In an historic town, be welcomed by a charming, cultured couple to a 400-year-old house of fascinating origins. Thrill to Marielle’s tales: her ancestors built and extended the house, their portraits hang in the panelled drawing room; find time for François’ knowledge of history, geography and the environment. Up the elegant spiral stairs, bedrooms are in proper but unpompous château style, big, soft and quiet. Breakfast is in the beamy 16th-century dining room, or by the kitchen fire, or in the terraced garden overlooking jumbled rooftops, or in the luminous veranda. Then explore glorious Corrèze.