Seekers of peace will be happy here in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by only hills and woods – heaven in ‘la France profonde’. The Pigeonnier sits across the courtyard from the main house but faces privately the other way.You have your own terrace and lawn but the rest of the gardens – walled, with fountains and covered terraces – are yours to roam too. Cook in the well-equipped kitchen or outside on the stove and dine with views of the pool, take a swim at dusk and watch the wide skies darken around you. There’s a wood-burner for chilly nights and stacks of books to choose from.Markets abound, especially at Prayssac on Fridays; stock up on local meats, cheeses and pastries then work it all off on those hills, biking or hiking. Take the car to Château des Milandes – stroll the gardens, admire the interiors and costumes of Franco-American Josephine Baker, activist and entertainer.