Marseilles is less than an hour away, but around La Chamade it’s all absolutely quiet, in rolling countryside and forests. A grand entrance leads to the main house, originally a 17th-century stone farmhouse but much extended – five bedrooms here, and a three bedroom guest house beside it so ideal for two family groups. There’s even a secluded bedroom by the pool house if you’re bringing granny, nanny or newly-weds as part of your party. It’s all beautifully refined, continually being upgraded by the retired diplomat owners and kept smart by a local housekeeper who will be there to meet you. Out in the grounds, the pool’s cover purrs out of sight to reveal beautiful tiles, exquisite for quiet swims or a noisy crowd; a sandpit and trampoline, along with the fenced off pool, make the gardens child-friendly too. It’s easy to explore historic Provencal villages from here – pretty stone-built Rognes is your nearest a few miles away – or Luberon vineyards. Chateau la Coste is a fascinating day out, with futuristic sculptures, an art trail around the vines and tastings in a modern glass and concrete café.