A Year at the Chateau by Dick and Angel Strawbridge

A Year at the Chateau Book Cover A Year at the Chateau
Dick Strawbridge, Angel Strawbridge,
Seven Dials
April 13, 2021

Like many couples, Dick and Angel had long dreamed of living in France, but where others might settle for a modest bolthole in the French countryside, the Strawbridges fell in love with a 19th-century fairytale chateau, complete with 45 rooms, seven outbuildings, 12 acres of land and its own moat. Throwing caution to the wind, Dick and Angel swapped their two-bedroom flat in East London for an abandoned and derelict castle in the heart of the Loire valley and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime with their two young children Arthur and Dorothy. Sharing their full journey for the first time, A Year at the Chateau follows Dick and Angel from when they first moved to France in the depths of winter and found bedrooms infested with flies, turrets inhabited by bats, the wind rattling through cracked windows, and just one working toilet, which flushed into the moat, through to the monumental efforts that went into readying the chateau for their unforgettable wedding and their incredibly special first Christmas.

A Year at the Chateau, what an accompaniment to an enthralling show! Our neighbors across the pond are well acquainted with British couple Dick and Angel Strawbridge. For the rest of us, we get the opportunity to hear about their adventures in owning a 19th-century chateau in France. A year ago, I stumbled across their series on the Peacock network and found myself drawn into their lives as they embarked on an adventure of a lifetime.

First Year at the Chateau

Let’s face it, television programs can only show so much. This book provides an extended view of the first year of their life at Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson. Both Dick and Angel gave their insights throughout the book. Since I have watched the show twice now, A Year at the Chateau was a delight to read about all the things we did not see on the show.

I recognized Dick from his previous television show and I understood how his engineering expertise was suited to taking on a remodeling project the size of a small village. Angel, on the other hand, was new to me. I loved seeing her vision come to life.  Each room from a long-forgotten property completely transformed into a spectacular showcase.

Chapter by Chapter

I love the fact that each chapter depicted the month and what they did during that timeframe. It all leads up to their wedding and ending the year as a happy family living a life that many of us only dream about. The book comes complete with before and after pictures of the chateau. It also includes pictures of their wedding and so much more.

I received this as a Christmas gift in 2021; by then I had already watched the show once. The show continues to enthrall me even after watching it a second time through! I definitely need to get their second book. Maybe I’ll put it on my wish list for Christmas 2022!