Named after the poet Lucie Delarue Mardrus, who was born here, the 1850 house in the heart of Honfleur is shielded by a high wall. Sunshine illuminates panelled walls and leather sofas, the parquet’d salon has an Edwardian air and bedrooms, elegantly colour-themed, now expand into an adjoining house; those on the second floor overlook the estuary. Furnishings are immaculate – plum taffeta, burgundy velvet – beds are big and reading lamps won’t spoil your eyes. Bathrooms are awash with potions and lotions, there are fresh orchids and vivid rugs, roll top baths and antique chests of drawers, and wide views over rooftops to the sea. Our favourite room is under the eaves, but they’re all lovely. In the courtyard, the old caretaker’s house is now a suite, its ground-floor sitting area furnished in a deliciously decadent 1930s manner; another room has a small new terraced courtyard area. Soak away your cares in the brick-walled jacuzzi spa; take your time over a great homemade breakfast of bacon, eggs, fruits, cheese, in bed or in the sun. Muriel’s welcome is the cherry on the cake.