Maudlins House Hotel in Naas is not what you would expect on the outskirts of a busy little town; a beautifully restored country house hotel with lots of wow, it has both an old world feel, but with a touch of the contemporary.
The Fagan’s opened Maudlins House Hotel in April 2006 and have been catering for locals, tourists and business people alike. Maudlins cater beautifully for all needs from lunch in the bar to fine dining in the restaurant. There are also rooms available for private dining which can cater for up to 26 guests, as well as being a boutique venue for more intimate weddings.
On arrival into the hotel you will be wowed with an open reception area, large marble floors and a spectacular hanging chandelier which catches the light from all angles. We made our way to the bar and with a mug of mulled wine, a warm start to a freezing winters evening while we perused the menus. Prominent features within the bar are a large grand piano, lots of equine paintings on the walls which, given the location in the middle of racing territory, are not out of place as well as a vintage carriage overhead on a small balcony area.
The Virginia restaurant is broken into 4 smaller homelike rooms, all with beautiful fireplaces and scattered with lots of antiques. The staff are very welcoming and couldn’t be more obliging; our daughter she was given loads of colouring materials which entertained her for hours and she had a choice of a children’s menu or half portions of all other choices.
There was a choice of menus from an early bird which is available Thursday & Friday from 5.30-9.30pm, Saturday between 5&7pm and on a Sunday from 5-9pm. 2-courses are priced at €19.90 and 3-courses for €26.40. We decided to stick with the A la Carte, and I chose the chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and red onion marmalade and Fred had the homemade seafood chowder, while Keisha brought up the rear with vegetable soup with homemade bread. Starters all averaged around €7.50 each.
Mains were well selected and offered fish, poultry, meat and game. Dishes such as seared fillet of rabbit with rabbit shallot pie, braised rabbit leg, buttered cabbage and tarragon sauce; crispy fillet of hake wrapped in pancetta served with basil mash, or steak & field mushroom pie with crispy puff pastry and buttered peas. I had seared fillet of Sea Bass with chive and vegetable veloute, perfectly cooked, while Fred worked his way through the braised lamb shank with slow cooked onions & thyme jus. Keisha had a small portion of the pan seared fillet of salmon with sweet chilli jam and garden salad. All the dishes were cooked just right and timing between courses was just right, we didn’t feel we were being rushed but also weren’t left to our own devices for too long.
The wine list was well chosen and balanced and we picked a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Craggy Range Te Muna, which was a really good NZ SB, scores highly on the wine charts, 91 points appara, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. At €38.00 it’s towards the upper end of the price range, but there is a good selection of wines by the glass around the €6 mark, and a selection of wines of the month, which are marked down around 25% and offer good value.
One of the really nice things also to notice is that most of the staff are local and all have been there a number of years, which says a huge amount about David Fagan and his team, obviously providing an atmosphere people enjoy working in. Rossa has been Head Chef in Maudlins since they opened their doors in 2006, and he prides himself on serving freshly made produce in a simple manner. The style of food served in the bar is just good as in the restaurant and all ingredients are sourced locally where possibly.