In the heart of an ancient and unspoilt Touraine village, four hectares of delightful walled park and a fairytale castle with pointy slate turrets that dates from 1442. It’s large but not palatial, grand but not ornate, and refreshingly unstuffy. Much is being updated (some bathrooms are still basic), everything is charming, and Stephen is putting all his energies into his new project. You get top mattresses on king-size beds, bedrooms with beautifully proportioned windows (cool conservative shades for the newest), quirky fabrics on the walls and delicious breakfasts served in the breakfast room which has a pretty square piano, or on the terrace in summer. Tuck in to local bread and honey, homemade jams (quince, apricot) and marmalade. After dinner: brocade sofas in faded reds, books to browse and a piano to play. Or take a turn round the garden to find a little wood, a magnificent 500-year-old cedar tree, an orchard, a potager, the remains of a grassy moat and a handsome old metal and glass greenhouse with original ornate shelving for house plants. All this, châteaux by the hatful, and the Brenne National Park.