Granny Mouse

Granny Mouse, what an amazing country house

Granny Mouse Country House is a name that most people in Durban know. For me, hearing that name created images of fire places, hot chocolate, fluffy blankets and cute thatched cottages. Basically what I had seen in photos online, is what you get in person.

It was way better than I could have imagined.

This trip came at the perfect time, I was going through the biggest loss of my life to date, my precious Queen Joan (my granny) had passed away a few days before. I contemplated not going, but then I thought if you’re going to be sad somewhere, it might as well be at gorgeous Granny Mouse. It also helped having Cath with me to keep me laughing and my mind busy. She helped, A LOT!

From the moment we arrived we were treated as family. For me, that’s such a new feeling when staying somewhere, because usually you’re just a number. At Granny Mouse, you’re part of their family, as they welcome you home.

I was a bit worried going in Winter, to the Midlands, because I know how cold it gets. So I really packed all of the warm clothes I have, but, I didn’t need them when we were in our beautiful suite! There was the most perfect fireplace, as well as electric blankets on the bed. To say we were warm would be an understatement! It was so nice and toasty.

Granny Mouse

Granny Mouse

Granny Mouse

The view from our room was amazing. I claimed a reading corner very quickly! This can also double up as kiddie beds, or as we like to say, it’s Delia sized. (She is our tiny friend who we tried to convince to drive up spontaneously).

Everything in the room has the most amazing attention to details. I am somewhat of a bath hog, so to see the amount of bath oil, bath salts and bubble bath made my visions of a giant Sunset bath that much more real.

 

Granny Mouse

After settling into our room we headed to our spa appointment! Present Jane was loving past Jane for once again being brilliant in guessing what future Jane would want. It really is a gift.

On our way to the spa, we decided we HAD to take some selfies at their epic selfie frame! I mean, they’ve gone to so much trouble, it would be rude not to. I would like to tell you about the photos Cath took without her glasses on, but I can’t because she would kill me.

But look how fun these ones are! I had to do a #JaneJump of course.

Granny Mouse

Everything about these grounds just screams magical. Walking around you feel like you’re somewhere else completely, but at the same time you have that warmth that only home can bring. We had an amazing time at the spa, and we had a little look inside the chapel. I can see why this is such a sought after wedding venue! I even caught Cath in the act of getting the perfect shot ūüėČ

We were treated to the most incredible dinner experience. Wow. A private 3 course dinner in the wine cellar! When they said the cellar, I thought it was the name of the restaurant. Nope, the literal wine cellar. Just the two of us! It was such an amazing experience, honestly. The food was incredible! I have not eaten like that ever. The dessert! I would go back just for the dessert it was ridiculous.

Granny Mouse

After dinner we moved to the lounge area to sit by the fire and just be. With everything that I was going through this time was just so perfect. We chatted, we instagram storied, we laughed. Perfection.

We went back to our room, made a fire, got into our onesies and had some tea! What an epic girls night.

Waking up to that view was like a dream. We made some tea and headed outside for morning tea on the deck.

It was a bit cold that day so we bundled up and headed to breakfast. After breakfast we decided to do the short river trail walk. It was short enough to enjoy but long enough to feel like you’ve done something. You can do the longer version, but we weren’t feeling too adventurous that day.

We just loved our time at Granny Mouse and this room is definitely on our list of favourite spaces! I know I will definitely be back.

Granny Mouse isn’t just a good looking gal, she has accomplished some pretty big things in her life.

The Eaves restaurant was chosen in the Eat Out Top 500 restaurants in South Africa for the third time as well as being voted the winner of Service Excellence- KwaZulu-Natal- South Africa in The Luxury Travel Guide Awards (Africa & Middle East Awards 2017).

Among other awards, they have won Best Luxury Accommodation & Spa Resort in KZN as well as the Hospitality Manager of the Year 2017 for KZN in the Sub-Saharan Enterprise Awards 2017.

Who wouldn’t want to stay somewhere that has won those accolades? I can tell you they’re all well deserved.

Thank you to Granny Mouse for being so accommodating and having such a family vibe towards everyone who visits. It is so refreshing to feel like one of the family!

You can find Granny Mouse on Instagram, twitter and Facebook.

To book your visit go to the Granny Mouse Website.

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Hluhluwe River Lodge

My cousin recently came out from the UK with her husband and two small kiddies. Her husband has never been to South Africa, ever, so we wanted to show him the safari side of our beautiful country!

After much searching for the perfect place to stay, my brother recommended Hluhluwe River Lodge. It was perfect! The more I looked at it the more I loved it. I opted to stay in the self catering Mkhulu’s house which has two bedrooms and is a fully kitted self catering house with its own private pool. What I loved about it, was that it was separate from the rest of the lodge, so you really felt like you were away from everything and everyone.

