The Le Mans race track is less than ten miles away; in St Pierre du Lorouer life is lived at a slower pace. Opposite the church is a house that combines château grandeur with a cottagey feel – thanks to cheerful, generous, imaginative Sarah. Relax in the courtyard, climb the steps to the walled garden. Sarah is a fabulous cook and uses vegetables from her garden and organic and seasonal local produce whenever possible – make sure you book dinner. There’s a real fire for winter, an outdoor dining room for summer, and, up a sweeping stair, the bedrooms – fresh, white and uncluttered. There’s a studio on the top floor too – ideal for longer stays.