Great for young families – no need to bring all the gear, it’s here to borrow. Along with animals to pet, eggs to collect, table tennis and a shaded pétanque court. There’s a beautiful shared limestone pool to splash in too.With three gîtes on site you will see and hear other guests but yours has its own private grassy space. Enjoy Alison and Francis’ rambling garden too – the rose display is stunning in the summer; sit down with them on Sunday evenings for a traditional meal, made from scratch with produce grown on the smallholding, and local wine to sample.Borrow bikes to follow well-marked trails to tiny hamlets, get in the car to Chef-Boutonne (three kilometres) for its bustling food market and impressive château. The regional speciality is Pineau des Charentes – a delicious aperitif served in any pavement café in the town square. There are ancient churches wherever you go – Saint-Hilaire in Melle (20-minutes) is UNESCO listed. A little further down the road are the formal gardens at The Royal Abbey in Celles sur Belle.