Another marvellous family château, this one surrounded by a deep forest. Smiling Madame (a good cook, and wonderful with children) speaks perfect English, is proud of her gardens and her big, beautiful rooms; she is a talented designer. Bedrooms have delicious antiques, one a French-Caribbean mahogany bed, floors are 18th-century oak with terre cuit borders – exquisite; some of the baths, washstands and fittings are period originals, so it’s a huge treat to stay here if you appreciate history. There’s a panelled salon de thé, a billiards room and books, and a playhouse and organic potager in the garden. Un coin de paradis!