On Le Lude’s Grande Rue is a nobleman’s house built around 1650 in its own walled garden, sunny and peaceful; from many of the windows you can glimpse the Château. Simon and Susan pay huge attention to detail, love having guests, offer tea, cakes or wine on arrival, and give you one of five big comfortable bedrooms upstairs. All have immaculate linen, sparkling bathrooms and original button cushions made by Susan. There’s an illuminated dining terrace, a wonderful salon to come home to, and long, leisurely breakfasts to wake to. Wine caves and châteaux abound, including Bauge’s with its 17th-century apothecary.