Up in her beloved mountains with the wild streams splashing and an unbroken view of 13th-century Lordat, Meredith loves sharing her heaven. A passionate climber, skier and cyclist, she rebuilt a ruined auberge; old stones and new wood, craggy beams, precious furniture and a cheery fire make it rustic, warm and elegant. Under truly American care, rooms have fine linens, oriental rugs and books. The welcome is genuine, breakfast is fresh and generous, dinners are animated and delicious. Walkers and cyclists should stay a week: you’re at 900m on the south side of St.Barthoelemy Peak and there’s a repair room specially for bikes – excellent value. The village has a 12th-century church to explore and there are many chapels and Romanesque churches within an hour’s drive. Nature lovers will be happy too with wildlife all around you and more wild orchid varieties than in any other area of France. Return to comfortable bedrooms with fine linen, a hot shower or a soak, a drink by the fire and home-cooked dinner. You’ll feel relaxed here.