Set back from the banks of the river Loire lies a château of character and charm, a perfect reflection of its owners. The Coady-Maguires are Irish, animated, delightful, and have many interests. Architect Jean Drapeau built the château in 1727 and the décor, traditional, authentic, captures the romance of that earlier age. Five bedrooms lead off an oak-beamed corridor and range from the dramatic (‘Louis XIII’ comes with a four-poster bed and bold colours) to the cosy and intimate. Antique armoires, ornate fireplaces and spotless bathrooms are yours, along with dreamy views of the large, enticing, tree-brimmed garden – note the lily-covered pond full of fish, the heated swimming pool, and the small, prospering vineyard. Snuggle down into deep-seated sofas with a book from the library or try your hand at billiards – it’s all super relaxed. There’s wine tasting next door, the market town of Saumur is a short jaunt up the river and the treasures of the Loire valley are legendary – you can visit the châteaux on horseback! We’d stay for the atmosphere and company alone.