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.

Follow:

Gulfood 2017

Gulfood is the world’s largest annual food and beverage event, taking place in Dubai. I was lucky enough to attend this year with Vit Hit and it was overwhelming!

Gulfood has:

  • Over 95 000 visitors
  • Over 5000 exhibitors
  • Over 1000 first time exhibitors
  • Over 120 trading countries
  • 90% of visitors confirm that Gulfood fulfils their business objectives.
  • 89% of past visitors will attend Gulfood again.
  • 52% of visitors attend Gulfood with a predetermined list of products to purchase

 

I was quite excited to get to the healthy and gluten free hall, expecting stall after stall and delicious products I could bring back for us here. Well, I walked through it in 5 minutes flat! Lets hope that next year there will be a few more, then a few more, and eventually have a full hall full of gluten free, sugar free goodness. The world is waking up to the benefits of healthier food, so hopefully we see more of it at these events too.

 

What I noticed was a lot of pre-made, frozen desserts for the hotels and hospitality industry. We don’t see that here too much, but Chateau Gateaux are probably our front runner here. I have never see so many pre-made brands in one space as I saw there. It’s definitely a huge market over there and my favourite was Pro Bake. It may have had something to do with their gorgeous stand and their amazing staff! I quickly made friends with Amber, and basically popped in there every day. Coffee and treats followed by chats, a good week if you ask me ūüėȬ†Their ice cream was INCREDIBLE! I loved the cookies and cream, but oh my word the strawberry cheesecake flavour was out of this world. So innovative with real ingredients and real taste. I’m salivating thinking about it!

Gulfood

ProBakes whoopie pies

Gulfood

ProBakes macarons and donuts!

Gulfood

ProBakes!

Gulfood

Yup, ProBakes

Gulfood

The ProBakes ice cream was next level!

Gulfood

Doing my Vit Hit duty!

Gulfood

The best health drink out there!

Gulfood

It’s true!

Gulfood

Vit Hit in a can

Gulfood

Breakfast with the South African ambassadors in UAE

Gulfood

Representing!

Gulfood

Some of the gluten free section

Gulfood

More gluten free

Gulfood

Not tooooo bad but I’ve had better gluten free goodies

Gulfood

All types and flavours of honey

Gulfood

Some more gluten free treats

Gulfood

This chocolate looked so interesting!

Gulfood

More pre-made frozen goodies

Gulfood

This is just the entrance. There are 9 HUGE halls that are about the size of the ICC, EACH

Gulfood

This was the entrance quiet!

 

Have you been to Gulfood before?

Follow:

Getting to know Heather Mason

I met Heather on a trip to Cape Town for Gillette Venus Swirl. We met at the airport and straight away you could tell she was so spunky, bright and a pleasure to be around. Heather shares her travels around South Africa, and it’s so refreshing to see it from an American’s view. She makes me want to travel through Joburg and see more of our country!

Lets get to know Heather Mason…

What does healthy mean to you?
To me, healthy means living a life that makes me happy and doing everything in moderation.

 

What is your chosen form of exercise?
Boxing. I train three mornings a week at the Hillbrow Boxing Club in Johannesburg. I also do an occasional short run.

 

What does your way of health eating look like?
I used to be a lot more careful about what I eat: making an effort to eat only whole grains; buying local whenever possible; limiting fat, sugar, and¬†processed foods; and eating tons of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. This is still what healthy eating¬†looks like for me, but I must admit I’ve lost some of my discipline since moving from the U.S.¬†to South Africa in 2010. I struggle to find the time to shop for super-healthy food (a time-consuming process in Joburg, because you have to visit so many different shops), and life as a travel blogger exposes me to a lot of naughty (but delicious) food. And to be honest I’ve just decided that life is too short ūüôā

 

What is your passion project?
My blog, of course! I’ve made a life in South Africa for myself through my blog, and it means the world to me.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
I work as a freelance writer and photographer, and no day is ever the same. But here’s one example of a day: I get up at 6:00 a.m. and drive to¬†the Hillbrow Boxing Club for a morning workout. Come home, have coffee and breakfast, check emails and Instagram, catch up on work and write a blog post. In¬†the afternoon, go out an do something in the city — visit a friend’s art gallery, go¬†fabric-shopping at the Oriental Plaza, check out a new coffee shop that I want to blog about. Take pictures. Come home, have dinner, and hang out with my boyfriend and my cat. Go to bed¬†early.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
Wow, that’s a difficult question to answer. I guess I want people to know that I’m genuine and real, both in my blog and in life.

 

What would you like people to know about your work/business?
I’m a storyteller. I¬†love telling stories about my¬†life in South¬†Africa, and particularly my life in Johannesburg. I feel very¬†privileged¬†that I’ve been able to make a living out of doing that.

 

Favourite workout song?
“Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J.

 

Favourite exercise and why?
Boxing pad¬†work. I’ve participated in many different sports and exercise programs in my life, but boxing provides the best full-body workout of anything I’ve ever done.

 

Favourite quote/advice?
I¬†kind of hate quotes. But I guess my most useful piece of advice would be: Accept¬†yourself for who you are and let go of¬†everything that¬†doesn’t matter.

Go and check out her blog www.2summers.net
Twitter: @2summers
Instagram: @2summers

heather
heather-pofadder-jump
bazaruto-heather
Follow:

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.

img_7626

img_7620

img_7621

img_7623

img_7624

img_7625

img_8103

img_7633

img_7675

img_7676

img_7671

img_7673

img_7658

img_7644

img_7651

img_7650

img_7639

img_7655

img_7688

img_7709

img_7913

img_7944

img_7950

img_8119

img_8102

img_8121

img_8090

 

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:

Follow:

Kia sets a World Record!

Kia is in the middle of setting a World Record, with the World’s Longest Test Drive! Right now as you’re reading this, they are driving through some amazing parts of South Africa.

The #KIAWorldRecord started off in Durban, and I was one of the lucky test driver’s! All I can say is that the new Sportage is INCREDIBLE! I have been obsessed with it since I sat in it in Korea last year, and since I need to upgrade to an SUV for the next stage in my life and for Secret Sunrise (so much stuff to pack), I naturally wanted this one. So I’ll be selling a kidney or something to get this amazing car! It is such a smooth drive with so much power, I just enjoyed it so much! I drove from Durban to Hillcrest, and I usually don’t enjoy Field’s hill, but it was such a dream.

Kia

I mean LOOK AT IT!

Sportage

The interior is so slick

If you want to catch up where they are right now, you can pop over to www.kiaworldrecord.co.za¬†and there is a live tracker! You’ll also find a ton of pictures and videos from the last few days as well.

Kia Sportage

Car number 8 baby!

Kia world record

Yes, yes I did

img_8369

Obviously

img_6117

These girls from DYR are my favs

You can also follow along on Twitter and Instagram and follow #KIAWorldRecord as well.

And look its me:

Follow: