Nothing mousy about this escape


Granny Mouse Country House and Spa is lovely,” said a colleague a day before I packed my red luggage bag to visit the renowned KZN establishment. “Yeah right,” I thought to myself, holding on to some doubt in case it turned out to be a disappointment. Fortunately, I was more than pleased with a two night stay at this perfectly located spa in the Midlands Meander.

The Luxury Travel Guide Awards recently awarded Granny Mouse Country House and Spa a service excellence award for 2017, and for good reason. It offers award-winning cuisine, an impressive service record and added personal touches for guests. My visit was to see what all the fuss was about. I arrived on a Sunday afternoon. After a few blistering hot days in Durban, the dull, drizzly weather was welcomed. When I arrived at my destination, I was escorted to my deluxe suite, which overlooked the Lions River. The view from my suite was magical. Coupled with the fresh smell of lavender filling the room, it was a sure sign that the escape I so desperately needed was right here at Granny Mouse. Showcasing its royal grandeur, the room was decorated in beige, maroon, red and white. The design elements where vintage meets modern.

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The chapel where people host weddings.A glimpse of the deluxe suite.Inside the Eaves restaurant.

As much as I tried to find fault with this accommodation hotspot, I could not. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to make my stay comfortable – and even prepared me a lemon, ginger concoction help me heal from a cold. At dinner, they added another special touch, leaving me a delightful chocolate bar to satisfy my sweet tooth before bedtime – not that I was short of sweet indulgences with their filled mini-bar and biscuits. During breakfast with the hotel manager Sean Granger,

I learnt a lot about this opulent spot. Granny Mouse started 32 years ago with five chalets. Today it has 32 rooms, ranging from deluxe suites, deluxe rooms and garden rooms. “It is a home away from home. We pride ourselves with personalised service” Granger said as we sampled the fine juices. “We treat people like individuals, irrespective of who they are. We use a lot of social media to interact with our guests and prospective clients,” Granger said proudly. Guests are allowed to bring their house-trained pets with them for a holiday and children are given the five-star treatment to the point that they are pampered with cartoon gowns and games.

The foodie can enjoy a range of tastings, from cheese and brandy to liquor and chocolate tastings and wine pairings. Food Granny Mouse booked me for a three-course dinner for each of my two nights. On the first night I dined at the Eaves Restaurant where I was given the red carpet treatment. It was dinner for one as I had the entire restaurant to myself. A waiter, Lihle Nzimade, took down my order and did routine checks to see how I was doing, but not to the extent where she hovered over me.

Chef Kirsty sent me an amuse-bouche comprising a crumbed mushroom and tartar sauce. For starters, I had a big portion of butternut soup with red onion and croutons. It was beautifully prepared and I must admit I over-indulged. I had a prawn and mussel main dish with ginger polenta and corn salad. It was light for a main, but refreshing. When it came to dessert, I had a “cup of tea”, a range of desserts, including meringues, panna cotta and cheesecake. By the end of the night, I felt like an elephant but the food was too good to refuse. On the second night, I dined at the Bistro. The sweet potato soup was a bit bland and my main order of ravioli wasn’t 100%. I settled for the trout with a side of mash and basmati rice, but did not finish it. Dessert was a chocolate cake which I had later that night in my suite. I can’t say I did not like the Bistro, but I preferred the Eaves. All in all, I had a blast at Granny Mouse despite the cold, rainy weather. It was definitely a good choice and a deserving winner of the luxury awards.

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