Once described as a “capsule of social history” because of their collection of family portraits and memorabilia going back 250 years or more, the Madden family’s wonderful 18th century mansion is set in beautiful countryside, amidst 200 acres of woodland and farmland.
Fred and Joanna Madden are the ninth generation of Maddens to have lived at Hilton Park, and they are bringing new vitality and enthusiasm to the house and the estate.
Fred's parents, Johhny and Lucy (who are still involved), have welcomed guests to their home for over a quarter of a century and Hilton Park has an enviable reputation for warm hospitality and culinary excellence - and the family has made many improvements to the property over the years, including major renovations to the pleasure grounds and rose garden in 1994.
With lakes, Pleasure Grounds and a Lovers’ Walk to set the right tone, the house is magnificent in every sense. The Maddens are natural hosts and, as the house and its contents go back for so many generations, there is a strong feeling of being a privileged family guest as you wander through grandly-proportioned, beautifully furnished rooms.
Four-posters and all the unselfconscious comforts that make for a very special country house stay are part of the charm but, as visitors from all over the world have found, it’s the warmth of welcome that lends that extra magic.
In addition to the restored formal gardens, there are also extensive kitchen gardens and Lucy - an enthusiastic organic gardener and excellent cook – takes pride in supplying freshly harvested produce from the walled gardens for meals in the house. To her great delight, Joanna shares her enthusiasm for gardening and Fred, who is a chef - he trained under Rowley Leigh at Kensington Place - is equally dedicated to transforming their produce into wonderful meals for guests to enjoy.
Dinner for residents is served in a beautiful dining room overlooking the gardens and lake - and memorable breakfasts are taken downstairs in the Green Room next morning.
This is exceptional hospitality, with a true Irish flavour and, in recognition, Hilton Park was selected for our International Hospitality Award in 1999 and, in 2011, Johnny and Lucy Madden were awarded the Georgina Campbell Award, in recognition of their exceptional contribution to Irish hospitality.