If we were to create the ideal French country escape, Hotel Diderot would be it. The origins of this beautiful manor date back to the 1400s, with a highlight from that time being the fireplace in the breakfast room. As for morning meals in said room, they present a delicious quandary: which of the 50-plus homemade jams and jellies should you choose? Rooms have been given a serious upgrade, with designer textiles and plenty of creature comforts to complement the hardwood floors and exposed beams. Just a five-minute walk from the hotel, the medieval town of Chinon boasts cafés brimming with terrific red wine menus and a castle with ties to Joan of Arc. All in all, this makes a perfect budget base for exploring the Loire Valley.