The name, from ‘couper la chaux’ (cutting lime), refers to the old lime kilns: nothing to do with cabbages. Where to start: the elegant house built just before the French Revolution with towers added in the early 20th century, the 18 hectares of park, the pool, the rolling lawns and ancient trees? Or the 17 marble fireplaces and your friendly hosts? Patrick took over a Dutch-renovated château and has been developing the ‘events market’ (weddings are held in a distant building) ever since. The park is huge, chestnut trees line the approach, a river runs through the grounds, there are lakes and woods for ramblers, rare ferns for plant buffs, farm animals, even dromedaries in summer. The house is full of light, several bedrooms have windows on three sides and all are spacious. Filmy fabric floats at tall windows in ‘Violette’, ‘Romarin’ has carved twin beds and an interconnecting room. Bathrooms are still good. Breakfast comes with a selection of teas in a pretty panelled room or on the terrace; dinner is at separate tables.