…is about as much French I have ever been able to say despite learning it for 5 years at school but there is nothing better fitted for the beautiful hosts of the apartment we have just rented in Yviers near Bordeaux, Carol and Ian.

They were more than wonderful and their place was perfect. Obviously we were slightly apprehensive about going to another country but after the Neurosurgeon not only reassured me I would be fine but actively encouraged us to get away before the surgery I booked this place due to the 5 star reviews it had on Airbnb, the fact it was near some friends and we could get there fairly easily by train all the way from London. It’s a B&B although the 3 bedroom apartment itself is private and there’s a heated swimming pool just for your use.

From the moment we got there we were treated like royalty with such grace and kindness. Carol is a French teacher, an excellent chef (freshly baked madeleines every day for breakfast) and all round extraordinaire. Ian bakes fresh bread (even did gluten free bread for me), makes sure the pool is ready for use every day and generally just does what he’s told! Molly and Ben, their border collies became our new best friends within seconds and because Carol is so wonderful she sorted out every restaurant booking we needed for the best local restaurants in the area who obviously all know and adore her.

Spending 4 days in the French countryside, swimming every day come rain or sun, walking, seeing friends and going for lovely meals just Danny and I was the absolute best thing we could ever have done. Yes I missed Lolita so much it was really painful at times but I knew she was at her Yaya and Bapa’s house having such a good time she didn’t want to leave and to be honest we really really needed to get away from everything. Being in the pool (don’t worry I could stand up and I was always with Danny) made me feel SO alive and ready to run the world. I It was truly magical.

We also managed to spend time with our friends Matthew and Emma Pruen who live and run The French Retreat in the same village. Sadly, although we wouldn’t have met Ian and Carol, it was fully booked when we were going but I also can’t recommend this place highly enough. They run courses and workshops including a pretty life changing Relationship Workshop which Danny and I have done ourselves years ago. We call Matthew our Pirate as he is slightly unruly but also so grounded and incredible at telling you with brutal honestly and immense kindness how to help yourself.

We’re now back in London but with refreshed energy and ready to face whatever life throws at us. Hearing our baby wake up and call out for her mummy was the best noise ever this morning and going into her room to have cuddles and stare into each other’s eyes whilst hiding from tigers and crocodiles was what making and holding memories forever and ever is all about. Thank you life for just being wonderful.

If you’re interested – Carol and Ian’s place is www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12922576but you can also speak to them privately on www.lagrangeyviers.com

Matthew and Emma’s French Retreat and contact details can be found at www.retreat.fr