Gracious XVII-century château living less than half an hour from Toulouse and close to the Canal du Midi. Two towers and two pigeonniers are part of the attraction of this massive, red brick architectural treasure; its elegant suites and bedrooms, fine living areas, acres of parkland, gardens (help yourself to fruit and veg), pool and tennis court are all yours. Wrought iron gates at the edge of the village guard the property; a gravel drive leads to the front door and magnificent grey and cream-tiled entrance hall. Off it are the light, south-facing dining, sitting, ‘smoking’ and multi-media rooms, all decorated with traditional elegance: Murano glass chandeliers, wall stencilling, high quality furniture. Glide up the impressive stone stair to equally harmonious décor in comfortable, parquet-floored bedrooms (one bedroom and one suite are ground floor and easily accessible). Go canoeing and horse-riding nearby; head off to visit Cathar castles; come home to barbecue by the pool or dine in style. If you fancy a break from cooking in the stylishly well-equipped kitchen, meals can be ordered from a local caterer.