On the edge of the hillside village of Huismes is a very charming old manor house of white tufa stone, backed by trees, fronted by parterres. Below ground: a series of extraordinary cellars where Bertrand offers tastings of Chinon wines (delicious, and good value). He and Claire have a real sense of hospitality and love their new home; talented musicians, they host monthly concerts from October to June (note the five pianos). They also love to cook local seasonal food, accompanied by their wines and served in the country dining room or on the terrace. As for the rooms, the family suite is in the house itself – vast, lofty, higgledy-piggledy (children will love it), and with a splendid stone fireplace. Three more rooms lie in the more humble wing, each immaculate, each with a table on a strip of terrace outside facing the pretty knot gardens… the newest room is in a loft-like barn with its bed on the mezzanine and a kitchen to die for. Bathrooms are spotless, breakfasts are amazing, and beautiful Chinon is a 15-minute drive. Swim in the river or in your hosts’ heated pool; hire canoes and float down the Vienne.