The Le Mans race track is less than ten miles; in St Pierre du Lorouer life is lived at a slower place. Opposite the church is a house that combines chateau grandeur with a cottagey feel – thanks to cheerful, generous, imaginative Sarah. Relax in the courtyard, climb the steps to the walled garden where the vegetable patch awaits. With luck its produce will end up on your plate: Sarah is a fabulous cook! There’s a real fire for winter, an outdoor dining room for summer, and, up a sweeping stair, the bedrooms – fresh, white and uncluttered. New is a fine studio (kitchen, glass table, chandeliers) cosily in the attic.