The second day of our five-star holiday and our meander through the Midlands.
After a cosy night in our amazing suite (the underfloor heating goes a long way in 7 degree temperature), we started our day with what became our favourite spot of the Meander: Blueberry Hill. Lounging in the big leather chairs, the gorgeous 360 degree view of the rolling hills of the Midlands in front of us we indulged in their speciality Blueberry Cheesecake. Sitting next to the fire, blankets over our knees we read our books for an hour or so. Blissful holiday mode. A quick browse through the gift store next door (no space in our luggage or on our credit cards to buy anything) and we were off to the next little stop!
We popped into Lavender Trout farm, a farmstall filled with old and new odds and ends. The type that look great in shops, but rarely would suit anything when you take it home: Old Ouma rusk tins, ribbons, old tin cups and sauces. A bicycle attached to a wall, a couple of chickens running around (as cold as we were). There’s even a dam stocked with trout for days when the temperature isn’t in single digits, much to Mark’s delight (and dismay as there was little chance of me hanging around in the frost while he fished).
As there wasn’t much activity going on we hopped over to Nottingham Road Brewery for a bit of a beer tasting. Fascinatingly the pub was empty (where was everyone?) which unfortunately made for a rather sad and lonely beer tasting. But taste we did!
Lunch! Aah, the highlight of the midlands, and my personal must-see of the trip. It’s the spot I’d been waiting to visit since I’d first heard of it back in London. Granny Mouse’s Country House. Mostly where people get married when they “get married in Midlands”. It’s this gorgeous lodge that is cosy, comfortable and oozes with charm. It’s picture perfect from an old bed-time story – Hanzel and Gretel type cottages, pretty rose gardens and autmumn-coloured upholstered furniture. Warmly welcomed after our squizz at the chapel (yes, perhaps a reenactment of a walk down the aisle, it never grows old) we were shown around the lodge including the cellar and fine dining room. Not bad at all! A quiet day and with no other tables in their bistro restaurant they offered to serve us lunch in the lounge. Next to the fire. Perfection! A glass of red in hand (I have a suspicion it was Uva Mira – but it has been a while) I ordered the Grilled Local Trout, served on braised leek risotto topped with rocket and red onion salad (R80) and Mark had the Ribs and chips (R80). Amazing!
Full, satisfied and oh so cosied up, we spent the evening in our suite. With its underfloor heating. Ordering room service. Five star holiday. This is what it’s about.