Charming riverside villages and vineyards abound in the Loire Valley close to Saumur. The handsome stone cottages – an old farmhouse and a pressoir – with their slate roofs and pretty green shutters, stand in the grounds of an enchanting 19th-century white stone château. Each has two floors with spacious bedrooms (one on ground floor in Le Pressoir), and large, attractive living areas with comfortable furniture, one with separate kitchen. Bathrooms are simple, clean and practical. Bare stone walls, terracotta tiles, beams, fireplaces and fine old Austrian wooden sleigh beds add to the rustic charm. Le Pressoir is beside a romantic 17th-century water tower. Doze in your garden amongst the hollyhocks or, for waterbabies, delight in the château’s magnificent heated pool. Saumur has several Michelin starred restaurants, but why not stroll up to the château for dinner (with the B&B guests). The owners are charming and friendly, and Madame an excellent cook. The dining room is gorgeous, and dinner cooked by Madame and served by Monsieur will be a real treat.