Last month, wriggling out from beneath a mountain of deadlines, Gareth, my significant other, and I bundled ourselves into my dusty Ford. We left a pile of grumpy pets behind in the care of family and motored our way up to the grass-scented, jersey cow-dotted terrain of the KZN Midlands. I’d heard that a well-known and much-loved establishment, Granny Mouse, was on the cusp of its 30th anniversary, having renovated the place and with a new head chef poised to take the reigns. I wanted to go have a look-see as it has been years since I last shuffled through their doors.
I love this time of year. The roads may be dusty and the grass yellowed but the sky is a crisp blue that puts the seemingly bland colours into richer relief. This autumn palette is what greeted us on arrival through the tree-lined road leading to Granny Mouse. The sepia tones of the vegetation and the azure sky were pleasantly offset as a curtain of rust-coloured leaves was drawn in welcome.
I can see why the Granny Mouse motto is “Welcome Home” as everything on the premises, from the cottages and the relaxed and cozy decor to the charming gardens lends itself to a homely and endearing feel. The staff are equally lovely, with the affable general manager, Sean Granger, taking pains to personally welcome guests as they arrive.
The aforementioned garden throughout is one of my favourite things about Granny Mouse. Unpretentious and colourful, from the flowerbeds, the herbs and the lemon tree to the amusing signs, its warm and pleasant surroundings are reminiscent of my own beloved gran’s garden. I found it very comforting.
The main building at GM is a snug labyrinth of comfortable couches, lounges with large fireplaces, serviced by friendly, unobtrusive staff. It’s great to while away the time by a fire, nursing a hot chocolate and having a chat.
Our room was a deluxe suite with a river view. Hill-facing, overlooking the meadows and distant railway. It had a little balcony and a perfect spot to put my feet up, grab a magazine and indulge in the contents of the mini bar. Delighted is the woman that discovers the ingredients to a G&T in the minibar that costs no more than it would at the actual bar. I took full advantage, I have no shame in admitting.
A window seat with sweeping views hugged the corner of our room, opposite it on the other side was the fireplace. Between those two points and the giant tub in the bathroom, my map had very little activity plotted out other than relaxing.
The bathroom had complimentary robes, slippers, bath salts and oils. There are few pleasures on earth like a giant tub with a view, suds and a drink. I dove right in, literally (well, insofar as an awkward, undignified tumble can be described as a bathtub dive) and marinated for a good long while, and contemplated the time between lunch and supper.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure to indulge quietly like that. Regretfully we could only stay one night, but its definitely a two-nighter kind of place. There’s lots of quiet relaxing to do, either at the spa, the rooms, the tub, the pub, by the pool, in the gardens or on a relaxed walk.
Nearby, due to its convenient location, you have the surrounds of the entire Meander to explore. From fresh herbs at Granny Mouse’s doorstep at St Peter’s Gate to a great little farmers market in Dargle if you are there on the first Sunday of the month. Restaurants up and down the road, little shops and curios and various activities can keep you occupied if you are of the more energetic ilk (which I am not, this potato liked to potate as close to the minibar and food as possible).
The setting is sublime and welcoming and quenching for the parched soul. As is the bar 😉 It was a pleasure to stay and, of course, a pleasure to eat there. As is the case with a place like this, the food deserves its own write-up, which will be served up in the next post – so keep an eye out for it tomorrow!
Granny Mouse is celebrating its 30th birthday with a great comp. Click on the following link for details: click here.
For bookings and further info follow the details below:
T+27(0)33 234 4071