White walls, pale oak floors, peace – city chic in country calm. This 19th-century property, rigorously renovated by the owners to meld original features to modern spaces, is an old monastic site. They live across the courtyard in the main house (where the abbot’s house was), ever ready with help and local lore. The open-plan living area covers the ground floor: quarry tiles, a grand fireplace, antique furnishings, underfloor heating. At one end, the smart convivial kitchen is a cook’s delight. Bedrooms are bright, uncluttered spaces of oak boards and sandblasted beams; high-class bathrooms have robes and locally made toiletries. Bring well-behaved friends and you can rent the vast attic suite in the main house: two beamed bedrooms, antique furniture, claw-foot baths, and a soaring loft space scattered with rugs and comfy sofas. The garden has several dozen well-established trees, a dining terrace and a heated saltwater pool (in season) with a shower. You are well-placed for exploring the Dordogne, the vineyards of Saint Émilion and pretty riverside Brantôme.