the same effect .
More importantly, property here is and has always been more affordable than Malahide. Despite its lack of characterful, period housing, those looking for a a sizeable home within easy commute of the city, can expect more square footage and garden for their money.
Brickfield House ranks high on the list of what Portmarnock has to offer.
"Houses of this size with such substantial outdoor space rarely come on the market here," says selling agent Andrew Corry of Corry Estates.
This sprawling 2,750 sq ft, detached red-brick home, built in the 1990s sits on 0.85 acres of landscaped, mature gardens and is set so far back from the road that motorists would do well to see it. Its secluded setting is enhanced by electric gates and a long driveway.
Owner Pauline Fitzmaurice bought Brickfield 19 years ago and is reluctantly selling up.
"I love it here in Portmarnock. My family all live locally and I've made some great friends and neighbours over the years. The village setting with its shops, cafés and schools, on the seafront is not only convenient but picturesque too," says Pauline who is downsizing but staying in the Portmarnock area.
She has spared little expense refurbishing the property and transforming it into a luxury family home that is a fusion of classical styling with contemporary touches.
Her efforts and flair for design are most evident in the large, modern country-style kitchen and breakfast room fitted with pale grey wooden units replete with marble worktops and a central island that doubles as a breakfast bar. There is a large Leisure range-style cooker, the fridge and dishwasher are integrated and the fixtures and fittings are of the highest quality.
A utility off the kitchen is fitted with a mix of cupboards and presses and also doubles as a storage room.
Double mahogany doors off the reception hall lead to a large living room.
Also on the ground floor is an equally large family room, a separate dining room for more formal entertaining and a study, which could accommodate a playroom or teenage den.
Of the five bedrooms upstairs, four are en-suite (including the master).
The stylish master is the biggest bedroom, measuring 23ft4 by 13ft6 and comprising a walk-in wardrobe and feature bay window.
The main family bathroom benefits from a recent modernisation and comprises a separate bath, walk-in shower, towel radiator and wall-mounted sink.
The attic has been floored for storage and can be accessed via a pull down ladder.
Outside there is a large detached garage and separate shed for storing all the necessary garden equipment needed here to maintain the extensive lawns.
The property is ideally located on Station Road just minutes' walk from Portmarnock DART and Train station. Dublin Airport is 10km away and the city centre is 15km.
There are two primary schools in the area, St Marnock's and St Helen's and also a secondary school, Portmarnock Community School.
Brickfield House was first put up for sale three years ago, in 2014, for €1.05m and has returned to the market with the same agents. It's for sale with Corry Estates with an asking price of €1.275m.
Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.275m
Agent: Corry Estates, (01) 846 1122