The village on one side, the expansive estate on the other, the 18th-century wine-grower’s house in between. There’s a civilised mood: Monsieur so well-mannered and breakfast served with silver and fine china in the comfortably elegant guest dining room. Wake to church-spire and rooftop views in rooms with soft comfort where, under sloping ceilings, French toile de Jouy is as inviting as English chintz (your hosts spent two years in England). Bathrooms are frilled and pretty. Shrubs hug the hem of the house, a pool is sunk into the lawn behind and Laon trumpets one of France’s first gothic cathedrals.