Granny Mouse Country House & Spa Review, November 2008
By Jacqui Cochran
It was a drizzly and overcast afternoon when we pulled up outside Granny Mouse's Country House & Spa in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. Having heard mention of Granny Mouse ever since I was a child, I was anxious now that I was finally getting to visit the place, that I might be disappointed if it did not live up to my Beatrix Potter-inspired fantasies. But my fears were soon allayed... Granny Mouse is every bit as charming as I had envisaged, from the pretty country gardens and picturesque waterfall cascading into the Lion's River to the inviting “Mouse and Lion” pub and the low, carved, wooden door frames that my hubby had to keep stooping beneath.
After a warming glass of port, we were shown to our cottage and, to our delight, discovered that it was discreetly tucked away amongst the trees and overlooking the Lion's River, a haven of privacy and tranquillity. Since my husband and I are both paddlers and nature-lovers, there is nothing more relaxing for us than being able to plonk ourselves down on a private deck and watch the mesmerising flow of a river below us. As soon as the rain eased up we decided to explore the property a little further and headed off on the Waterfall Trail, where we were soon joined by Sheba, the owner's dog, who seemed to delight in having some company on her wanderings. We even caught a glimpse of what may have been a hare or a bat-eared fox (?) beating a hasty retreat.
That evening we were treated to a superb dinner, with the highlights being our choice of mains, lamb shank for me and quail for my husband. Whilst I do enjoy a well presented plate, I am more interested in a good, old-fashioned, tasty meal with the right blend of protein, veg and carbs! And when it comes to catering for both the eye and the stomach, Granny Mouse has got the formula down pat! We applaud their chefs.
Upon returning to our room, our fireplace was alive with a welcome glow, a real luxury for two Durbanites who seldom have need to light a fire except when camping! After a warming soak in the quaint, claw-foot bath tub, we slipped into an easy slumber with the sound of the fire crackling in our ears.
The next morning we booked into the Granny Mouse spa to have any remaining traces of city stress pummelled out of our world-weary bodies. The full-length windows at the entrance flood the spa's welcome area with natural light and draw the eye to the calming views of the swimming pool and well manicured gardens outside. The spa offers a range of skin and body treatments as well as a jacuzzi, steam room, hydrotherapy bath and gym for those who are feeling physically inclined (we were not!). We decided to experience a full body massage in one of their couples' treatment rooms and our therapists' healing hands left us floating. A refreshing and lovely spa experience.
In summary, Granny Mouse is the ultimate escape for city-dwellers. It has all the luxury of modern convenience but has retained its olde worlde charm and character. We would not hesitate to recommend this establishment as a romantic get-away but also a superb conferencing and teambuilding venue.
We didn't get to meet Granny Mouse during our visit, but we know she must have been there because, as my husband pointed out, why else would those door frames have been built so low!?