It's during a trip out of Saint-Malo or Lorient that all the charms of the Etoile de France really come into their own. Indeed, that connoisseur and sailing enthusiast, yachtsman Bob Escoffier, has nailed his colours to the mast: for him, this schooner is the loveliest of them all. What's more, he's made it the flagship of his fleet of traditional yachts. Built in Denmark, the Etoile de France has remained unchanged. Still sporting a wide, heart-shaped (yes, really!) black hull adorned with ivory stripes, the ship retains authentic features such as the manual windlass. After a few explanations, you can haul on the halyards and see for yourself how well the boat handles. In between manoeuvres, make sure you make the most of the very cosy mess-room.