Effortless coastal chic is the leitmotif of this charming Ardmore home with its nod to The Hamptons glam.
Baptised ‘Shannon Harbour’, the watery vista from its fabulously sunlit patio bears no resemblance to the mudflats of the Shannon Estuary.
Instead, just beyond the lush green fields that dip gently towards the sea, is the glittering, magnificence of Ardmore Bay Dominating the clifftop across the bay is the 5-star Cliff House Hotel, “on the Atlantic rim of historic Ireland” as its website helpfully tells us.
The same headland is home to a 4km cliff walk with breathtaking seascapes and monuments to our ancient past, from St Declan’s Well, to the coastguard station on Ardmore Head, continually manned until the Civil War of 1922, to lookout posts dating to the Napoleonic Wars, to a 12th-century Cathedral and one of the best-preserved Round Towers in Ireland.
It’s clear there’s much to contemplate from the hanging chair that sits, tantalizingly, on the patio at Shannon Harbour, where a quartet of patio doors allows a seamless segue between home and outside.
Anyone who appreciates the concept of bringing the indoors out and the outdoors in will find much to like about this four bed detached property at Upper Curragh where natural light is in abundance.
Accessing the house is by way of a sharp right turn off a leafy laneway onto a driveway that slopes around to the front of the house, from where steps lead up to the raised patio through a series of tiered flowerbeds, filled with mature shrubs. The patio is not overlooked by neighbours.
There’s stacks of parking outfront which you will need for entertaining because this house is tailor-made for champagne cocktails after languid beach days to soak up that last bit of sun-kissed fun.
What with so many patio doors, there’s no need for a formal entrance at the front of the house - which is why it’s to the rear, opening on to a light-filled hallway thanks to a strategically placed window.
On the left just inside the entrance is a utility room with clever built-in seating for ease of removing wetsuits after one of those endless beach days..
Straight through from the hallway is the kitchen, a soft, subtle room with duck-egg blue handcrafted cabinetry, complimented by cream countertops, including a quartze-top island in Beige Stardust, beyond which sits the dining table.
Mealtimes are likely to be long and leisurely around this table given those killer views, with after-dinner drinks on the patio of course.
Through a door from the kitchen is the centrepiece of the house, a fabulous living room with deep, overstuffed sofas upholstered in pale neutrals and rugs and other accessories adding splashes of ocean-blue.
The pièces-de-résistance (yes, there’s more than one) are the half vaulted ceiling and chimney breast of stunning dark blue slatework with tones of gold.
Beyond the living room is the master bedroom with en suite wetroom and double patio doors. The ease of movement throughout the downstairs could appeal to an older couple looking to retire, in style, fulltime by the sea, while planning for the possibility of reduced mobility in later years, but still with plenty upstairs bedrooms for visiting grandchildren.
The low maintenance outdoor area is another bonus in this respect.
Equally Shannon Harbour could be a fabulous permanent family residence, particularly in this post-Covid era of working from home.
“I’ve noticed people recalibrating in the wake of Covid and there’s more of an appetite now for a better work/life balance,” says auctioneer Brian Gleeson of Brian Gleeson Property.
There’s a national school in nearby Ardmore and public transport to secondary schools in Youghal or Dungarvan, both a 20 minute drive away. Dungarvan is home to the Waterford Greenway, a super 46km track for cycling and walking and is easily reached from Ardmore by way of an hourly Local Link bus service.
There’s a nice community in Ardmore, Mr Gleeson says, and residents take great pride in maintaining its curbside appeal with an active Tidy Towns committee.
For foodies, there’s the appeal of a top-class gastronomic experience at either the Cliff House Hotel or the more unassuming White Horses Restaurant on Main St. After this, you can FitBit your way across the gorgeous expanse of Ardmore Beach or even squeeze your way under the sacred beach boulder that allegedly winged its way here on the prayers of St Declan and is reputed to have curative powers for back pain. (Caution: squeezing your way under a marginally elevated boulder is not scientifically proven to cure back pain).
It takes just minutes by car to reach any of five local beaches each of which has Blue Flag Status and a Green Coast Award for excellent water quality and unspoilt environments.
Shannon Harbour is “an amazing location” Mr Gleeson says and it’s no surprise that viewings have been brisk. He says the property is “in mint condition” with “meticulous attention to detail”.
One of the many lovely details is the upstairs balcony which faces directly onto three skylights, ensuring Ardmore Bay is always in the crosshairs, whether from upstairs or downstairs.
Mr Gleeson says Shannon Harbour - which has been a model family holiday home for 14 years - is now the subject of an executor sale.
“It was lovingly thought about and lovingly done,” he says.
Whoever buys need have no fear of losing those seaviews - there’s nothing save agricultural land between it and the shoreline and as Mr Gleeson points out, it’s “very difficult to get planning permission if you’re not from the area”.
Shannon Harbour, he says, represents a “rare opportunity” in beautiful Ardmore.
Verdict: The living equivalent of flying Business Class.
Ardmore, Co Waterford
Size:180m sq/1,940 sq ft