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Durban - By all accounts, Granny Mouse is synonymous with the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and, although I have never visited the hotel, I imagined it being country floral at its frumpiest, with a mindset to match. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Our chic, elegant de luxe suite was airy and spacious under a high, thatched roof, with large picture windows and folding French doors leading to a balcony with views over Lions River below.
Tasteful artwork adorned the walls and there were enough lighting options for even the most obsessive-compulsive. Efficient air conditioning for summer; a fireplace, underfloor heating and heated towel rails in the bathroom for winter; a stocked bar fridge with good tea and coffee, and a TV set in the bedroom were some of the facilities.
Our spacious bathroom boasted a large bath, a big window, double basins and a well-designed shower (a pivotable rain shower head and a door that opens either way).
I had a look at some of the standard, garden accommodation and was equally impressed.
We were more impressed with the grounds, which featured pretty flower beds and hanging baskets spilling flowers down every wall. Almost everywhere you walk there are water features. There are also two swimming pools and the river below curves around and is always in view, whether from the rooms or the wedding chapel.
There’s a spa too.
But most people seem to come for the food. Granny Mouse has two restaurants and sous chef Ryan Brand has returned and is making the most of his executive chef status.
The casual bistro spills out on to the terrace and has an extensive menu to suit most tastes. The Eaves is the fine dining restaurant and, as the name suggests, is located in the eaves above the bistro. It is intimate and elegant and the food is truly excellent.
Ryan’s return is one of several recent changes at Granny Mouse. Manager Sean Granger and food and beverage manager Mouton du Toit joined Granny Mouse from Franschhoek and have introduced their easygoing charm and some Cape flavour – food and wine pairings in the late afternoon are a great way to decide on dinner. Mouton joined us on the deck alongside the pool with views over the Caversham valley as we sampled.
The carefully considered vegetarian options (they cater for pescatarians, vegans, raw foodies and the gluten intolerant) won our vote, as did the relatively low mark-ups on the extensive wine selection.
We were struck by how confident and friendly the staff were, as well as the diversity of contented guests. “Welcome Home” is the motto at Granny Mouse Country House and Spa. If it was my home I would be hard-pressed to venture forth.
Call 033 234 4071 or visit www.grannymouse.co.za - Sunday Tribune