Be the holy, they don’t make ’em like that anymore…
As Mark and Mary Molloy take over the groovy Horse & Hound, the latter has dug up a gem from her family’s days running The La Touche Hotel.
As so often happens around here, everything is connected. Mark’s maternal grandparents had also taken the reigns of the very same Delgany institution, back in 1964. And, as for Mary, her family, the Crottys, had steered The La Touche Hotel – perhaps Greystones’ most famous institution when it comes to drinking emporiums – way back in the 1980s.
Barman Ciarán Hayden serves Grainne McLoughlin & Gerry Wade whilst Marie Lynch, Michael Boyle and Larry Ryan look on and Sophie Jury makes a call
As our chat came to a close, Mary surprised GG with two rather wonderful pieces of La Touche memorabilia. The first in our excited paws was a small, fold-out 1986 brochure, highlighting all the joys and luxurious wonders that the hotel had to offer; the second was the actual Christie & Co catalogue, for when the hotel went up for auction on Wednesday, October 25th, 1989.
We’ve reproduced all the pics here, which really stir up some memories. In the brochure, Brendan and Elizabeth Crotty paint the sort of enticing picture that would make Basil and Sybil Fawlty positively faint. From The Garden Room, with its own private bar (‘the ideal location for Weddings, Conferences and Dinner Dances‘) to The Executive Room (‘ideal for meetings and seminars‘), from The Cove Bar to the swanky restaurant that likes to keep the emphasis on fresh, local produce, sure, wasn’t it the grandest hotel in town.
The Executive Room
Being, at that point, the only hotel in town might have helped too, but there’s no denying the majestic magnificence of The La Touche Hotel when it still had all its hair, and all its teeth.
Today, it might look like a slumped Shane MacGowan waiting for a lift home, but, hey, let’s party like it’s 1989, and take a look inside that Christie’s catalogue…
Situation The La Touche Hotel is situated on the east side of Trafalgar Road, opposite the tennis courts and overlooking the sea. Greystones, a former fishing village and coastal holiday resort, is located on the east coast 16 miles to the south of Dublin city and 4 miles from Bray. The road route from Dublin is the N11 to Bray, and from Bray, the L29 to Greystones. The hotel is within thirty minutes drive of Dublin city.
Dining & Function Room
The La Touche Hotel is a charming ‘old world’ hotel built around the turn of the century. The 4 storey detached building has balconies to the front and rear and is ideally situated, with splendid sea views. The hotel gardens run down to the sea.
The Business Premises The car park, directly off Trafalgar Road, is surfaced with tarmacadam. Double entrance doors to Porch/Outer Hallway with tiled floor, windows to front car park. Doors off to foyer/reception area, toilets and bar. Public telephone. Door through to Ground Floor Foyer/Reception Area, spacious and attractively decorated. Fully carpeted and centrally heated, papered walls, plastered and painted ceilings. Open fireplace. Double doors to main staircase and doors off to various sections. Reception desk counter, fully carpeted and centrally heated with papered walls over wood panelling, and door off to private office.
Door to Sea Lounge Bar, capacity c. 125, an L-shaped room with banquette seating and free standing furniture. Bar counter (linked to Function Room bar). French windows to rear lawn and patio. Centrally heated, papered walls, open fireplace. Doors off to Function Room and Bar. Function Room, capacity c. 100/125. Small stage. Banquette seating and free standing furniture. Bar counter, connecting to bar counter service area. Attractive fireplace and bay windows. Plastered and painted walls. Fire exit. Door off to rear corridor. Bar, capacity c. 70/80. Banquette and free standing furniture. Long bar counter. Part papered walls, tiled ceiling. Door off to corridor and to foyer. Ladies and Gentlemen’s toilets, fully tiled walls and floors. Door and corridor back to front foyer.
Main Dining/Function room
From the foyer/reception area, doubt doors beside the reception desk lead to… Main Dining Room/Function Room, a large, pleasant, tastefully decorated room, seating capacity c. 135. Free standing tables adn chairs. Fully carpeted and centrally heated with papered walls. Attractive bay window. Bar counter (linked to the Sea Lounge Bar). Fire exit to rear patio and garden. Door off to Kitchen. Small coffee service area with counters and shelves. Door off to yard. Through to delph and glass store area. Tiled floor and walls. Large walk-in freezer. Door off to… Restaurant seating c. 30/35. Tastefully decorated room with high ceiling and attractive skylights. Fully carpeted and centrally heated. Door off to hallway. Kitchen/Wash-Up Area. Fully equipped with stainless steel sink counters and all modern appliances. Fully tiled walls and floors. Door off to corridor.
The Michael Collins Suite. They reckon.
Store room with quarry tiled floor, plastered and painted walls. Freezers for food storage. There is an exit to a Front Yard, enclosed by a wall and with double gates to the front car park. The yard is used to store rubbish, oil tanks and crates. Access to Laundry Building, a large single storey building with commercial washing and drying machines for hotel linen. From the old building a corridor leads to the front hallway.
