The Marshall’s plan is for three bright, family-friendly gîtes in the 19th-century barn alongside their deeply rural Dordogne home. Things are shaping up nicely with all three gites ready – Cepe, Cerf and Sanglier. Annette – who couldn’t be more helpful and is on hand to advise – has created very attractive, practical holiday spaces that are rustic in parts with chunky old beams, apparent stone and brick, and have all the right creature comforts: beautiful new beds and cashmere-filled sprung mattresses. Well kitted out kitchens and bathrooms, including a double-ended bath for two to slip into. Furniture is clean-lined and comfortable: a SW England meets SW France mix. Solar panels heat water, chickens and goats will strut the orchard. And landscaping is underway to make the most of the already lovely setting; each gîte will have its own path to the sunny, saltwater pool area, and its own pool furniture. Take time to stand and stare at the stars, listen to the birds, explore the surrounding forest and visit Périgord’s markets and castles; you can sign up too for a cookery course using wood-fired ovens.