Pass through château-dotted countryside and arrive at this gated domaine and its 2.5 acres of sweeping grounds, scented with honeysuckle. Step inside your large country-style suite with its oak beamed ceiling and comfy leather sofas; upstairs is your double bedroom (plus children’s adjoining twin) with a cathedral ceiling and iron ciel du lit canopy; find fluffy white towels in your Provencal tiled bathroom. Outside, there’s badminton, boules and a big heated pool in the orchard, shared with guests from the gîte on the other side of the grounds. Lyn, your friendly British host serves a breakfast spread of yogurt, fresh fruits, breads and pastries with homemade jams in your suite; on sunny days have it on the wisteria-covered terrace overlooking the lily pond. Ask Lyn about her B&B mini breaks which include afternoon tea and homemade cakes on arrival, visits to nearby vineyards in a classic four-seater Morgan, finished with a tour and tasting. Enjoy a generous four-course dinner on your first night, served in the Manor House, complete with an aperitif, wine, coffee and local Cognac. The sandy shores of the Atlantic coast are an hour’s drive; a little further is charming La Rochelle and Île de Ré. Closer to home is Cognac, a 15-minute drive.