Escape to the Chateau has followed Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree for the last five years, watching as they turned Chateau de la Motte Husson from a ruin into a family home and events space. The most recent series sees the couple offer advice to other chateau owners across France.
Bill and Angel’s chateau sits on a site that has housed a castle since the 12th century, although the current incarnation was built in 1868.
Speaking about the renovation of the chateau – which in bulk is complete – Angel said: “It’s like anything that involves a really big commitment – you’ve just got to love it with every part of your body. Otherwise you might as well just pack up and go and move into an apartment in the city.”
Explaining why they, and others, made the move out to France, Angel continued: “Lifestyle. You really do get a lot for your money out in France, and I think that’s one of the biggest catalysts, because you get so much land.
“We’re a breed, I really think we are, because there’s so much work and commitment that goes into maintaining anything of this nature.”
READ MORE: Dick Strawbridge explains why he and wife Angel agreed to Escape to the Chateau
Dick added: “We’re all very different, but I think there’s something of an adventurer in everyone who does this… The lifestyle’s definitely part of it. Living in a chateau, or living in the country, it’s a lifestyle that’s attainable, but back in the UK we couldn’t have that.
“Unless you happen to win the Euromillions, buying something like this place in the UK is impossible – you can’t even think about it.”
After five years of renovations, what does the chateau look like now?
The couple have worked hard to restore the property to its former glory, and intricate cornice work is visible throughout.
An impressive double staircase outside of the castle is the perfect spot for wedding photos, while the rest of the grounds are extensive, and include an orangery.
Furniture throughout is classically French in style (of course), with gilt gold mirrors and tasteful cream curtains.
Colour is added in through artfully faded upholstery on antique furniture.
The home benefits from a library, filled with antique and classic books, giving it the feeling of having been there forever.
Sumptuous four poster beds in the bedrooms complete the French aristocrat look.
Sharing the hardest part of owning the chateau, Angel said: “If you’ve got a chateau, you will have bigger bills. But the summer brings different problems.
“In the summer we have lots and lots of flies, which is something all the chateaux have in common. We all discuss our fly solutions.
“That can be really tough, if you’ve got a business that you’re running through the summer months, which we have.”
Discussing what further renovations are to come, Dick shared: “I think we can see the other side, but there are huge things still to be done. We can see the other side, we could stop doing things for a period of time and not feel too guilty, but you’ve got to keep pushing on.
“You’ve got to get the first coat on the Forth Bridge, but there’s still so much to do.
“Remember, this is home, it’s where we live, but it’s also a business space, and we’ve got so many things we’re trying to balance.
“We’re not finished, but we can see the end. But it won’t be the end, it’ll be the start of the next phase.”