Philippe’s 19th-century townhouse is set on a residential street between the bank of the river Clain – one of two rivers upon whose confluence the Romans founded a settlement in 51 BC – and tall ochre cliffs housing cave dwellings and cellars dating from the Middle Ages.
Tuck into breakfast in a fabulous garden filled with lush greenery, edible flowers and an organic kitchen garden supplying fresh fruit; everything else is either homemade or locally-sourced (breads, homemade pastries, jams, yogurt and cheese); the eggs (scrambled or omelette) come from the hens.
Cross the road to have dinner at a lovely restored mill, or else the city centre of Poitiers is a 15-minute walk away. Ask Philippe about days out exploring the local culture, from woodblock printing lessons to music and history tours. Taste wine in the Haut-Poitou, 15 minutes north of the city, or the châteaux and wines of the Loire Valley are just over an hour’s drive.