On the top of a small hill near the village of Pérignac is a tiny hamlet and this, an old cognac farm. Its creamy cluster of beautiful buildings includes the owners’ home, a few barns and, on the other side of a courtyard, your one-storey retreat. Named ‘La Villa’ by Annette and Mark – it’s gorgeous! All is on one floor, open plan and spacious. The views are far-reaching over vineyards and fields. The light airy living room is tasteful and unfussy with an Asian/French fusion decor: stone walls, terracotta floors, a seagrass sofa and armchair, and a wonderful carved Javanese screen with a door. Behind which is an Indonesian four-poster, wrapped in crisp linen and draped with cream muslin, cool and serene. Bowl basins have been hand-carved from stone, the corner bath is a bubbling jacuzzi, and there are two showers – one being of the private, walled outdoor variety! Canoe on the Charente, visit the coast and the islands of Ré and Oléron, let the town of Cognac charm you. Then it’s back to a glass of wine in the hammock, a romantic supper in the teak pavilion, and a midnight splash in your own solar heated pool.