Perfect for families: an old estate manager’s cottage which is one of two properties set in two and a half acres of gated grounds surrounding the owners’ Charentais manor house. The good-sized heated pool, set in the orchard overlooking the vineyards, is just for guests, while each cottage has its own terrace and courtyard garden with barbecue. Down a narrow driveway lined with shrubs and flowers is Manor Cottage: find a buttery-yellow sitting room with cosy armchairs and sofas, bedrooms that are a mix of old English checks and French toile de Jouy, two pristine shower rooms and a family bathroom downstairs. There’s a generous welcome pack: a bottle of Bordeaux, jams from the orchard, cakes, fresh fruit, coffee. Cooks will be content in the kitchen with its modern layout and white crockery, and plenty of space in the living room means you can eat at a table here or outside in good weather. Your kind hosts are there if you need them and can deliver breakfast if you are feeling particularly lazy! They’ll also give advice on vineyards to visit, and take you out in a classic car if you wish. Deeply relaxing.