The village’s old olive press still stands – in the dining room. Derelict when Christopher and Marisa arrived, the house is both a stylish and inviting home and a cultural centre. Spanish Marisa is an expert seamstress and interior designer, and cooks like a dream; Christopher is a prize-winning poet. Courses, run mostly during the spring and autumn, include writing, painting, photography, tapestry and mountain walking. The bright, airy living room is stuffed with books (3,000 at the last count), the dining room is homely. Also in the main house are four cosy, cottagey bedrooms with original artwork and photographs on the walls; two look over the terrace garden with pool and giant chess, and the valley with Moorish hilltop castle beyond. Opposite is a smaller house for self-catering – and an independent studio flat upstairs, an inspiring retreat for artists and writers. Not every room has its own but there are plenty of bathrooms in both houses. A wonderfully creative place for adults with an interest in culture, history and the Arts to think and relax.