In the grounds of the 15th-century château, a 19th-century stable block on a working truffle farm, now transformed into a restful place to stay. Inside, a lovely kitchen built within the old stone walls, and cheese and wine in the welcome hamper. Six can sleep in the cottage, and if you’re a group of eight, then you can also take the tower next door.
Take a dip in the pool; barbecue on the terrace surrounded by clucking hens (enjoy their organic eggs too) and three splendid resident peacocks. The huge walled garden with manicured lawns is perfect for a game of croquet, or head out for a walk in the 10-acre truffle orchard.
You’re a few kilometres from Chinon, one of the Loire’s loveliest towns, with its châteaux, deep in Joan of Arc country. Find a market with crêpes and local produce, excellent wine, concerts and festivals, with the royal château a short drive east. Return to evenings in front of the log fire in the sitting room – plenty of books and games to choose from too.