No holiday cottage this, but a small, handsome eighteenth-century stone house with masses of character and an old-fashioned staircase turret. From the quiet village road pass the great arch (1715), close the heavy doors and climb the steps to the front door. Thick stone walls, high ceilings, gilt-framed mirrors, open fireplaces – it has all the trappings of grandeur, and a splendidly convivial dining-kitchen: with the fire crackling and five or six people at the long plank table, the atmosphere must be great. The more formal panelled salon, a glorious room lit from three sides, is supremely civilised; electronics hide behind stripped cupboard doors, a Victorian shawl drapes the sun-drenched velvet daybed, the antique sofa becomes a single bed and old books beckon on all sides. Nathalie’s flair with brocante and soft, grey-green-ecru fabrics shines through. Both big bedrooms, one on the ground floor, the other upstairs, are furnished in heavy linen and piqué quilts, and have new bedding that is both decorative and functional. A wonderful area for quiet nature walks and cathedrals, WWI sites and champagne vineyards.