DOMAINE DES ETANGS
The lowdown A remote medieval castle with sleek modern interiors. Best for An authentic taste of the French art of living.
Tucked away in a sleepy corner in southwestern France, Domaine des Etangs is a sprawling medieval estate that has been turned into an uber-luxury country retreat. Once the holiday home of a wealthy French industrialist, the chateau was converted by his daughter into a bastion of Gallic good living where the principles of style, food and relaxation reign supreme. Interiors are a study in classic-modern elegance; think leather and marble furniture by Hermès, lighting by conceptual artist Yann Karsalé, a liberal smattering of contemporary art and a palette that throws splashes of vivid colour against the castle’s stone and timber walls. The most glamorous suites are in the main building, but, for those looking to live out a rural French escape fantasy, the grounds are dotted with a series of enchanting cottages. There’s plenty at the Domaine to while away the days, so whether it be rowing on the lake, an indulgent day in the spa or dining at the Michelin-starred Dyades restaurant, you’d really need never leave…
Book it Double rooms from £356 (domainedesetangs.com)
From top the fairytale exterior; the Venus suite is home to the extraordinary ‘wall of water’ photo composition by Dieter appelt; murano glass lamps glow in the salon Famille