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Luggala Days by Robert O’Byrne


If you are as fascinated as I am by grand houses, their histories and their inhabitants, then you will just adore Robert O’byrne’s (see The Irish Aesthete) latest tome, Luggala Days. It’s the story of an exquisite 18th century house located in a secluded Irish valley, that became home and haven to the Guinness family in 1937 and, throughout the 60’s and 70’s, to a colorful collection of superstar-guests, including the likes of John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha, as well as a whole who’s who list of creatives like Lucien Freud, Bill Willis, Mick Jagger, and even Michael Jackson.

Tara Brown on his 21st Birthday with Rolling Stone Brian Jones and then girl friend Anita Pallenberg, John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha and interior designer Bill Willis

Tara Brown on his 21st Birthday with Rolling Stone Brian Jones and then girl friend Anita Pallenberg, John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha and interior designer Bill Willis

Portrait of Garech Browne by Lucian Freud

Portrait of Garech Browne by Lucian Freud

Ernest Guinness presented Luggala to his daughter Oonagh Guinness upon her marriage to the fourth Baron Oranmore and Browne. Her son the Hon. Garech Browne took up the Lagalla torch some three decades later in the late 60’s. In addition to lovingly restoring Luggala to its original 18th century splendor, Browne is known by many as Ireland’s last dandy!

The drawing room at Luggala

The drawing room at Luggala

Ireland's last  dandy, Garech Browne

Ireland’s last  dandy, Garech Browne

Often combining traditional tailoring with unexpected materials and colors to create truly unique and sometimes quite arresting effects—Brown’s approach, in fact, is not that dissimilar to mine! In speaking of Browne, O’Byrne quotes Baudelaire at one point: “Dandyism is the last splendor of heroism….” The thought certainly resonates with me—it does take a certain fearlessness to be oneself and to express one’s own unique sartorial vision.

This is certainly a must-have addition to one’s library—a luscious account of a remarkable home and the people who made it legendary.


  1. You MUST read Savage Grace!!!
    The story about the Baekeland family. The great grand father invented bakelite. Now THAT’S a story and THOSE are some houses!

  2. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Tracy,

    I had seen the film with Julianne Moore- which was stunning , albeit a bit dark.

    I look forward to checking out “THOSE” houses!

    Thank You for all your support!



  3. Oonagh says:

    As an Irish person, I must read this, thank you James.
    I’ve had dinner with Robert O’Byrne, he’s pretty stylish himself – another Irish dandy!

  4. James Andrew says:

    Hello Oonagh,

    Robert O’Byrne is brilliant – be sure to have a look at his site –


    Luggala Days is a must you will most certainly enjoy this terrific tome!

    Cheers and Many Thanks!


  5. Danny says:

    Shame there’s no pic of you showcasing a sartorial rendition of the house and its owner’s spirit! …. And I would have thought this post, if any, calls for Creed’s Irish Tweed…. Or perhaps something more exotic to reflect the fantasy Luggala’s interiors….
    X, Danny

  6. La Comtesse Lola says:

    This is a wonderful post, thank you James! Loved the photos and art, (wonderful to see things one’s hasn’t seen before, especially on the Internet where it’s all starting to look the same!), and so here I sat this morning, at my computer, Spaniels at my feet, sipping coffee, and learning something new! With two such gorgeous creatures as you and Browne! How smashing is that?!

  7. James Andrew says:

    Dear Danny,

    Well stay tuned!

    I am actually working with Robert O’Byrne to do a WIJW? in Ireland.

    So you may indeed see me giving these divine Irish Dandies a bit of competition- and perhaps sporting some Creed Irish Tweed.



  8. James Andrew says:

    La Comtesse Lola,

    What a lovely way to start your day!

    I miss my hounds!

    I adore Robert O’Bryne and wanted to hopefully create enough interest in his book Luggala Days – yet not give too much away- that people might actually want to go out and purchase their own copy.

    Light and Love


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