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.
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.