Neither driving rain nor howling wind was enough to curb the enthusiasm of the couple that bought this picture-perfect gem 13 years ago.
Although they first had sight of it on a foul winter’s day when life in general is sub-optimal, they ploughed ahead anyway and bought it, because that’s the kind of impulsivity that comes with falling in love.
They did it even though their families counselled against it, because that’s the kind of obduracy that comes with falling in love.
The object of their affections was White Cottage and it did not let them down, rewarding their instincts over the years, acting as the perfect holiday home, the ideal setting for family gatherings and celebrations, and an unbeatable location from which to explore the wild and striking beauty of West Cork.
In short, it reciprocated their investment.
Like any great love affair, it was spectacular while it lasted, but now they are ready to move on.
Selling agent Andy Donoghue of Hodnett Forde property services says they’ve settled their affections on a local farmhouse, in need of renovation “and that’s another dream they plan to fulfill”.
The upshot is White Cottage comes to market, jilted but not jaded, as fresh and crisp as any image you’ll see on Pinterest.
The couple selling up have nothing but praise for their old flame.
“They love the place and you really sense that when you go down there,” Mr Donoghue says.
“It’s really homely. It started out as a holiday home, but as the stays became more frequent, their interest in updating the house grew. And so, they gradually renovated the house to include a new modern kitchen in 2017.
“Then last year they added an extensive limestone patio to the front and rear where the sun can be enjoyed all day and barbeques can be hosted on long summer evenings,” Mr Donoghue says.
White Cottage was built in 2001 in a jewel of a setting that includes expansive garden space, where a babbling brook — yes, babbling — bookends the western boundary.
It has a tree house that the Secret Seven could only dream, as well as a swing on a neighbouring tree. On a tranquil plot with over half an acre of wild meadow and country garden, White Cottage is located at the meeting point of three townlands, whose names have a lyrical ring — Fahouragh, Farrandau and Gortbrack.
It’s a short spin “of about 1km to the picture postcard village that is Castletownshend” Mr Donoghue says, where the infamous Mary Ann’s Pub and Restaurant, with its outdoor beer garden, is just about the perfect lunchtime setting of a fine summer’s day.
There’s a touch of glam to Castletownshend, buoyed by its association with Drishane House, home of the Somerville family (one half of the Somerville and Ross writing partnership) for nine generations. Descendents of the Somervilles remain in situ and the house, gardens and museum are open to visitors.
Then there’s the proximity to all that water in a part of West Cork where boating is synonymous with the lifestyle. The couple selling White Cottage certainly capitalised on it, parking up their boat during winter on the ample space around the cottage, where a second boat could easily fit, while still leaving room for the cars of visitors likely to beat a path to the door once they’ve unearthed the cottage’s whereabouts via eircode.
Visitors will be charmed by the interior, because while the outside takes the shape of a traditional West Cork cottage, inside is a bright and modern experience, from the open plan kitchen/dining/ sitting room to the mezzanine below a vaulted ceiling.
White Cottage, with plenty of AirBnB potential, is new to market and is already attracting strong interest, Mr Donoghue says.
VERDICT: The Good Life, with coast and countryside on your doorstep.