Less than an hour from Bordeaux, on the edge of pretty seaside Taussat is this stunning villa. Luckily the owners snapped it up before developers got to it, they then spent three years whipping it into shape and the result is magnificent. You’ll be blown away by the first glimpse, through tall palm trees, of this columned villa, towering over everything in sight, wrapped in a huge wooden veranda with views jutting out to Arcachon Bay. Pop through a gate in the garden (they’ve installed a natural pool – plants rather than chemicals filter out all the yucky stuff) and you’re on the beach; fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves. Inside original details have been restored but the décor is contemporary with a smart, Eastern-vibe, modern art and sculptures. The reception rooms are on the ground floor, bedrooms on the three above. There’s a huge comfy living room, a library and bar area. You eat (breakfasts, dinners, snacks during the day) in the dining room or out on the veranda seated on cool chairs. The suite at the top of the tower, with its wraparound sea views, will be the one you argue over.