Occupying the most enviable of positions in Ireland and proudly perching above the small lakeside town of Treangarriv, is Lost Cottage, an award-winning abode that combines modern architecture with the soul of a bygone era.

For owner and restaurateur Brian Spain, finding a home where he held such fond memories was a priority, and having spent many years in Kerry as a child, the once-abandoned cottage presented itself as the perfect opportunity. Having been inhabited solely by the wild mountain goats and lacking basic amenities such as running water, Brian states that ‘a lot of people would have run from it, but I ran towards it’.

When beginning work on the cottage, it was essential that oodles of originality ran throughout. ‘The landscape was a huge factor in the design. The old cottage had to stick to the authenticity wherever possible and the new building was constructed to blend in with the surroundings’ says Brian. ‘The hills climb up around the building, you really can see the cottage from everywhere.’

Factoring in elements of sustainability as a homage to the cottage’s routes, Brian saw an opportunity to ensure that Lost Cottage would remain minimal in design. ‘An architect friend of mine introduced me to John Pawson´s work which really opened my eyes to minimalism. As there is so much colour and constant change outside in the valley, I felt it appropriate to keep the interior white and minimal. Having a large quantity of Douglas Fir leftover from the construction of the extension, we had the perfect raw material to make the furniture for the house. The tables, benches, beds, headboards and shelves are all from this tree.’ Once the extensive renovations were completed in 2016 and the cottage was ready to welcome guests, ‘the motivation from this point was to share the experience’ explains Brian.

Located in one of only four Gold Tier Dark Sky Reserves in the world, Kerry is often recognised for its raw natural beauty and the mix of ingredients that create this are some of Brian’s favourite aspects of the area. ‘The thing I love is the kaleidoscope – it is looking out of the windows of Lost Cottage and witnessing the ever-changing elements. The light is one of the most impressive things, then you have the highest mountains in Ireland right in front of you and in the winter, you will see the snow cover the tips. It is very rare that guests will stay anywhere with a view like this.’ states Brian.

Designed with a focus on relaxation, the bathroom flaunts a glass roof, rain shower and sunken tub. ‘You are sitting there, and you just have this vision in front of your eyes, where nothing else matters. On a clear night, you are able to get a good sighting of the milky way’. However, the greatest enjoyment that the owner gets out of the cottage does not derive from being there himself, ‘it is watching people’s faces when they arrive for the first time and how blown away they are’.

After spending many years across European cities such as Paris and Madrid to establish his restaurant business, Brian is now based in Kerry full-time. 'Kerry is one of the most outstanding areas in Europe and the thing about Lost Cottage is that you can go off into the mountains from the doorstep’.