The elegant house rises smartly from the fringes of Aulnay, one of the Charente-Maritime’s loveliest towns; over the years it’s been a distillery, girls’ school and the local lido. Enter to a large hallway, a baby grand piano and rooms of sophisticated style with Eastern treasures dotted here and there. Everything is measured, nothing over the top.
You could gather the whole clan here to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary; there are a few houses around but it feels very private. You might not feel the pull to leave, with a pool, Jacuzzi, boules and jungle gym for sunny days and a big kitchen, cinema room and gym when the weather turns.
Find a hamper of local cheese and biscuits, help yourself to cherries and figs from the garden, fire up the barbecue and dine under the stars. You’re rural but there’s plenty nearby: caves, cognac distilleries, the cobbled streets of Saint-Jean-d’Angély. Borrow the bikes to get you there.