Miniview: Druid Lodge, Killiney, in Co. Dublin, Ireland

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    “I don’t know whether you’ll like this” said Chris with a worried frown. It was party time at Simons, and we had spent the day treasure hunting around the outer suburbs of Dublin in Dalkey and Killiney, and the last thing I needed was the suggestion that our B&B was not up to much. Blimey, did she read it wrong! Druid Lodge is an assemblage, a work of love and art assembled by two of Ireland’s unsung heroes, interiors that some designers aspire to create but here an organic living memory bank.

    It starts on the street – although to call this narrow country lane a street, despite its urban location is perhaps inaccurate. High walls, verdant growth of trees and shrubs made finding the Druid Lodge difficult in the dark. The narrow entrance of open dilapidated iron gates barely admitting my motor into a drive that hinted of adventure and exploration, trees making a tunnel to the house, an ivy covered veteran of the 19th Century. It was party time at Druid Lodge as host Ken McClenaghan organised the celebration of his partner Cynthia’s 65th birthday, with his large family around an outdoor garden fireplace in the gathering gloom.

    The front door opened in welcome and I suspect my jaw dropped at the cornucopia of art and craft from striking contemporary pastels to church pews that spread before me. Every space, vertical and horizontal, was covered – Ken is obviously not a subscriber to minimalism, but there was order underlying the madness and the large and beautiful room spaces carried everything with aplomb. These are interiors that fascinated in their detail, constantly revealing little surprises, from a hand written vellum Quoran of obvious antiquity through deco marble carvings to pseudo Renoirs.

    Daniel Fountain / 15.09.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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