Newforge House, in the little hamlet of Magheralin, close to Moira, is exactly what an Irish country house should be. Personal touches take it from good, to great: the rooms have names instead of numbers; there are dogs and chickens roaming the grounds; John and Louise grow and make as much as they can themselves, from the homemade buttery shortbread biscuits in the bedrooms, to the rhubarb Shortcross gin and tonic with their own elderflower cordial, and the delicate homemade cheese crackers. In the drawing room is a real crackling log fire, and sometimes a shy little face will peak around a door for a few seconds as the Mather's young children suss out the evenings guests. John’s cooking is delicate, accomplished, and refined, and he has an intuitive fel for his ingredients, many of which are sourcd in the immediate locality. Newforge is the Mathers home, and has been for six generations, they are proud of it and what they have created, and very deservingly so. It’s a place where you feel like you could stay forever.
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