This country house dates from 1838 and originally produced wine for the French army. Although it’s in the centre of a village, it’s surrounded by large grounds and fields so feels very private and quiet.
John and Christiane leave plenty of basics and provide a generous welcome pack with fruit, vegetables, local saucisson, pâté and wine; help yourself to produce from the vegetable garden and orchard and walk down the lane to get free untreated milk from the farmer. Cook feasts in the exceptionally well-equipped kitchen or keep it simple with the barbecue or pizza oven.
There’s masses of space both outside and inside – it’s easy to find a private corner for reading, or just contemplation. A music room has an array of instruments including a mini-piano and guitar, and the games room has ping pong and table football. Head to Marciac for shops and restaurants, or wine tasting in Madiran; return to an afternoon swim in the pool.