TV & Movies

Dick Strawbridge reflects on sudden Chateau move that was ‘considered foolish’

Dick Strawbridge has reflected on the decision that "could be considered foolish" to move his entire family's life to a rundown chateau in France.

Dick and wife Angel Adoree made a life-changing decision in 2015, when their kids Arthur and Dorothy were still very young, to leave their UK life behind and live in Martigne-sur-Mayenne's Chateau de la Motte-Husson.

The couple faced a considerable task – restoring the castle to make it habitable, their efforts captured on camera and aired as Channel 4's Escape To The Chateau.

Dick said that they had moved to a new country, with two young kids, "in the middle of winter, with no electric, sewage or heating."

And they faced the prospect of renovating the castle's 45 rooms, as well as the outbuildings and moat which had seen "years of neglect."

"It was extremely encouraging when excavating the hole for our new sewage system," the couple shared, "that we discovered the foundations of The Chateau which go down beyond the 2m hole we dug, showing some of the construction of the original castle."

Dick added that the Monsieur and Madame suites were separate bedrooms, laughing: "We wondered if it was purely by chance that the master's suites had a staircase to the servant's quarters."

But with "hard work and dedication", six years later the chateau is completely habitable.

They wrote on their website: "It certainly seems like a lifetime ago that we picked up the keys to our very own French chateau and we pinch ourselves every day, even on the days when we argue and have to clear up the flies we still smile.

"We feel very blessed that The Chateau is now teeming with life and activity, not only courtesy of our children Arthur and Dorothy, who simply love exploring their very own 'castle'."

Dick and Angel continued: "But with guests who have been on the journey with us: those who have been inspired to 'have a go', and those who have simply enjoyed the fantasy from the safety of their armchairs!"

The year after making the move to France, Dick and Angel appeared on our screens in Channel 4's Escape To The Chateau.

They had switched up their two-bed Essex flat for 19th Century property, and have worked tirelessly to restore it to its former glory.

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