This superb neo-Gothic château (with 14th-century origins) lies just outside Amboise, yet you are immersed in countryside: the grounds are vast and secluded. Behind, a cliff face is hewn with caves, one of which has become a family suite: sensational, like something out of a fairy tale. To the front: the view! From a sward of lawn and an elegant pool (accessed by a tunnel) the eye is drawn to a lake shrouded by woodland and explored via a riddle of trails. A sense of the regal pervades the interiors; and, as befitting an old hunting lodge, there are hunting trophies in some of the corridors. A cosy guest sitting room feeds into a billiard room (each with a magnificent painted fireplace); the sunny dining room, opening to the terrace, exudes an elegant simplicity and is a beautiful backdrop for breakfast. Each bedroom is marvellous, including a huge raftered suite with its tower annexe and in-room tub. All have gorgeous furnishings, gleaming bathrooms, views over the grounds. Sylvie Suzanne (the owner, and great fun) spends a lot of time here; unsurprisingly, she can’t keep away.