This is the former stables to the big house, where the owners – he French, she Thai, both delightful – run gourmet B&B; if you book in advance, they can bring over dinner. You share an Italianate garden, a peaceful retreat, a riverside haven: balls of box parterre set into white gravel, paths dotted with olive trees and stone cornucopiae, arbours for reading, pergolas for tea (and WiFi that reaches all corners!). Inside, an open-plan living area of excellent dimensions, with massive oak doors, smart-tile floors, clean-cut sofas, an oval dining table, a big American fridge, river views and generous touches: fruit, flowers, wine, and towels for the main house’s indoor pool. Up open-tread stairs are two bedrooms with gleaming wood floors, vintage white-iron beds with sweet patterned covers, low heavy beams, sloping ceilings, and shutters to encourage late risers. Just the other side of the bridge (only rush-hour traffic invades the tranquillity) is a lively selection of shops, market and restaurants… and tennis, canoeing and a river beach for swims. Beyond: Bergerac, Montbazillac, St Emilion.