The simplicity and privacy of this house are hugely appealing. Built into the hill overlooking Sète harbour and town, it was once just a fisherman’s summer shack and is now an easy-going bolthole with great views and plenty of relaxing space outside: on the decking around the small pool, among the evergreen oaks and pines, on the dining terrace shaded by white sail cloth and in the gently swinging hammock. Inside all is clutter-free and practical, a glazed veranda filling the open plan living area with light. Walls are white with a smattering of good, colourful modern art; floor tiles are blue, white and grey, furniture colour-wash painted, sofas a restful soft grey/beige, punctuated by a bright green fridge in the well-kitted kitchen. The double bedroom in the garden annex has a bath and shower; the twin – its white iron beds comfortable for adults as well as children – a large shower. It’s a five-minute stroll to a fine restaurant, 15 to the bustle of town (birthplace of Georges Brassens, Paul Valéry and Manitas de Plata). Further afield: vineyards galore, the Canal du Midi, Montpellier only half an hour’s drive.