The Pontals have owned this big rambling 17th-century country pile for many years and still use it regularly so nothing’s too precious; the feel is comfortably traditional and easy-going. Your cares will be forgotten as soon as you turn down the drive and step inside. The large living room is a pleasant place to snooze after big dinners around the huge dining table. You’ll be happy preparing feasts in the kitchen with its pine cupboards and miles of surfaces for prepping; and there’s also space in here for a few to sit down for breakfast together. Charming, airy bedrooms are spread over two floors, one is a dorm with two doubles, and the bathrooms are attractive with handmade tiles and deep tubs for long soaks. The whole place is light-drenched and windows frame views of forests, fields and vines. Outside there’s an expanse of lawn, a terrace for alfresco meals and a renovated stone winery for wedding parties. You’re in prime Bordeaux wine country with vineyards galore to visit, zip into Bordeaux itself for trip to the wine museum, La Cité du Vin, and exquisite St Emilion isn’t far either.