Jackie and Joe O’Connors’ beautifully located hideaway is right on the sea on the northern 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 of the working harbour and, to the north, the magnificent Cooley and Mourne Mountains are simply stunning, and all the better for enjoying them from such a warm and relaxing base.
Joe and Jackie are natural hosts and their B&B is unselfconsciously stylish. The décor is like a breath of fresh sea air, with bright white walls throughout, crisp white duvets and pops of colour or nautical stripes from throws and pillows.
The four bedrooms are all charming and highly individual. The Crow's 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 Captain's Room also has great views, and it even has French doors leading out onto the 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. While it doesn’t have a sea view, it compensates with a highly original handcrafted 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. All rooms have the usual facilities – TV, free internet and hairdryer (iron and ironing board also available) – and you can help yourself to tea or coffee in the little kitchen downstairs.
In addition to the usual cereals, toast, juices, tea and coffee, hot breakfast options might include smoked salmon with scrambled eggs; bacon, egg and tomato; or a generous bowl of Greek yoghurt studded with fresh fruit, toasted almonds and honey. You can have breakfast out on the terrace in fine weather – a perfect observation point for watching the seals and other wildlife, or you might spy Joe’s brother out in his fishing boat, checking his lobster pots.
Afternoon tea, prepared by Joe and Jackie’s daughter, is also available to both residents and non-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, walking nearby beaches or playing one of the umpteen golf courses that are within a short drive. If the weather is good and you can have tea outside, the patio can be a sheltered sun trap if the wind isn’t coming from the east – with the whitewashed walls of the cottages behind you and the sea in front, it can feel like you’re in the Mediterranean instead of County Dublin.
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. 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 a perfect hideaway to get away from it all for a few days or as a base to explore the pretty north Dublin countryside and coast.