The gates glide open to a gravelled sweep and a tree’d lawn, with an old stone cider press to the side. Elegant, compassionate Isabelle looks after house, garden, guests – and rescue cats and horses – with warmth and charm; Philippe, a friendly GP, fills the game larder. The barn houses two bedrooms plus a delightful family suite under the rafters (up a steep private stair) and a cosy guest sitting room with a bar. Rooms have pretty striped wallpapers, seagrass floors and elegant Louis XV-style chairs, quirky objets on shelves and in crannies, beds dressed with white heirloom spreads. Vivacious, bustling Caen is an easy drive.