A marvellous mix of the Renaissance and the 18th century, a chateau abandoned for 30 years then rediscovered by an heir who gave up Provence for lovely Perche pastures. He and his wife, a charming couple, have redecorated with spirit, respecting the style and history of the building, adding a zest of southern colour to panelled, antique-filled rooms, pretty country furniture before ancient fireplaces and rough, hand-rendered finishes. Sitting, dining and first-floor bedrooms are in château-style, the Henri IV room (he had a mistress here, of course) has thrillingly painted beams; ancestors and objets adorn but don’t clutter. The theatrical new tower room is worth every one of the 52 steps up and the attic floor is a fantasy among the rafters. Now there’s a spectacular new room on the ground floor awash with Indian silks, and a dreamy dacha in the forest, heaven for two.Your host creates classic cuisine nuanced with contemporary flavours and exotic vegetables from his potager and calls his cookery courses Liaisons Délicieuses. A fine mixture of past and present values and superb high-energy hosts.