Could this be the perfect mix? Your own ‘country cottage’ for quiet seclusion in a bushy bird-filled garden, the magnificent Marne river flowing broad at the bottom of the road for tree-lined walks and boating, the delightful little town shops (and market) a stroll away – and Paris a hop on the train. Behind a typical 1890s country house (residence of an actor who used to race to his Paris theatre on horseback), the converted stablehands’ rooms have become two sweet bedrooms in mushroom and white with a superb new shower room between them. In an attractive extension is the large friendly living space lit by three windows, warmed by a generous fireplace and furnished for comfort without clutter. Colours are unflashy, fittings are new, the kitchen has everything, the sofabed is top quality. Make this spacious house your own for a week and you get the best of both worlds – Paris and countrified Varenne. The lovely young owners, professional musicians, are happy to give you advice, loan bikes, and leave toys in the cupboard if children are staying.