Gaze on the Château de Fontainebleau, one of France’s loveliest buildings, from your room in this 18th-century hostelry; it lies opposite. The hotel has been in the family for three generations; Philippe runs it quietly and considerately, with occasional help from his brother. The sitting room has an 18th-century classical look, also rich colours, comfy armchairs, plump cushions, grand flowers. The breakfast room – for simple breakfasts – has the feel of a small brasserie; both rooms have views to Fontainebleau. Bedrooms, on the upper floors, are similarly classical in style – smart, spotless and traditional; colours are bold, fabrics floral. A sense of timelessness pervades this peaceful place. You are also brilliantly placed for exploring the Forest of Fontainebleau, the hunting grounds of kings. As for the château, it was built around the keep of a smaller medieval building, completed in 1550 and has been added to over the years; the gallery of François I is considered one of the finest in Europe. You can visit for free on Sundays and it’s magnificently floodlit at night.