Etoges, used as a stopover by French kings on journeys east, is a moated 17th-century château: through the wrought-iron gates then over the footbridge to a little island fortress, later transformed into a hotel by the family who have lived here for generations. The grounds are lovely, too, with their fountains, lawns and ponds. It is, indeed, fit for a king, from the fully French rooms with their delicious fabrics and linen to the elegant meals with home-grown veg. Opulent bedrooms glow with antiques and fresh flowers, some have four-posters and two have mezzanine beds over bathrooms; rooms in the orangery have less character. The handsome restaurant, also in the orangery, has a majestic fireplace and, fittingly, deep orange curtains. If you fancy breakfast in bed, smart staff will bring it to your lace-covered table: breads, croissants, jams, fruit. If you prefer to breakfast downstairs, take your pick from the buffet and drift onto the terrace. This intimate hotel is right in the middle of champagne-growing country; easy for cycling and fishing, too, with a well-stocked lake a ten-minute drive.