Easter Break Newforge House, Armagh: Where eggs are real ones!
Easter is a special time of the year when the door is closed (hopefully!) firmly shut on Winter and Spring has finally arrived. Therefore it is all the more important to be out in the fresh air for a little Easter Break taking in all the newly minted green trees and Spring blossoms. This is the time of year when birdsong takes over as the best Concert in town.
I was doing very well with that introduction when I fell ‘fowl’ of nature! I telephoned Newforge House in Maheralin the other day. I thought I should check out how Henry the cockerel and his Hen Harem were doing in advance of suggesting an Easter Break with a ‘real egg’ theme’. I was devastated to learn from the owner, Louise, that the previous night Henry was murdered by a predatory pine marten, along with quite a number of hens. Nature can be so cruel and Louise and John were pretty devastated by this devilish deed. On the positive side there are still plenty of hens that survived and thankfully they are still laying eggs; despite their trauma. Louise and John are now on a mission to replace the now deceased cockerel with a new one; one that is as gentle as the late Henry.
Of course all this is part of the daily life for those living in the heart of the countryside: So moving on to more positive things about rural life there are few places more suited to enjoying all that nature holds dear than in the heart of Co. Armagh; a place with undulating drumlins, soft foliages and hedges that are straight out of one of those Countryfile locations on the BBC. Newforge House is known as one of the ‘dinkiest’ Country Houses in Ireland; a place where you can sit outside in a garden filled with melodic birdsong interspersed with still quietude. There is also plenty to entertain as well over the Easter holidays such as a visiting a hidden gem called Rowallane Gardens in Saintfield where the rhododendrons and azaleas will be in full bloom. There is an Easter Egg Hunt at Ardress House. In fact Newforge House has an excellent listing on their website about what to do locally. Lurgan Park is worth a visit; people may not be aware that this is the second biggest public park in Ireland. Do keep a lookout for that pesky pine marten and tell him to leave those poor hens alone!
Newforge House is the perfect place for an Easter break if you enjoy superb local produce cooked to perfection and bedrooms decorated in immaculate country chintz style; and there will be enough fresh organic eggs for breakfast too!