I’ve always wanted to go to Granny Mouse Country House – it’s one of those places I saw signposts for every time I drove through the Midlands in KwaZulu/Natal, but never quite managed to get to. So I was absolutely thrilled to be able to spend a lovely day and night there last week. Here’s why you should think about it as a wedding venue, and all you need to know…
Venue: Tucked in the heart of the Natal Midlands, Granny Mouse offers English country weddings (that happen to be much easier to get to than the English countryside!) There’s a lovely thatched chapel on the property, with incredible views out over the rolling hills of the Midlands, or you can choose to be married in the flower-filled gardens around the property.
Style: Country charm, overflowing with flowers. You can choose which flavour to add to your wedding, from silver sparkly to shades of protea or an abundance of roses, fairy lights entwined in the trees or candles lighting the paths.
Distance from/to major city/closest airport: An hour and a half from Durban, four and a half hours from Joburg, and just 40 minutes from the Pietermaritzburg airport.
Capacity: 120 can fit into the chapel comfortably, 150 if you don’t mind a squeeze. The reception room can accommodate 120 people with a dance floor and 150 without – there’s also a stunning verandah under the trees and out over those rolling hills.
Accommodation options: Granny Mouse can sleep 71 people without putting in extra beds, and more than that depending how many beds you want to squeeze into a room! They will all be real beds, though, not mattresses. There’s also a B&B across the valley that they often book for larger functions, so it’s no problem to sleep 150 in the surrounding area. The rooms at Granny Mouse are fabulously comfortable – we stayed in one of the newer rooms, looking out over the Lion’s River (check out my Instagram of our view at the bottom of the page!) which had a giant bath with a picture window looking out at that view – amazing!
Food: The fabulous country dining is all fresh, locally sourced and seasonal, so your guests are in for a treat. Sit with the chef and he’ll design the perfect menu for you. The food has a reputation not only for being delicious, but also for being great value, so you’re guaranteed that it will be a highlight of the day. The breakfasts are also superb.
What’s included: All the basics, including setting up of the whole wedding (while the bride relaxes in the spa or by the pool), trained waiters, managers and banqueting managers on hand until the food is finished, and all necessary cutlery, crockery, glasses etc.
There are various wedding packages to choose from, with the crème de la crème being the top package, which includes the entire property from 5pm on Friday to 11am on Sunday, with all accommodation, dinner, breakfast, a finger lunch all over the hotel, 120 people’s 4-course plated meal, breakfast, 50 bottles of bubbly, a set number of bottles of wine, a set amount for décor (so you can choose what you want to focus on) and a spa voucher. Splendid! You can then get your guests to pay the B&B rate, if you wish.
The on-site spa is a lovely oasis of calm, with wonderfully skilled therapists on hand to ease away any wedding stress, and pamper you for the big day. Granny Mouse also has recommended hair and make-up people in the area, as well as ministers, bands, DJs etc etc… The lovely owner, Gill, joked that if a bride came to her on Monday, the wedding could be ready by Saturday. Care to test her?
What you’ll love about it: The Midlands is such a beautiful, relaxing place to say your vows, and you’re guaranteed not only incredible photos but a wonderful weekend away. The Granny Mouse team is fantastic and so willing to help make your dream day a reality – as Jill says, “We’re here to create memories. That’s our job.” They really focus on the bride and groom, and making sure everything goes absolutely smoothly.
What’s missing: If you want full use of all the hotel facilities, you obviously need to book out the whole hotel, but here’s a tip: in winter, the packages are much cheaper (accommodation is cheaper by about 30%) and the weather, although crisp and cold, is often blue-skied and sunny.
The view from our room (and our bath!)
Until next time,