Mas du Murier Blanc

Owners Simon and Ruth Packard have restored this 200-year-old farmhouse in southern France as a retreat for busy professionals, particularly those with young families. Mas du Murier Blanc sits in a pocket of calm, a place in which to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet or as a base from which to explore the wealth of attractions the Gard region has to offer.
The house is named after the Mulberry tree, which is a symbol of its past. Leaves from the tree were fed to silkworms cultivated in a nursery, or magnanerie, on site. Today, the tree provides a welcome shady spot beside the swimming pool.
Local legend has it that the farmhouse belonged to a bandit chief who controlled the dirt track road from Uzès into the mountainous Ardèche region to the north. The mas is a set of three buildings built around an internal courtyard overlooked by a colonnaded terrace.

Mas du Murier Blanc farmhouse in Southern France

A self-contained apartment with five double bedrooms, a sitting room and kitchen is available for holiday rental in the largest of the buildings. It was gutted and renovated to modern standards in 2003/4. There are two showers, a bath and two lavatories.
The house has a south-facing garden of almost a hectare with a special security covered, tiled 12x6 metre saline swimming pool, which is also fenced off. Washing facilities are provided near the garden terrace in a separate block, where there is also a shower and lavatory for the poolside sun-worshippers.

Mas du Murier Blanc at night

Vendras is a small hamlet surrounded as far as the eye can see by garrigue, the characteristic scrubland of southern France. It is a rugged landscape. The house sits on a ridge below Mont Bouquet, the highest peak in the vicinity with outstanding views to the Carmargue and Mediterranean to the south, Provence to the east and the Massif Central mountains to the north and west.
The surrounding region has plenty to offer. Why not visit Avignon during the theatre festival? Or tour the local wineries to hunt out those value-for-money wines that never appear on the supermarket shelves at home? There is the steam train from Anduze, which runs up into the Cevennes mountains. For the more active, there is canoeing down the river which runs under the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct or paragliding off Mont Bouquet.

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