The utterly Provençal bastide sits in splendid isolation in lavender fields spread beneath the ancient hilltop villages of the Lubéron range. As you swing into the circular drive, there are ancient plane trees, wisps of tamarisk, tufts of lavender and blue shutters against golden ochre walls. Glorious – and a genuine family-friendly place, too: family suites, early children’s suppers, DVDs galore, safe pool and lawn areas. The heart of this 18th-century farmhouse is a courtyard where you can breakfast to soft fountain music. Bedrooms (and beds) are huge, done in natural local colours, with tiled or parquet floors. The garden – it’s more like a park – is vast, with a big pool not far from the house. The busy owners have refreshed the herb garden for the kitchen and menus focus on local food, while cherries, apricots, pears, figs and raspberries come from their orchards. After a convivial apéritif, with Julien if he’s free, dinner is served at separate tables on the terrace or in a big dining hall whose centrepiece is the carefully restored bread oven.