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Durban - Quirky and quaint – that sums up the pride of the KZN Midlands, Granny Mouse, the country retreat that boasts so many fantastic attractions.
Overlooking the Lions River, Granny Mouse, named after the original diminutive yet dynamic owner, is a four-star establishment that offers just about everything a traveller requires. Its top-class Spa is guaranteed to rejuvenate visitors taking in the delights of Nottingham Road, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in September.
Owner Gill Bowmaker says that when guests visit Granny Mouse they don’t want to leave. “Our biggest battle is to get people here. Once they have visited us they invariably want to return,” she says.
Bowmaker is right. On a recent visit my husband and I did not want to go after a wonderful two- night stay celebrating our wedding anniversary and hope to soon repeat the experience.
Granny Mouse gives a great deal of attention to staff training, one of the secrets of their success. They employ 67 local staff and engage in community projects. We could feel the results of this training as we were pampered in the in house spa which is set off by a pretty English themed garden.
We were allocated one of the 12 recently-built, beautiful suites which blend in well with the other older but charming cottages.
A spacious exotic bathroom with underfloor heating tempted us into long rejuvenating spells spent in the generous tub.
There was just not enough time to see even a tiny piece of what the Midlands Meander offers, and while browsing in one of the many shops or factories we were always eager to get back to our delightful suite and enjoy such pleasant surrounds.
Granny Mouse has also developed an exciting river trail for the energetic with numerous picturesque places to take a rest. Game frequent the area while Sheba the Alsatian keeps you company along the way. A charming church with a view of gentle rolling hills along with various venue rooms would make this charming country retreat an ideal wedding choice.
Food and service, under the watchful eye of head chef Eben Coosner, are top class. The special anniversary dinner served to us in the Eaves was outstanding with an unexpected surprise of a chocolate written message on our dessert plates. Later still we were spoilt with a heart-shaped rose message on our bed.
Granny Mouse is definitely NOT Mickey Mouse. It is a useful stopover for Spud Country – the famous Michaelhouse school is just down the road as are Pietermaritzburg and Durban – definitely worth a visit.
l www.grannymouse.co.za; Tel: 033 234 4071 - Sunday Independent