Behind wrought-iron gates in quiet Aubepierre-sur-Aube, a pair of delightful cottages with revealed stone façades and walled gardens. Communal rooms are pretty and bright, mixing original features – flagged floors and raw beams, a stone fireplace, an engraved oak buffet – with wood-burners, coffee tables and comfy modern sofas. Warm friendly owners Tim and Sarah, whose holiday home is here too, are sticklers for detail – so count on fine linen in simple, homely bedrooms (upstairs, but an easy climb) and pristine crockery in kitchens. Best of all are the gardens, with something for all the family. Sunny days mean lazy hours in or by the enclosed pool, flanked by trees and shared by both cottages – or stroll across crisp, secluded lawns to the wilder meadows beyond, where you’ll find an orchard (if it’s ripe, help yourself), a gigantic kids climbing frame, a grass badminton court and a fascinating old dovecote. Bike or hike the wooded, rolling winelands of Burgundy and Champagne, or drive 30 minutes to Langres or Chaumont for museums, markets and cathedrals.