There is something about driving through rural France, especially in early summer, which lifts the spirits. I was driving to Domaine Des Etangs, nestled in the heart of the Charente region, North-East of Bordeaux. The Domaine is a stunning castle dating from the eleventh century and is surrounded by 1,000 hectares of beautiful rolling countryside. After a colourful history of prominent aristocratic owners, including knights and counts, it was purchased by Didier Primat, the French oil baron, as a personal hideaway. In 2015, the Château was transformed into a hotel by his daughter, Garance.