In a small village surrounded by salt marshes is an amazing restoration of a manor house and a pigeonnier. Both were saved from dereliction by Pierres d’Histoire, an organisation with a passion to preserve the heritage of France. Impeccable but homely, the Manoir reveals an effortless blend of modern comfort and period style. Light floods in to the salon and to the east there’s a distant sea view; this is 3km from Ravenoville’s beach hut-lined sands, and the famous beach at Utah. Within the grounds are young gardens, and a romantic ruin of the 17th-century chateau to which the buildings once belonged; stroll on the lawns, take a sundowner to the terrace. In the quirky Pigeonnier, octagonal in shape with a tight spiral stair, the style is ‘handsome hunting lodge’. Pigeon holes, an antler’s head, hunting guns…. you just want to sit in front of a roaring fire sipping port with friends. Bedrooms are rustic, and the kitchen is open-plan – unlike in the Manoir, where all is elegant and dreamy. Borrow bikes, sail, swim, hike along the coast, bird-watch in the ‘marais’, dine out in Sainte Mère Eglise.