The Garden Room
Ladies toilets, fully carpeted with tiled walls.
Rear stairs for staff use in the old building lead to the first floor, with Store Room (used to store furniture), Staff Room, Bathroom with WC and wash hand basin, centrally heated Office with wooden floor and stainless steel sink, and two further Store Rooms. Steps up and door through to the main hotel accommodation on the first floor.
First Floor Guest Rooms – twelve bedrooms, all decorated to a good standard, being fully carpeted and furnished with papered walls, painted ceilings and en suite facilities (WC, wash hand basin, bath and/or shower). Each room has a balcony and most have television, fitted wardrobes and telephone. Meeting Room, formerly used as a Beauty Salon. Spacious, fully carpeted and centrally heated. Bathroom with WC and wash hand basin. Fire exit.
Main stairs and rear stairs lead to… Second Floor Guest Rooms – thirteen bedrooms, all recently redecorated to a high standard. Fully carpeted and furnished with papered walls and painted ceilings. All except one have en suite facilities, and most have fitted wardrobes, television and telephone. Balconies front and rear. Store Room (located beside main stairway). Possible lift shaft.
Main stairs and rear stairs to… Third Floor Rooms – thirteen bedrooms, three of which are guest rooms (two en suite). The remaining rooms are occupied by staff and are not in good decorative order. In addition, there are four store rooms, a staff television room, a bathroom and three WCs. Fire escapes to the rear.
Outside Front car park surfaced with tarmacadam, enclosed yard, rear lawn and patio, private access to beach.
Licence The property has the benefit of full hotel, restaurant, bar and two dance licences.
Fire Certificate We are advised that all alterations to the property have been approved by the fire office.
The Cove Bar
The Business The present owners purchase the premises approximately six years ago, during which time they have invested a considerable amount of time and money in upgrading and modernising the hotel. The capital and labour investment has paid dividents in the high turnover that the premises is now producing, and with continued improvement and good management the La Touche Hotel has excellent potential.
Trading Figures The certified turnover figure for the year ended 31 December 1988 was IR £549,251 (net of VAT). Certified turnover for the first 8 months of 1989 was IR £442,133 (net of VAT). Certified turnover figures are available on request.
Staff The business is run by the owner, plus 15 full time staff and 5/6 part time staff.
Extension staircase 1990s
Service The property is on full mains services. There is an oil fired central heating system throughout.
Fixtures and Fittings We understand that the fixtures and fittings are substantially free from loan, hire or lease purchase agreements.
Rates RV £30. The annual rates bill currently stands at approximately £8,500.
La Touche 1970s
Tenure We have been informed that the property is held freehold.
Planning Permission There is planning permission for a rear car park for 25/30 cars. A further application to build two apartments on the site of the laundry building has been submitted to the planning office.
Hurricane Doris Feb 2017
Solicitor having carriage of sale Rowan & Co, 34 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2.
Viewing This property has been personally inspected by John O’Byrne and for all viewing appointments please contact him or his colleagues at Christie & Co’s Dublin office on Dublin 613312.
Under no circumstances must any approach be made directly to the property. All viewings must be arranged through the Vendor’s Agent, Christie & Co.
Nice. Now, let’s take a trip, through The La Touche Hotel’s history, and back to when it was the aptly-named Grand Hotel…
The Grand Race
Grand Hotel. Source: Milton Postcard
Grand Hotel Robert French
Grand Hotel postcard. Source Unknown
Grand Hotel Postcard. Source: Dr Gestenberg
Grand Hotel. Pic Dr Gestenberg
Grand Hotel. Source: Milton Postcard
The Grand Hotel towering over the Cove. Nice.
The Grand Hotel early 1900s
Grand Hotel in its prime. Source Derek Paine
Grand Hotel New Year’s Eve Ball 1920 Irish Times ad
Grand Hotel Horse & Cart Source Patrick Neary
Grand Hotel looking very grand. Source: Derek Paine
The very grand Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel 1950
The Grand Hotel with sidecar
Grand Hotel Drawing Room Photo Dr Gerstenberg 1940
The Grand Race
Grand Hotel 1910
Grand Hotel postcard LD Paskins
Grand Hotel Rear Robert French
Early ad for The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel Postcard 1961
La Touche Hotel 1970s postcard
La Touche Hotel poscard. Source: Unknown
A Grand day out…
La Touche Hotel & Cove Pic Robert French
Trafalgar Road Valentine Postcard 1911
La Touche Hotel 1926. Source: Derek Paine
La Touche Hotel. Source: Unknown
La Touche Hotel Pic Liam Clare
Back of the old La Touche Hotel Pic: Unknown
La Touche Hotel view postcard 1909
La Touche Hotel view 29APR18 Alex Martin
Grand Hotel Letterheading
Grand Hotel 1950s Postcard. Source: Maude Tee
La Touche Hotel Apartments Sept 2020
You can check out our full pic archives here, the faded glory of the La Touche Hotel right here, and find out the latest twists and turns of its sorry demise here. You can also check out happier times for the once-Grand Hotel right here.
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