Arjan and Marije run this elegant 19th-century turreted townhouse with a loyal team – their chef has been with them for over a decade.
Breakfast is a continental spread with lashings of strong coffee – part buffet, part table service. Lunch is served on Thursday’s (market day) when you’ll be joined by plenty of locals. Stay in for dinner too – it’s served every night. Food is taken seriously here with herbs from the garden, local fruit and vegetables and fish from Bordeaux and Arcachon; everything is made here except for bread and ice cream, supplied by artisans.
You’re on the fringes of Monpazier, voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. After you have explored the fortified village – four sides set round the huge central square, the surrounding houses corbelled out with arches – further medieval bastides beckon: there are a dozen or so. Your hosts have prepared bicycle itineraries and can point out the best place to paddle a canoe. Retreat to comfortable rooms (upstairs and down) and lounge by the deep-blue pool.