This ancient group of stone farm buildings once belonged to farmers who lived off anything from chestnuts to mushrooms to silkworms. The old “clède” (chestnut dryer) has been lovingly resuscitated for visitors by its talented and welcoming landscape-architect owners. They’ve done wonders with the huge main house, too: rent the east wing of Le Mas, even the whole building. The spectacular setting is 30 wooded hectares of the regional nature park, the mountain views will knock you over, the exploring is an adventurous child’s dream. Choose fishing, boating, lake swimming, or the spring-fed infinity pool and home cinema, or market towns for food, festivals and culture (book early to see the astonishing cave paintings of la Grotte Chauvet). Built on several levels, the houses are warm and rustic with some steep stairs, wood-burners, plenty of light and a fabulous dining-cum-billiards table in Le Mas. Bedrooms with daytime views and night-time owls, a private terrace in La Clède and nothing over-sophisticated. Ask about delicious home-cooked meals, one of Christine’s many talents.