Jackie and Joe O’Connors’ beautifully located hideaway is on the sea side of the road on the edge of Skerries town, and it is truly unique – how often do you wake up to the sound of waves on the rocks outside your bedroom window?
It’s literally on the water’s edge and the unbroken sea views – across the harbour and, to the north, taking in the magnificent Mountains of Mourne – are simply stunning, and all the better for seeing them from such a warm and relaxing base. Joe and Jackie are natural hosts and, while unselfconsciously stylish, it’s a comfortable family home with dog beds a-plenty, art materials laid out in the conservatory (classes are held there), plenty of comfy lounging space and welcoming fires – a cosy contrast to the elements betimes.
Charming and well equipped with TV, free internet, tea & coffee tray, hairdryer (iron & ironing board also available), the bedrooms are highly individual. The Crows Nest, for example, is a spacious and atmospheric room tucked under the eaves, with magnificent sea views, and a double and single bed - this is the room for you if you enjoy a bath, as it has a full bathroom with both bath and shower.
The popular Captains room also has great views - and it even has French doors leading out onto its own waterside patio – while the newest room, the Harbour Master, is in a prime corner position, with its own entrance and windows on two sides commanding views over Skerries and right up the coast to the Cooley and Mourne mountains; it also has a fridge, in addition to the facilities in other rooms.
And then there’s the smallest room, the aptly named Driftwood and - while it doesn’t have a sea view - it compensates with a highly original hand-crafted wooden four-poster bed. There is charm in spades, but standards are very high too and everything is immaculate, including the smart en-suite bath/shower rooms.
Before heading up to bed you make your choices from Jackie’s tempting breakfast menu, which includes unusual items like smoked mackerel served with scrambled egg. You can have it out on the terrace in fine weather – a perfect observation point for watching the seals and other wildlife.
Afternoon tea is also available to residents by arrangement – a lovely way to round off a day out in the area, visiting Ardgillan Castle & Gardens (up the hill, just behind the house), or Skerries Windmills perhaps, walking nearby beaches or playing one of the umpteen golf courses that are within a short drive.
And, should you need further convincing that this is anything but an ordinary B&B, an unusual treat offered in season is The White Cottages ‘Lobster Lunch’ – you may see local lobster man, Eoin Duff, checking his pots just outside the window while you’re having breakfast, and his catch is later transformed (by arrangement) into a delicious lunch by Jackie and Joe. Think garlic butter, Jackie’s secret recipe mayo, new potatoes, salad and freshly-baked brown bread – deelish!
Nearby Dublin seems a world away – The White Cottages is just a great place to chill out for a few days.