The Atlantic coast where discreet upper-class French families stay generation after generation in elegant Belle Epoque villas is safe, fashionable and wonderfully French. There’s a beautiful salon de thé – a light, modern space where his favourite colours, coral and turquoise, shine out from furnishings, artworks and objets, and where a sumptuous buffet breakfast awaits you each morning. Bedrooms are on the smaller side, but huge windows downstairs between the original columns give views of the sky and the luxuriant surrounding vegetation. The place is a combination of curiosity cabinet and family home. The region offers family activities galore. You can ride on the beach (just 50 metres away), walk the coastal path, explore rock pools at low tide, visit Palmyre’s open zoo, the aquarium in fine old La Rochelle, and see the chapel and royal bedchamber in France’s last inhabited lighthouse at Cordouan.