An idyllic spot: minutes from Marennes’ market square (fishmongers, world-famous oysters, restaurants, bars) and sands and surf a jog away (3km). As for the house, tucked down a winding street, surrounded by gardens and smartly walled lawns, it’s a dream, its French-blue shutters and broad stone staircase blending beautifully with a characterful Scandinavian décor. Lots of rooms upstairs, a downstairs double with its own terrace, heaps of bathrooms and loos, and now two bedrooms in the newly converted self-contained barn. Ideal for a family of six, this new space interconnects if you need. There’s more: a garden of winding pathways and bursting flowers, a barbecue off the kitchen, bikes, a pool and, in the unlikely event of the weather being other than gorgeous, a games room with table tennis, a log fire and satellite TV. Décor is a soothing blend of rough plaster and dusky grey; the wonderful big kitchen is the heart of the house. Simple bedrooms have playful touches – lavender parcels on pillows, giant canvas family photos, a few retro colours… and there’s even a blackboard for you to plan your excursions. Fabulous.