Surrounded by perfectly clipped yew and box topiary, the early 17th-century château built on fortress foundations is hugely warm and inviting. Louis XV and his regal in-laws once met here; now it is owned by a charming young family. Inside is a feast of original Versailles parquet, oriental rugs and period pieces, exquisite fabrics and elegant tapestries. Breakfast tables are laid in a fine big ground-floor room that leads to the cosy guest sitting room. Upstairs, bedrooms in perfectly chosen bold colours display pale marble bathrooms – some with draped free-standing tubs – handsome fabrics and fitting period-style furniture: five-star stylishness in a château setting. On the first floor is the library, with panelled walls and shelves laden with leather-bound tomes. Outside, there are more treasures to uncover. The 80 acres of walled gardens and woodland are extraordinary… statues of Ceres and St Joseph, a chapel in one of two small pavilions, and the St Sévère spring supplying moat, canal and village wash-house. Your friendly hosts will tell the stories. Beyond lie the pretty village and the great forest.