Sit and chat in the garden over a delicious summer dinner with your hosts. Cooking is high on their list of passions – as are history and art. In their 16th-century townhouse in the peaceful centre of Saintes, cookery books, antiques and ornaments abound.
Row or river-cruise down the Charente; it runs through this handsome, history-steeped town. Make a bee-line for the farmers’ markets; and the Roman amphitheatre, one of the oldest and largest in France.
Return to comfy bedrooms on the second floor, with modern bathrooms, antique tubs, and the warm, laid-back feeling of being in somebody’s home. Monique’s breakfasts are worth waking for: superb breads and homemade jams.