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19 April 2019, 13:27
Husband Dick Strawbridge and wife Angel Adoree are the faces behind C4’s Escape to the Chateau – which documents how they bring a dilapidated 18th-century French chateau back to life.
Dick Strawbridge is an ex-Army Lieutenant Colonel, TV presenter, engineer, and environmentalist, while wife Angel Adoree is a 1940s vintage enthusiast and the founder of The Vintage Patisserie, a bygone era-inspired hospitality company, and author of The Vintage Tea Party Book.
The couple met in 2010 through Angel’s agent and fell in love at first sight.
They have two children: Arthur, born in 2013, and Dorothy, born in 2014.
In January 2015, they swapped the colder climes of the UK and left their two-bedroom apartment in Essex and made their way across The Channel in search of a sunnier and more balanced life in France.
After viewing and discounting many different chateaus, the couple fell in love with the then-dilapidated 18th-century Chateau de la Motte Husson in Pays de la Loire, France.
They say: “Moving to a new home, in a foreign country, in the middle of winter, with no electric, sewerage or heating, and with two very young children in tow, could be considered foolish.”
The determined pair’s dream to embark on a restoration project of a lifetime inspired Channel 4 to commission the now-four-series documentary Escape to the Chateau.
The first series follows Dick and Angel’s quest to restore the chateau from its uninhabitable state by installing running water, heating and electricity throughout the 45-bedroom castle, which hadn’t been lived in for more than 40 years. The pair were also working to a deadline: their own wedding, which was held at the chateau in November 2015.
The second, third and fourth series further details their story as they grow their events and wedding business and continue restoration, renovations and maintenance of the castle, all the while marking key milestones and celebrating family events.
In each of the episodes, the pair put their skills into practice: Angel mainly tackles the interior, putting her vintage stamp on the décor, while Dick uses his engineering skills to ingeniously solve a multitude of complex building tasks, including installing a bespoke heating system and, somehow, a lift in one of the chateau’s turrets.