Continuing the recent posts on the theme of darkness and beauty, if you’re looking for a great coffee with a beautiful heart, look no further than ‘The Auction Room’ in the centre of Maghera.
For those in the North Coast of Northern Ireland, it’s a wee drive out before a rewarding coffee experience. Or for those in Belfast, it’s worth a drive for the beautiful artisan cuisine. (Not least the big breakfast brunch!). Not to mention the new evening menu available in late night opening ( Thursday to Saturdays, open 10am to 10pm, Sunday – Wednesday, 10 – 5pm).
Director Neil Hyndman has done a superb job in recent years attempting to address the issue of youth unemployment in the town, alongside exploring his passion for good coffee and good food. Many of his staff are young people who’ve never had any kind of employment before, though in their twenties. The Auction Room has been offering a step-up amidst a hospitable coffee and food experience in the heart of Mid-Ulster for just over 3 years now. No mean feat in the current climate of poor economic opportunities West of the Bann.
I discovered ‘The Auction Room’ just earlier in 2016. The large hand-made hearty wooden table in the centre of the establishment is a great place to converse with friends or family over a ‘cuppa.’ The Auction Room has a comprehensive breakfast, lunch and now dinner menu, with something for the kids too.
There’s a warm and inviting vibe, without the pretentiousness, frankly, of many hipster-type places.
So why not give it a try next time you’re passing through Maghera – driving through this town is what most people tend to do, but now you’ve got a beautiful excuse to stop and re-fuel more than just your car.
It also happens to be located in an area with much history attached – the local area (Gorteade specifically) was the birthplace of the gentleman who penned the US Declaration of Independence, Charles Thomson (1729 -1824). This Maghera man made his mark forever in American history and yet in typical humble Ulster is a little known historical figure, very overlooked and often unheard of. Thomson was also responsible for the Latin script on the US Dollar bill, amongst other things, including informing George Washington he had become President. A plaque commemorating Thomson exists on the wall of The Auction Room building. Another reason for all you Americans to visit The Auction Room next time you travel to Maghera, Northern Ireland.
A hearty Mid-Ulster welcome awaits!