Down a quiet lane (three cars a day), in the green and gentle Upper Loire, is an adorable stone farmhouse, a peaceful place for Loire-lovers to stay. You can see wildlife in the Brenne Natural Park, tour wineries, browse brocantes, lap up the chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord, Valençay. And, come evening, from the comfy sofa on the mezzanine upstairs, spot deer trot out of the woods and head for the field beyond. As for the house, it has a nice, beamy, friendly feel, with two feather-cushioned sofas, a lovely cabinet of Quimper porcelain, an antique dining table, and, off the very well-equipped kitchen, a shower room and a private bedroom, ideal for teenagers or the less than nimble. An open-tread stair leads to two further rooms under the eaves, cosy with toile de Jouy bedcovers, excellent mattresses, soft carpets and, in the larger one (the en suite), a curvaceous French bed. Back downstairs, French windows open to grass, willows and roses, and sweet spots for shade. All this, and the village of Aizé – with its one (good) restaurant – a 20-minute walk.