Living Etc - - TRAVEL / ETC -

Nou­velle-aquitaine, France

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 (do­mainedese­

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

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