Behind wrought-iron gates in quiet Aubepierre-sur-Aube, a pair of delightful cottages with revealed stone façades and walled gardens – La Tonnellerie sleeps four, and L’Entrepot is for five (plus another child) – come as a big group and take them together. Communal rooms in each are pretty and open-plan, mixing original features – flagged floors and raw beams, stone fireplaces – with wood-burners, coffee tables and comfy sofas. In the smaller of the two, La Tonnellerie, find one twin/double on the first floor and the master at the top; L’Entrepot has its double and two twins on the first floor. Warm friendly owners Tim and Sarah, whose holiday home is here too, are sticklers for detail, so count on fine linen and fresh towels. Best of all are the gardens. Sunny days mean lazy hours in your own private garden (entrance through the back door of each gite) or by the walled pool, flanked by trees and shared by both cottages. Stroll across crisp, secluded lawns to the wilder meadows beyond, where you’ll find an orchard (if it’s ripe, help yourself), a gigantic kids climbing frame, a grass badminton court and a fascinating old dovecote. Bike or hike the wooded, rolling winelands of Burgundy and Champagne, or drive 30 minutes to Langres or Chaumont for museums, markets and cathedrals.