Country House owners John and Lou Mathers host birthday celebrations at their luxury award-winning guest house at Magheralin

Newforge House
Newforge House
  • Newforge celebrated 10th anniversary
  • Winners of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2015 ‘Best Place to Stay: Serviced Accommodation
  • Five star luxury on our doorstep

Special can be an overused word however when linked to Newforge House, Magheralin it seems almost inadequate.

Celebrating ten years of being a Five Star country guest house this week, John and Lou Mathers laid on a very special evening of celebration.

At Gin O’Clock, guests were invited to a tantalising canapee and drinks soiree, showcasing the excellence of this unique country house.

It was a celebration of local food and drinks cooked by Newforge House owner and talented chef John Mathers.

“I can’t believe it has been ten years - it has gone in the blink of an eye. I am very proud of what we have achieved in those years. Thanks to a really strong team and fantastic local producers Newforge House has won many fabulous awards and recognition from food and travel writers,” said John. “Most important to us are the valued comments and repeat visits from guests. Newforge is a special place and we hope to help guests create special memories during their stay.”

And their reputation is impeccable having just been crowned winners of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2015 is ‘Best Place to Stay: Serviced Accommodation and have been winners of “Best Hotel Restaurant” in Ulster 2014 and Co. Armagh 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

John and Lou Mathers at Newforge House

John and Lou Mathers at Newforge House

Guests were welcomed to the tenth anniversary soiree with a Newforge Rhubarb Gin Fizz made with Northern Irish Shortcross Gin, homemade rhubarb cordial and ‘designer ice’ made with home grown borage. Also served was the tasty McGrath’s craft beer, from our own local Clanconnel Brewing Co. in Waringstown.

John Mathers is always sourcing local gems and served delicious snacks incluing salt aged beef from Peter Hannan’s Himalayan Salt Chamber in Moira as well as home-smoked Walter Ewing Glenarm Salmon. Tasting tables were hosted by Shortcross Gin, Clanconnel Brewing, Corleggy Cheese and Mike’s Fancy Cheese Company.

John and Lou opened Newforge House in May 2005 with the idea of running a Country House that feels like a home from home and has the highest quality food at its heart.

It took two years of hard work to convert John’s family home into a luxurious Country House Guesthouse which now takes pride of place in Ireland’s Blue Book, Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide, John and Sally McKenna’s Irish Good Guide, Good Food Ireland, The Good Hotel Guide and Alistair Sawday.

Newforge is a special place and we hope to help guests create special memories during their stay

John Mathers

Newforge House opened with a team of two staff - John and Lou and over the years the team has expanded to include six local ladies. It is a truly magnificent achievement and offers warm hospitality as well as superb food in the tranquil surroundings of beautiful mature gardens.

The couple’s aim is to make each guest feel very much at home and special. And reading reviews on travel websites, they certainly succeed.

Guests arriving at Newforge are invited to relax by the fire in the cosy drawing room while enjoying a pot of artisan leaf tea or freshly brewed coffee with homemade biscuits.

John has a passion for local, seasonal produce and his dinner menu changes daily to suit. There is a small orchard which provides fruits for desserts, chutnewys and preserves and is home to the family’s friendly chickens that lay delicious eggs for breakfast. Homegrown vegetables also feature on the menu as do freshly baked breads and Moyallon dry cured bacon plus Lurgan butcher Madden’s award winning sausages.

Rooms at Newforge are tastefully decorated in keeping with a fine Country House though have all the modern and luxurious amenities expected of five star accommodation.

It is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway. And the house and gardens are available for hire making it a very special wedding venue.

For locals the fine dining is a must try and a three course season dinner is served from Tuesday to Saturday.

Newforge is also well known for an extensive drinks list which, in addition to wine, features local ales and ciders, and 18 gins from around the world including Shortcross small-batch gin from Downpatrick. They make their own flavoured gins and vodkas using home grown raspberries, blackberries, damsons and sloes.

For more information check out their website at