Artists say this 1620s château inspires creativity; spot its graceful two-winged façade and fall under its spell. The formal gardens are so wonderfully recreated they are listed and open to the public – a French reverie of bosquets and paths sprinkled with modern sculptures, gazing over Mont St Michel. Now they are joined by a hidden spa, zen garden and pool. Baroque recitals may ring in the courtyard; inside, Purcell odes may float through elegant wood-panelled rooms, over marble fireplaces, antique paintings, gilded mirrors and orchids. This is no museum, however, but a family home enlivened by three sons; your spirited hosts are passionate about the place. Drift off on dreamy canopied beds in bedrooms that are all different but all fabulous – from bold red ‘Victor Hugo’ to ‘Florence’ with blue fern patterns and feathery toile. Three have tented cabinets de toilette rather than separate bathrooms – a fascinating period feature. Silver cutlery tinkles over a fine continental spread in the blue-panelled breakfast room; birds sing a glorious hymn in the bosquet de musique.