Seekers of peace will be happy here in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by only hills and woods – heaven in ‘la France profonde’. The Pigeonnier sits on a hill across the courtyard from the main house but nonchalantly looks the other way. You enter on the middle level straight into the high-ceilinged, cream-walled sitting room, with a cosy wood-burner, comfortable armchairs, books and pictures (lots of family dogs!). The smaller, beautifully decorated bedroom is on this floor and a cool, pale, big bedroom lies upstairs: vibrant paintings, an elegant marble washbasin, great views. Downstairs: a light and bright dining room with glass doors to the patio and a kitchen good enough for committed foodies. You have your own terrace and lawn but the rest of the gardens – with their fountains, striking pool and covered terraces – are yours to roam. Markets abound, especially at Prayssac on Fridays; stock up on local meats, cheeses and pastries then work it all off on those hills, biking or hiking. Your delightful Californian hostess is on hand should you need her and kindly offers dinner on your first night.