Breathe in the delicious scent of lavender, gaze across to fields full of sunflowers and relax… This Charentaise manor house stands proudly in an idyllic village just ten minutes from the medieval town of St Jean d’Angely. Inside, style and comfort are perfectly balanced; climb the lovely winding staircase to serene bedrooms with views of cypresses and fruit trees. Light the candles and have an indulgent soak in the freestanding bath. Downstairs, exposed walls, a grand stone fireplace and original wooden floors create character in the sitting room, while a tiled wet room makes a handy stop-off between the pool and the house. Cooking in the smart open-plan kitchen is a joy; thoughtful owner Claire has provided every bit of kit self-caterers could desire and there’s a stack of cookery books for inspiration too. Outside, you have an acre of enclosed garden to explore, sun loungers for poolside lazing, plenty of sports equipment for energetic kids, and a barbecue for al fresco dining. Little ones might enjoy a trip to the Palmyre Zoo near Royan, or Cognac is close for a rather more grown-up day out.