In a prized area of chåteaux, caves and honey stone villages, 20 minutes from the airport at Bergerac, is a classic 18th-century chartreuse magnificently maintained and in vast gated grounds. Beautiful trees, a wide open sky and views in all directions: such are the first impressions. Enter to find two pristine floors in the north-west corner of the mellow stone complex – compact, comfortable and immaculately restored. You get an open-plan living space with a big coffee table and blue sofas, a lovely new kitchen beyond a great cross beam, tasteful lamps, interesting pictures, a wood-burner and a TV (with French and British channels). Up the twisting stair to charming bedrooms under the roof, fresh and uncluttered, with a super bathroom between them and a walk-in cupboard. You’re given a small private terrace for dining, and use of the owners’ indoor pool – doors glide open to loungers and views, the pool is a beauty and all feels safe and enclosed. There’s a simple restaurant a mile away while civilisation begins in Bergerac and Lalinde – the most seductive of Perigordian towns.