Pass olive groves, vineyards and pine forests to this big sturdy house on the outskirts of the village; its rooms – airy, comfortable, spacious – face away from the road. The garden is huge, the views are long reaching and all is wonderfully peaceful. It was built as a forge in the late 18th century with living quarters above; now just the windows and timbers remain, the floors are newly tiled, the paintwork is fresh, and it’s a fabulous place to share with family or friends. There’s a huge sitting room with comfy sofas, a TV with English-speaking channels and heaps of books on the shelves, and a kitchen with a table that seats ten. In summer, you can drift into the garden and set the table under the big old limes. Large air-conditioned bedrooms upstairs have individual colour schemes, firm new mattresses and white-painted beams; bathrooms are standard and shine. If you fancy a slice of Riviera action head for the coast: you can be in Cannes in 30 minutes. For dinner, stroll to a pizzeria or head up into the village – hilltop Fayence has restaurants galore.