In the pre-digital era, when we weren’t under the yoke of multiple online advertising platforms, a couple placed a classified ad in this newspaper.
âDynamic Couple wants to run or manage a catering establishment,â he said, and he has received responses from Galway, Tipperary and Cobh.
The couple were Michael and Tania Bourke, both chefs, living at the time in Bath, UK.
âMichael was Irish and he wanted to go home, so we put this ad in the Cork Examiner and that’s how we ended up here 34 years ago,â says Tania.
They chose the Cobh option – to manage the Marlogue Inn at East Ferry Marina.
âIn less than a week of living here, I knew Cobh was the place for me and where I would love to raise a family,â says Tania.
This met the criteria she had set for herself for a move to Ireland. “I wanted a place near the sea and near an airport so that I could easily return to see my family in England (a 20 minute drive from Cork airport) and also close to a town, but not to a town. . Cobh has fulfilled the three prerequisites, âshe said.
It took eight years before they built the house they wanted, although they had a site in mind much earlier.
âOne day we were walking around Walterstown and we stopped at a playground to rest and I noticed the older kids really caring about the younger kids and I thought that was lovely.
âA site across from the beautiful old school (Walterstown National School) went up for sale and we finally bought it. It took about a year to build the house and we moved in just before Christmas, in 1997, when I was pregnant with our first child. She was born the following April, âsays Tania.
They named their new home Old School View and originally it was what Tania describes as a âcozy three-bed dormer bungalow,â which has evolved over the years to meet their personal and professional needs.
When they first arrived in Cobh, they were working for other people, but as an enterprising duo they held cooking demonstrations and dinners at their homes.
âWhen the children were very small, once they were in bed, we received people. We ended up doing an extension because cooking demonstrations have been a part of our life for a while. We could have up to 45 people in the house, so we added a very large living room, âexplains Tania.
They also added an en-suite bedroom, and as their Truly Scrumptious catering business grew, a specially designed production kitchen was gradually added.
âWe have had a lot of weddings and family and business events and we were free to grow our own fresh herbs and berries because the site we bought is three quarters of an acre,â says Tania.
The size of the site also allowed for great flexibility in constructing the production kitchen, out of sight of the main drive at the rear. A few sheds at the back of the garden provide plenty of storage and there’s also a large L-shaped barn, which could be a den for the kids or “a big cave,” says Tania.
âEverything evolved as we needed it,â she adds, âwe needed a lot of storage for our work and a lot of internal space and everything was very adaptable and multifunctional.
In fact, Old School View, on a boreen called The Piers, has a large space for anyone who wants to work from home, with two desks inside. It will particularly appeal to people working in catering thanks to the ready-to-use production kitchen. Currently, Tania and her crew are busy catering for a film crew staying at Redington House, a working farm with self-catering apartments. Tania is also busy with her Truly Scrumptious cafe and homemade baking stall on Cobh’s promenade.
âI get up every morning at 6 am, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. The booth exploded during Covid-19, even during the winter, people would come and sit at outdoor tables with hot water bottles.
âWith the support of Cobh Chamber and Cobh Tourism, it was truly a place of positivity and safety for many people during this stressful time, especially the elderly,â said Tania.
The success of the booth prompts a move to the city, as Tania and Mike downsize and focus on the ‘favorite part’ of their business. Tania even hosts special coffee events for newcomers to Cobh, especially moms and babies.
In the meantime, Johanna Murphy of Johanna Murphy & Sons is selling Old School View, which she guides for â¬ 600,000.
She describes it as a ‘superb family home, in a fabulous location, with lovely landscaped gardens’, with a school across the road, a marina (East Ferry) nearby and a pub in the village of Ballymore . The town of Cobh is only 5 km away.
Tania says they loved living in the area, that there is a great community center, the beautiful Marlogue Woods âand two great swimming beaches at seaâ, where she swims every day, in all seasons.
The house itself has four or five bedrooms (depending on whether you want a games room). With an en-suite bedroom on the ground floor, two living rooms and a veranda overlooking these beautiful gardens, it could be ideal for a family who wants grandparents to live with them.
: Lots of things on the menu at this versatile family home, with great work-from-home options.