The Stables, behind Maria and Mark’s lovely old house, look over fields with a little river running by. Step in to a great sitting/dining space with an arty feel. Maria is a dab hand at reclaiming market finds, painting designs on wall or fabric, creating a slice of natural, easy living – and baking the perfect apricot and choc chip biscuit! Find linen sofas, art and photos, TV with a rustic wooden shelf below of books, games, DVD player. The kitchen area is gleaming, the table cleverly revived with a zinc top and plenty of crocks for cooking. Bedrooms have well-dressed beds, hanging hooks or a painted wardrobe, hand-printed lamps, a deer hide perhaps; bathrooms come with local lavender soap made by the Matthews’ young daughter. The pool is free at set times – hop through the shower room door into a walled suntrap. Light floods in through tall windows and the newly planted crab apples framing the decked patio will be a blossomed espalier in a season or so. Paddle in the river, check out Maria’s guide to local artists, visit Frome with its brilliant market; Wells is a walk and Glastonbury a ten-minute drive.