This hidden gem will be a wonderful discovery for visitors to Dublin – although just beside Newlands Cross (one of Dublin’s busiest road junctions), it is an oasis of tranquillity as the house and a newly built cottage are set in 20 acres of beautifully maintained private gardens and woodlands.
It is owned by Nuala Price, who is the grand-daughter of The O’Rahilly (one of the few 1916 leaders killed in action near the GPO), so there is Irish history a-plenty to be talked – and also an American connection as the architectural blueprint for this stunning Art Deco house was published in 1932 in America. And not only was it ‘House of the Year’, but a full-size replica was built in Macy’s New York department store.
The house, which simply oozes the stylish elegance of the Art Deco period, still has the original furnishings. The oval entrance hall and staircase is stunning and the three luxuriously appointed bedrooms include one with a four-poster.
The gardens are a great asset: beautiful and productive, they have a glasshouse, fruit and vegetable plots and an orchard, as well as a croquet lawn and a terrace with seating for guests to enjoy.
Tea or coffee are served on arrival and, while no dinner is offered (there are two LUAS light railway stops nearby and restaurants are easy to access), there is a beautiful drawing room with an open fire and drinks are available for guests to help themselves.
Breakfast is served in an amazing dining room overlooking the croquet lawn. With its art deco mirrors, beautiful paintings, crystal glassware, Villeroy and Boch china, silver cutlery, and fresh flowers, eating in this unique room is a memorable experience.
There’s no breakfast menu, but guests are asked for their preferences the night before – you might start with fresh orange juice and San Pellegrino water, and perhaps a coupe filled with fresh mango, strawberries (from the garden) and blueberries, topped with honey flavoured yoghurt and walnuts.
If you opt for a full Irish, it too will be excellent – including Gubbeen bacon from West Cork, for example - and served with homemade preserves and freshly baked brown bread.
Nuala Price clearly relishes her good fortune as custodian of this remarkable property, and she is a great hostess. Interesting small hotels and guesthouses are in short supply in Dublin, and this one is an absolute one-off.