You’ll find such lovely gardens by this charming restored cottage. On warm days, it’s glorious to sit by the pool in the shade of the pergola, count passing butterflies (orange tip, swallowtail, marbled white …), and watch the birds among the wildflower patches. There are field guides in the cottage for naming them and maps to explore the paths around this tiny hamlet. Owner Barbara lives next door and is passionate about tending her gardens and attracting wildlife. The cottage itself is well-equipped with swish kitchen, bathroom and living rooms downstairs, kept snug by two wood-burners in winter. Slightly out-of-place, shiny pine stairs lead up to the bedrooms and a second bathroom, all under the eaves so heads may need to be ducked. Venture forth to explore the Tarn et Garonne – dine in Puylaroque, a medieval market town a few minutes away by car or browse the lively Sunday market in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. There’s wild swimming or canoeing on the Lot or Aveyron whilst connoisseurs will seek out Gaillac wines to taste – they’ve been cultivated since Roman times.