As well as your own outside space there’s a gate into Château de la Varenne’s glorious gardens. Stroll at your leisure through 20 hectares of formal gardens and parkland. Sit in quiet contemplation on a bench near the River Saulx as it meanders through the grounds, knock a ball around the tennis court, let the kids tire themselves out on the swings.
Inside the cottage is elegantly refined. The ground floor ensuite bedroom opens to the terrace; upstairs to another double ensuite, and a double and twin sharing a bathroom. Every room is light and spacious, inviting you to unbend. You eat in the relaxed kitchen, in the formal dining room in front of the great stone hearth, or barbecue outside.
Walk to the café in Haironville or nip to Renaissance town Bar-le-Duc (12km) for shops and a thrice weekly market selling everything (top tip: arrive early), visit gothic Saint-Étienne church and try the local delicacy – redcurrant jam.