A spectacular tree-lined drive delivers you to a 17th-century domaine, and the entrance hall sets the tone: raw silk framing windows, a Steinway on a sparkling floor, oil paintings from Michèle’s mother. What you have here is a rare combination of elegance and rustic charm and, in the manner of the best country hotels, the owners’ personality. Michèle and Rob, welcoming and charming, are there to look after you but never intrude. You’ll love the bedrooms of luxury and light, the calm colours, the exposed beams, the elegant breakfasts on the terrace, the candlelit dinners beneath an ecclesiastical chandelier. No room downstairs is out of bounds. The food is organic, home-grown, bountiful and delicious (you may eat romantically à deux if you prefer). Breathtaking parkland surrounds you and the grounds are never-ending, peaceful with hammocks and hidden corners, and a pool by the old stone barn. Board games in the dresser, a children’s library under the stairs… and Les Landes, with its markets for foodies and brocanteurs, its surfing dunes for beach bums, its ‘petits châteaux’ at Gaujacq and Amou.