Spain’s Guardia Civil once headquartered in this sturdy stone house, which dozes by a Romanesque church in a quiet town ringed by apple groves. Now it’s the stuff of interior design magazines. Drift past a log-stocked fireplace, a chandelier, smart black-clothed dining tables, elegant sofas and beautiful arched French windows. Step out to the terrace and garden, an exquisite ensemble of red and white roses, herbs and a swimming pool presided over by a Roman bust. Relish the peace – no children, and church bells that don’t ring during the night. If you’re lucky, Jordi and Juan Carlos may serve dinner (no supermarket produce!) on the wisteria’d veranda; breakfast is a treat with kumquat marmalade on wood-oven baked bread. Neutral bedrooms are as light and elegant as the rest, each with a special touch: polished antiques, carved headboards. Three have balconies; the suite has a sitting room with sofabed and kitchenette. It’s the perfect retreat after a day at the coast: perhaps the beach (4km), seafood in Sant Pere Pescador, ancient ruins at Empuriès, diving at Medes Islands reserve.