The house

Downstairs find tiled floors, a kitchen (with large glass doors leading to the garden) and dining area that can easily contain a crowd, a smaller sitting room with a wood-burner and TV, and a daybed for swooners; grab a book from the characterful library first. Bedrooms are upstairs, each with a high ceiling, brand new bed and interesting antiques, art and knick-knacks; oriental rugs cover old hexagonal floor tiles, bathrooms are functional but spotless, towels are new and large. You should sleep well – the hum of the A8 calms down at night – and wine-tasting is the thing – either here or further afield. Hiking is also popular (ask your hosts for good routes, they live beyond the hedgerow) and the Abbey at Le Thoronet is worth a peep.