Wonderful – not the sort of place you are likely to chance upon in this vast Spanish countryside. But if you begin your search in Batea you will be in benign mood, for it is a beautiful little town. There is a long rocky track up to the solid old house, deserted among the fields and woods, but full of life thanks to Jorge and Clotilde. They inherited it from a grandfather who made his fortune in Cuba but returned home after Independence… if you love dusty, faded old houses you’ll love it here. The entrance is full of colourful clutter, flagstone-floored with doors leading into ancient rooms still dressed in flock wallpaper, just as they were when first sparked into life. Some might focus on the scarce electricity and poor showers; others will love the authenticity. The food especially makes the trip worthwhile and much of the produce (olives, almonds, vines) comes from the farm. Jorge and Clotilde are young and charming; they live in Barcelona but love nothing more than to welcome guests – and often friends – to this chaotic old house.