At Domaine de Perches you are guests of Alain and Howard for the ultimate French country house escape, staying at a welcoming boutique hotel.
Alain and Howard have breathed new life into a 17th century oatmeal-coloured wine château. Even Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud would be in awe at the scope of their project. Six years ago, there were holes and barn owls in what is now the roof of the Grand Saloon.
What was once a cellar housing thousands of bottles of Gaillac wine has been transformed into a light drawing room, leading into an opening dining area.
But along from the cellar six concrete wine vats remain. “Our demolition expert would not touch them. He feared the house would crumble around us,” says Howard ruefully.
Remember you are a house guest – there is no reception. Shout a “hello!” and Alain or Howard