Modern mansion’s extra buildings are as high-spec as any home. Tommy Barker views a Beast in the East.
THERE’S plenty to note and detail at this US-styled East Cork coastal home called Loch a Teide — but the pen sort of droops when among the way you hear the treehouse has double glazing, and double sockets for power.
Really, there isn’t much at all that got overlooked, and even ignoring the sheer size and scale for a moment, there’s a roll call of features to document.
There is, variously at this expansive family home of 4,000+sq ft, in addition to the high-spec home is a large (2,750 sq ft) detached garage, built to house-building standards and in two sections, each of over 1,000 sq ft with lofted office overhead; a covered barbecue area, next to a six-person hot tub; there is a workshop built like a tiny cottage, with roller shutter door; close to it is a chunkily-built 180 sq ft log cabin used as a garden store, with power supply, roller shutter door and sun awning.
There’s a swathe of patios, and Resicret paths, a play area with swings and climbing frame, and it’s next to an elevated treehouse/play house on stilts.
That’s the one with double glazing and a power supply. At the far end of the garden there’s the be-all-and-end-all of home bars, a proper pub, built (like the garage) to house construction standards, insulated, with stone chimney and a fire with back boiler that heats the rads for this 850 sq ft hideaway from home.
Make no mistake, this is a proper bar, not one of those shabby shebeens or slightly forlorn drinking dens/dog houses, with a darts board in a garden shed for company.
It has a walnut topped counter, three beer taps and full dispense bar, TV and drop-down projector screen for big match days, a piano is almost hidden in a corner, there are three long settles/benches, rescued from an old school, and proper seating sections.
There’s a full range of bar memorabilia on the walls, including an original framed Guinness pamphlet which recalls the days when earlier generations of Loch a Teide’s family owned the Pier Head bar in Cork’s Blackrock village.
There’s more: there’s even a spotless WC with a urinal, in the bar’s far apex (the building is three-sided, to tuck into the back of the irregular 1.2 acre site).
As an extra novel touch, a set of traffic lights stands sentinel at the loo door, controlled by a sensor that turns it red when the WC is occupied, and green when it’s free, passing through orange en route.
It’s a building the owners have had great fun with, using it for lots of entertaining, and on one family celebration, there they counted over 100 guests and relatives milling in and around the bar for the afternoon, having to put out a shout later on in the day for a local pub to drop over another barrel of Guinness.
It was delivered up the long drive and down the equally long paved back garden path by an enthusiastic son, strapped to his pedal cart.
It sounds a bit like the old Guinness island ‘Tá siad ag teacht’ bar ad with ticking clock, the waiting dog and the currach rowers gaining ground and water over the waves by oar power to deliver the black stuff.
Oh, and to literally top it off, the bar at Loch a Teide has a steel external stairs up to its flat-cap roof, used as a vantage point for views on a fine day over to the sea and beaches at Shanagarry, Ardnahinch, and to Cable Island by scenically-blessed Ballycotton.
Did we mention the house itself, yet? Set at the end of a long and very private drive past stone entrance pillars and electric gates, with standard lighting along the way in, close to a side road down to the beach at Ardnahinch, Loch a Teide dates to 2000/2001.
It was built for the owners by a local man and relative, Thomas Beausang, to a design inspired by an American family friend’s home, and was adapted for this level East Cork Irish site by architect Patrick O’Hanlon of Hogan Architecture in Cork.
It’s wide, very wide. It’s deep, very deep. It’s not tall, but it does manage now to have a first floor of extra, added-on accommodation with big box dormers fore and aft, clad in zinc, and highly insulated, and home to a suite of rooms, with Loch a Teide’s best sea views to be had from here, on high.
This upper level, however, barely gets a mention in estate agent James Colbert’s description of this expansive property, as it comes for sale for a family with local roots.
That’s not surprising, given the array of structures already provided here; the man of the house admits to a passion for building and says he’s keen to build again, only smaller, this time. Like, yeah, right.
Midleton-based Mr Colbert, acting jointly with Suzanne Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing in Cork city, paces this place out at over 4,000 sq ft, and at that he says he’s only including about half of the first floor as, due to building regulations, the space up above can’t be described as habitable bedrooms.
Suffice to say it has a landing, acres of storage, a bathroom with part-decked walk-in curved shower, enormous multi-purpose double aspect room/sitting room, and two walk-in closets, with many metres of clothing rails and shelving: use it as you will.
The first floor was only upgraded a few years ago, as there was always more than adequate accommodation at ground floor level, with five bedrooms off to one side, plus one other guest en suite bedroom by the large main entrance hall, used for a while by an older family member, proving this home’s adaptability for inter-generational living.
Left of the hall are the bedrooms, all of them doubles and nearly all are en-suite, while two have been connected up as a teenage son’s den, and all are uniformly comfortable, carpeted and crowned with quality curtains and blinds.
Heating is delivered at underfloor level (oil-fired) at ground and, despite the overall size of this one-off, it gets very decent B3 BER.
That’s down to things like triple glazing upstairs in the big dormers, and triple glazing in the front and back doors, in extra-thick frames.
