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"From time to time we shall get up and go to the door and look out at the great moon and say: 'Why, it is nearly as bright as in Provence!' And then we shall come back to the fireside, with just the touch of a sigh because we are not in that Provence where even the saddest stories are gay."

 

Ford Madox Ford  The Good Soldier

This elegant 18th Century farmhouse is our home; long-searched for and much loved.  It oozes the timeless beauty of ancient stone that we had dreamt of; a panaché of colours, iridescent and shifting hourly under a generous Provençal sun, ensconced in a landscape that has inspired and energised artists through the centuries. 

 

Already happily settled in France for many years, our explorations had taken us to every corner of this beautiful country, savouring everything it had to offer.  For us, the handsome town of Uzès and its Tuscan-like, rolling countryside was unsurpassed and a draw to which we returned again and again with a dream that one day we might make it our home and do what we enjoy most; entertaining guests.  And so, when the stars aligned we left Paris behind and did exactly this.  A long, meticulous search ensued for a sanctuary with a signature of tranquility, comfort and authenticity - not as easy as it may sound!  Then one day, we found ourselves in a charming Uzètien village standing before imposing blue gates set in a tall stone perimeter wall...

 

We felt sheer delight as we stepped into the Mas's garden for the first time.  Graceful large windows hinted at light-filled interiors opening onto a vast terrace interspersed with olive, mulberry, rose and lemon trees and enveloped by romantic meridional frondescence.  On the far side of the gardens, a beautiful stone pool had the same timeless elegance as the Mas itself, as if it had always been there, adorning the garden with dancing turquoise light. Around us, large swathes of cool lawn tempered the afternoon heat providing shady recesses from which to contemplate the house, the garden, the pool and the pretty Gardois village perched above us on the hillside.  Such tranquility and beauty surrounded us; accompanied by the sounds of birdsong, the murmur of a light Mistral in the trees and the soothing burble of a charming lily pond. Finally, a stone staircase led us to a suspended terrace to admire a theatre of lush gardens and verdant, rolling countryside beneath the vast transcendent southern sky with its promise of molten sunsets and velvet night skies.  

We knew, before setting foot in the house, that we had found a new home; a place of rare beauty to share with family and friends and those in search of a peaceful haven in which to enjoy the simpler things in life, excellent food, fine wine and good company and laughter in a serene light-filled setting.

Henceforth, sharing the Mas with visitors has become a joy in itself.  Our brimming enthusiasm for the area - the beautiful and largely unspoiled countryside and rivers of the Gard Provençal, the abundance of quaint local villages, the historic cities of Avignon, Arles, Nimes and, of course, lovely Uzès, and the culinary delights offered by all these - is just too much not to share.

Mas du Grand Ciel can be let out as a whole for July and August. Step into the delightful walled gardens of this peaceful and very private sanctuary - an outstanding Provençal idyll - and we know you’ll be smitten.

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