The main building is a nineteenth-century turreted affair which, together with its lake and swimming-pool, is besieged from each point of the compass by vineyards. A modern extension has been grafted on; and whether this is aesthetically appealing is a matter of subjectivity about which I have no opinion Iâ€™d care to ventilate in print. Room 10, on the other hand, inhibited me not in the slightest, for it was sybaritically luxurious, opening on to a terrace as long and straight as Newmarketâ€™s Rowley Mile. There was a sci-fi bathroom, for which you would need a masterâ€™s degree in physics in order to exhaust its arcane possibilities. Chaud and froid I could manage, but not the ferocity with which they came at me. The bath-tubâ€™s frivolous layout brought on lumbar twinges, while the see-through shower capsule made me shy, especially when I dropped the soap with my wife looking on. DINING TABLE FOR 4 IKEA The restaurantâ€™s stained glass windows were influenced by Araby, but the food was native to the French idiom: the service was matchless and quite innocent of those playful dodges I had survived in the bathroom. With our duck, I ordered a rose from the house of Faugeres, for no grander reason than its colour, almost the purplish red of claret. Next morning I took the road to Chateau Faugeres, fifteen minutesâ€™ drive away, which has been in the Guisez family since 1823, and I persuaded them to part with a case of wine. Good-naturedly, they warned me that neither the colour nor the bouquet would improve with the culture shock of England; but, mercifully, they were wrong.