Up in the wooded hills above Le Boulou is a French farmhouse hotel with a young modern interior and astonishingly good food. Every evening is a culinary adventure so prepare yourself for a seasonal chalked-up set menu and a beautiful list of local wines. You enter via a pretty terraced garden, one of several: you can chase the sun (or the shade) all day. Friendly staff usher you up and down steps to calm, restful and chic bedrooms – each one creatively inspired, each different from the last. Prices reflect – fairly – the differences in size, so the priciest is ‘Le Pigeonnier’, a secluded suite with the luxuries of air con and a private terrace. Splashes of colour lift greys, taupes and whites, reclaimed materials and quirky artefacts abound, and some bathrooms have his and her showers. It’s a brilliant place for forays to Spain and the south coast; dreamy Collioure, beloved of Matisse, is 20 minutes away, Céret, Picasso’s favourite, is even closer – seek out the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Saturday market. Return to a stylish lounger, slip into a cool pool.