The hall is slightly split level, part carpeted and part with marble flooring plus marble fireplace with gas insert fireplace for an immediately warming welcome, and the heat permeates too up the side staircase to the first floor’s landing.
To the right is an over-sized and double aspect living room, about 27’ by 20’, carpeted with a full- height wide chimney breast done in Kiely’s Cross stone, with wood-burning stove fitted, and with surround sound as well.
Ranged off this ‘American-sized’ room, on the end wall, is a sun room, triple aspect and with double-doors access to a large deck and BBQ set up, with high, wood-panelled vaulted ceilings and with highly polished Junkers flooring.
And, given the vagaries of an Irish summer, it has another wood-burning stove in this good-sized and much used room.
Passing back though double doors to the living room, the eye is caught by a large aquarium set into a wall divide, with kitchen on the other side, so even the fish get a double aspect and range of views to hold their goldfish memory attention spans.
The fish tank’s a proper set- up, with access for feeding, cleaning and pumps etc from cupboard doors above, in the kitchen, and the owners are proud of the fact the fish seem so at home, as they’ve been here almost since the house was built in 2001.
Not entirely unexpectedly, this house’s kitchen too is on the generous end of the scale, and quietly lavish. It’s 26’ by nearly 20’, with central island with corner butcher’s block of end-grain timber, plus marble worktops.
The kitchen units were done day one by ORM, with solid oak cabinets now painted, and the room’s home to not one, but two ranges.
One’s a modern multi-oven Aga, and that’s for sale with the house, but the other, an older Rayburn set as a feature into a corner brick alcove, is a family treasure, came out of an old family home, and is going to move to the occupants’ next build and home.
There’s plenty of seating, including a breakfast bar and an upholstered window seat, and appliances are a mix of Neff and Siemens, with a second suite of appliances and double ovens in a ‘back kitchen’, alongside, also with painted ORM units.
The family say they use the kitchen most for dining and entertaining, and they mostly use the back kitchen for day-to-day cooking, while at Christmas up to 25 extended family members gather for the celebratory traditional dinner: given the strong American feel and proportions at Loch a Teide, it’s entirely likely that even more turkeys’ days are numbered too on the US’s Thanksgiving Day each November?
This is a hard-working house and, to keep the family show on the road, there’s even a laundry room, with washing machine, dryer, and large ironing table, while a special laundry chute drops linen and washing down every now and then from the first floor.
This laundry/utility room also serves as a back entrance, and is extra heated, so that the rails for coat and racks for shoes mean outdoor gear dries off rapidly too, whether from play, gardening, or visits to the garden-end pub.
Auctioneers James Colbert and city-based Suzanne Tyrrell of CDA say “it’s very rare to get such a spacious home finished to this uniformly high standard and so well insulated with all of the extra touches and extra buildings.”
Buyers could be relatively local, they feel, while the proximity to the sea may extend the catchment far further.
“There’s a fantastic feel to this home due to the open-plan layout and with two beautiful beaches nearby, it’s really a lovely location, close to Shanagarry and the Ballymaloe Cookery School and gardens,” adds Ms Tyrrell, while Rachel Allen and family live close by too, always endorsing the East Cork region’s lifestyle and charms, from Ballycotton back to Castlemartyr, and its luxury hotel, while the nearby Garryvoe Hotel also has a leisure centre.
Entered past four Japanese cedar portico columns, from a windfall in the Fota Estate, domestic Loch a Teide itself nearly has more private amenities than many a small hotel or guest business, with its play spaces and proper pub, garden rooms and adaptable c 2,750 sq ft garage, and the latter (with enclosed covered space behind suitable as a greenhouse) is ideal for anyone who wants to run a business from home, or equally, for a car collector or a boat owner.
<strong>VERDICT:</strong> Room to roam, in an accessible East Cork coastal setting.
<strong>Shanagarry, East Cork</strong>
<strong>Size: 375 </strong>sq m<strong> (4,000 sq ft)/1.2 acres</strong>
<strong>Pictures:</strong> John Finn
<p class="orangeheader">Get the look
What’s in a name? The owners say this is what local farmers call this spot, but are unsure where Teide came from? It is the name of a volcano in Tenerife, but thankfully Shangarry has yet to suffer such eruptions
Domestic volcano? This old Rayburn, in pride of place, came from the original family farmhouse. It’s not part of this house sale because it holds such warm family sentiment, but the kitchen at Loch a Teide also has a modern Aga range, and there’s a second ‘back’ kitchen with twin ovens
Island life? A mix of chunky butchers’ block end grain chopping board, and granite tops with under-set sink, make this a place to work, cook and catch up. This room has hosted 25 for Christmas dinners.
In at the chalet end? Among the many extra buildings, including 2,750 sq ft garage, 850 sq ft bar, and tool shed plus BBQ patio is this solid wooden chalet, used for storing garden equipment behind its roller shutter door
Sign of the times? Loch a Teide’s strong American design influences include a marble framed gas fire and marble flooring.
Tanks for the memories? They say goldfish have bubbles for brains and short memories, so this large tank must seem new to them with each and every lap.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved