Page 26 - ESWT18
P. 26

                            HOTEL REVIEW | Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa
   DETAILS
Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa 200 Horderns Road, Bowral miltonpark.com.au
FOR THE LOVE OF LUXE
IMMERSED IN HISTORY AND SURROUNDED BY SUMPTUOUSNESS, MY NIGHT AT MILTON PARK COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA WAS A WELCOME TASTE OF THE VERY GOOD LIFE. WORDS ALEX SPEED IMAGES ELISE HASSEY
Situated at the end of a long winding driveway that allows time for anticipation, the five star Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa impresses at first sight.
To the left, one of the oldest, most precious cool climate gardens in the Southern Highlands comes into view. Designed with a nod to the 18th century English School of Landscape, which swept away strict geometric features for a more natural look, the gardens are home to thousands
of trees. These include octogenarian elms and weeping beeches, 400 rose bushes, 2000 metres of hedges and
a bluebell wood. There are also traditionally designed elements such as a sunken garden, rose parterre, Japanese style ponds and pergola draped in wisteria.
To the right is a likewise impressive grand old country mansion. The original home, which is now the hotel,
was built in the Edwardian period by one of Australia’s wealthiest founding families, the retailing and pastoral Horderns. It was the dwelling of their third son, Anthony, who (before he married Viola Bingham) was known in the Sydney press in 1910 as one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors.
More on the dashing Hordern boys later, but for now I cheerfully wave off the valet’s offer and happily self park in the carpark lined with radiata pine, and note the McLarens, Porsches and Lamborghinis that have already arrived.
Along a sandstone garden path is the indoor swimming pool, housed in a vine laced stone building with arched windows. It brings to mind images of 1950s Hollywood yet, like the house, the pool dates back to 1910 and was actually the country’s first heated and filtered one.
Milton Park was built by Sydney architects Morrow and De Putron for Anthony Hordern, whose older brothers Sam and Lebbeus also made their mark in the Highlands through ownership of Retford Park and Hopewood House. (Sam
also became President of the Royal Agricultural Society, his namesake the famous Hordern Pavilion at the old Sydney Showground.) Anthony was 21 when he bought the 1200 acre Mansfield Farm, as it was known then. He renamed it Milton Park and the property became one of the top Poll Hereford cattle studs in Australia. Back in Sydney, his father and uncle Lebbeus had established the Anthony Hordern & Sons Department Store in 1844. It went on to become the Palace Emporium, a six storey building between the corners of George, Pitt and Goulburn streets, which at one time was recognised as the largest department store in the world.
Milton Park doesn’t scrimp on space either. Anthony Hordern lived here with Viola until her death in 1929, and in 1932 he married Mary Bullmore, the great aunt of casino magnate James Packer. It’s the kind of place where money and breeding talks, with its ballroom, cocktail and champagne bar, billiards room, private dining room and three restaurants, including fine dining Horderns Restaurant, as well as 36 Deluxe Rooms and 8 Suites. This is a historical house that saw some serious glamour in its 1920s heyday.
   26
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
    SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
















































































   24   25   26   27   28