François Benoist’s mother inherited La Potardière from her father; now her son is entrusted with its keep. François, an architect specialising in restoring old buildings, lives in a creeper-covered wing with his large family; note the family history in the entertaining brochure. François’ grandfather built up a successful centre for training show jumpers alongside an established thoroughbred stud; then, in the nineties, after ten years of empty stables, La Potardière began taking in stallions for the summer. Now horsey guests bring steeds from all over France… the very pretty approach includes mares and foals grazing beneath horse chestnut trees. Main house bedrooms are a graceful mix of prettiness and elegance, polished parquet and fresh flowers; those in the stables are less formal, and cosier. What a place for a horse-mad child! Though all children will love it here: fields, a safe and secluded pool, billiards, table football, a Wendy house full of toys. There’s an honesty bar and relaxed seating, a piano you may play and sociable apéritifs on Saturdays. The welcome is superb.