The staff are just magic, and so friendly and accommodating. I love that its far enough from the main reserves that you aren’t near large animals, but close enough to book a game drive. We opted to book a private game drive as there were 4 adults and 2 kiddies and it was much nicer just being with your own family. For an extra R200ish the guide came and fetched us from the lodge. WORTH IT!

Hluhluwe River Lodge is very peaceful and relaxing. I could have easily spent another night there. I know that I will definitely be visiting again and I will totally book Mkhulu’s house. it was so nice having a fully kitted house, so you feel free to move around and make your tea or your snacks and go chill out on the balcony.

Booking was SUPER easy and Ayanda was so helpful and a delight to deal with. We went back and forth a fair amount on email and she was always so helpful and efficient. It was so nice to meet her in person, she has the biggest smile and it was a very warm welcome.

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Visit their website to find out when Mkhulu’s house is free for you!

 

Watch our Safari video and see the beautiful house in person:

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Snow and being Snowed in

We all see it in the movies, when people get snowed in and can’t go to school or work, and we all say “I wish that would happen here!”. When really we don’t know the negatives about being snowed in. I had read my friend¬†Keri’s¬†blogposts about living in Nottingham Road and how the snow affected her, and I was sympathetic reading those posts, because you really don’t think of those things.

It’s all fun and games until you run out of food.

We got snowed in for an extra two days. Look, the snow was BEAUTIFUL and it was FUN, but there are only so many pictures you can take. Once you’ve played in it, you’ve played in it. You’re not going out to do the same thing the next day, because it is 1 degree celsius and wouldn’t you rather be inside by the fire? All I wanted to do was get home and work, because I had so much work to do and so little 3g signal.

We are so so lucky that:

  • We had enough food (this was only because my dad was going straight to the berg on Monday morning when we were coming home. If we didn’t have his extra food it would’ve been popcorn for us!)
  • The pipes didn’t freeze. That would mean no drinking water, no showering and no functioning toilet.¬†Let that sink in: no toilet. (For 4 people)
  • We had enough fire wood. When the average temperature during the day was 1-3 degrees, you can imagine we had the fire on from 9am.
  • We packed the warmest clothes we had. I almost didn’t pack well. I’m glad I did!
  • We took our UPS battery. There isn’t any electricity, and we usually just use solar lights, but we recently got this unit to use for Secret Sunrise¬†so we thought we would take it. Thank goodness because it was so cold our phone batteries ran down overnight, even though it was switched off! Usually I take two power banks and I’m good. Nope, they were done in the first two days, so for the next two days the UPS was used to charge phones. But then that went low on Monday night, so we had no charge for our phones which is a problem when people are worried about you and you’re trying to send word home and to find out info about the snow and if it’s getting clear.
  • We all had books etc to keep us entertained.
  • We had each other. My parents came with us so we had enough conversation to keep us sane!
  • The dogs were SO good. Being cooped up inside and cold for 4 days usually brings out the worst in dogs. They get crazy if it rains for two days, but they were so so good. They were visually cold every minute, and they had one patch of grass to go do their business on. Yet they were so well behaved. Proud mama!
  • We were so stressed out wondering if our houses were flooded or still standing! Hearing all the horror stories back home and people telling us our garage (with a lot of stock in) was definitely flooded¬†made us stress even more! We were praying the snow would melt so we could get out. We were so lucky that we had mild water in our home and garage. It’s as if we were being rewarded for withstanding one effect of mother nature.
  • Thanks to my dad’s stash I didn’t run out of milk for tea. LOL. This was a genuine stress for me haha. (Because it was SO COLD).

Besides that, it was a great weekend with family. I loved that Boston and Harley got to experience snow for the first time, and Harley is now a youtube dog with her snow video!

Next time you decide to chase snow, please be careful and have respect for the farmer’s properties. There were thousands and thousands of rands damage caused that Sunday by people coming up to see the snow and breaking fences amongst other things.

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Crystal Barn for coffee on Saturday. The calm before the snow storm!

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Sunday morning snow

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Then the REAL snow fell on Sunday night and we woke up to this thick snow on Monday. That is when we knew we were stuck! Our plans of leaving Monday morning definitely weren’t happening.

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My FAV soup saved the day! Check out We are Food.

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Boston crept closer and closer to the fire as the days went. Eventually she would sit like that or stand with her bum towards it after coming back inside to warm herself up!

Watch Harley’s Disney on ice video Here!¬†It is amazing!

 

Keep warm and next time you go away and it might snow, pack an extra two days of food!

 

Follow me on instagram and twitter 

Snapchat is @gijane_zn

 

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