Not another house in sight, just the Cantal hills and a chattering stream. Your hosts did a lot of the huge restoration of their harmonious house themselves. Christian, a genius at woodwork, made the panelled interior and staircase – pure Auvergne – from reclaimed timber, built the chalet-style bedrooms for Brigitte to furnish, so comfortably, and add old armoires, ancient ceiling hooks… Beds are excellent, meals ‘en famille’ are a delight: great food, good wine, water from the spring. Be calmed by a serene, rustic elegance. There’s an organic vegetable garden, green rolling acres – a haven for wildlife, and for you. Glorious.