The hamlet is high, impossibly pretty, with views to lift spirits and silence to soothe the soul. La Ferme is divided into two – upstairs with space for families and friends, and a studio below; if you’re a party, take both. Inside, at the top, is a wonderful sitting room with rustic walls, a big fireplace, thick red curtains at windows and a cow hide on the floor; enjoy books, games, DVDs. Bedrooms and bathrooms are encased in new pine, doors are painted with alpine motifs. Down below, the Writer’s Retreat is as snug as can be: you have a cosy mountain bed and a bunk room for kids, splashes of gingham, the scent of pine, and French windows to a little terrace for the morning’s rays. Down steps, across the lawn, is a pool heated by the sun (not always open). All year the views are a glory; from late May to late June the wild flowers are at their peak. You overlook the village of Chinaillon, one of the best preserved in the Haute Savoie, with restaurants you can walk to and a market once a week. To complete the dream, you have cows for neighbours – listen to the cow bells, buy the Reblochon cheese!