Climb the narrow road past vineyards and fields, and step back in time. Towering over high walls is a medieval château and manor house, all soft grey stone, steep roofs and deep windows. Still a working vineyard, from the manor house (your home) you’re free to roam the chateau’s parkland, a fairy-tale of topiary, lime tree walks, courtyards and formal gardens, plus hidden pool. If Pierre (a Paris-based lawyer) is around, you may get a wine-tasting, too. The house retains its medieval atmosphere – thick walls, heavy beams, flagged floors – cleverly updated with modern furnishings. In the huge salon, a vast stone fireplace and shuttered windows sit happily with abstract art and linen-covered sofas. The former bakehouse mixes stone walls with hi-tech stainless steel to make a sleek kitchen. Dine there or on the grassy terrace. Bedrooms are romantic with exposed stone, rugs on centuries-old flags, antiques, glowing lamps and views over the chateau and parkland. Bathrooms mix modern and rustic to chic effect. Visit Chateaux, Villandry gardens, medieval towns and Chinon forest. Return to your romantic stronghold.