Your hosts are warm and charming and their attention to detail is impressive. Not everyone can take a 13th-century castle, once owned by the Ducs d’Harcourt, and so successfully blend history with comfort. Expect some subtly bold décor and subdued luxury: Lloyd Loom chairs, marble fireplaces, Egyptian cotton. One bedroom has a curved wooden stair up to a superb bathroom; the apartment is stunning; all face south over the garden. Breakfast includes home-grown fruit, homemade yogurt and eggs from the château’s happy hens. A house for fine dining, too: English china, damask and candelabra set the table in the lovely dining room. David grows – beautifully – for Lesley to cook – deliciously – and his organic potager is a delightful diversion (seven varieties of potato, 50 of vegetable); high stone walls shelter it from unkind winds, fruit trees shade the lawn, long narrow beds make for easy harvesting. The Cravens are keen conservationists, too; barn owls nest in the end wall and there is good bird-watching. The Normandy beaches, Bayeux and its tapestry are within easy reach.