I had long heard recommendations and experiences from people who had frequented Granny Mouse, as well as its impressive showcase of awards that it has racked up over the years, so on my recent trip here, my expectations were high.

I arrived to check in, on a sunny summer afternoon to a hearty welcome by the reception staff and glass of bubbles to refresh me after the drive. Once that was done, it was time to get settled in.

As this would be my home away from home for the next few days, my curiosity got the better of me and I immediately started to explore all the nooks and crannies of this quirky and charming country house with its spa, fine dining restaurant, lush gardens, manicured river walks and mountain views. Granny Mouse was not built for exceptionally tall people (you will see what I mean when you visit), mind you, but it truly has a heritage and charm all of its own. They offer a range of accommodation options, but my favourite would have to be the Deluxe Suites, which afford you some of the most beautiful views of Lions River Valley, in complete comfort and I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the balcony taking in the tranquil surroundings, with our cozy fireplace nearby.

Dinner time soon arrived and, to my surprise, we were not seated in The Eaves for my birthday dinner but instead in what has to be one of the most ambient candlelit cellars that I have experienced to date. Rose petals led us down the steps of the wine cellar to our private candlelit table for two, and the evening began.. Course after course, started to seamlessly arrive down the cellar steps.

From their confit garlic mushroom with sundried tomato and thyme pesto, to get our mouths watering, to their spiced crusted beef fillet served in a red wine ox liver Ragu, our food journey was one not to be taken lightly. What an exceptional way to celebrate a special occasion or simply to just celebrate yourself, with expertly paired wines by Chef Wayland Green, generously sized portions and beautiful plating.

Full and content, I was ready to make use of my big tub and enjoy a much-needed soak by candlelight before bed, which is exactly what I did!

In the morning, still feeling slightly full from the feast the night before, it was time for some exercise and the River Walk below the property provides just that opportunity. With scenic spots to rest along the way, and the gurgling river a constant companion, it is difficult not to feel in awe at the beauty of the flora in full colour at this time of the year. I have not yet frequented the Midlands in the winter but this wild floral kingdom is surely something that must be experienced on any visit!

Feeling as if I’d earned my hearty breakfast, I wondered back up the hill refreshed and ready to take on the day. It wasn’t long before I had been assisted and had my coffee in hand. The breakfasts at Granny Mouse offer everything from a traditional fry up to your artisanal cheeses, breads and local cold meats.

The Granny Mouse team, whether it be for dinner, breakfast or just wandering around, never hesitate to give you a friendly grin and to check if there is something that they can assist you with, which was a nice added touch during the stay.

In summary, Granny Mouse provides a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the year and one, that in my opinion is perfect for any couple wanting a quick break or some added romance. I left, wondering when I could possibly return next..