Escape to the Chateau’s Dick Strawbridge speaks out about ‘foolish’ decision

Dick Strawbridge and wife Angel Adoree made a life-changing decision in 2015 and decided to buy a 15th century chateau in the French countryside and leave the UK behind.

Their investment was Chateau de la Motte-Husson, which is situated in Martigne-sur-Mayenne, France.

Between the 12th and 14th centuries it was a fortified stronghold in the parish of La Motte before bring named as a castle in 1406.

The property was rebuilt between 1868 and 1874, with a square moat added and 150 years later, Dick and Angel decided to make it their home, with their trials and tribulations being documented for the TV series, Escape to the Chateau.

After falling in love with the property, the couple planned to breathe new life into it and make it their dream home.

Dick and Angel Strawbridge decided to change their lives with chateau decision
Dick and Angel Strawbridge decided to change their lives with chateau decision

At the time of purchasing the chateau, Dick said that their decision “could be considered foolish” but has explained why they decided to uproot sticks when they did.

At the time, their two children – Arthur and Dorothy – were still young and Dick said they moved to a new country, wth a different language, “in the middle of winter, with no electric, sewage or heating.”

So desperate to “create a new life” for themselves, Dick and Angel believed that could tackle any issues that occurred and could fix anything that wouldn’t work.

They have since admitted that the outbuildings and moat had seen “years of neglect” and it took them “hard work and dedication” to restore these areas.

They had the challenge of transforming 45-rooms inside The Chateau, as well as restoring or converting the many outbuildings across the land and moat they owned and “after years of neglect” it took them “hard work and dedication”.

The centuries old chateau the couple bought
The centuries old chateau the couple bought

There have been a few surprises along the way and Dick and Angel said: “It was extremely encouraging when excavating the hole for our new sewage system, 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”.

With more than 40 rooms in the chateau, Dick said about the former Madame and Monsieurhad suites of individual bedrooms: “We wondered if it was purely by chance that the master’s suites had a staircase to the servant’s quarters,” they commented.

Six years after making the leap of faith, the property is in a habitable state and they are now looking at ways to expand their operation and attract more visitors.

Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree speak out on ‘foolish’ Chateau decision
Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree speak out on ‘foolish’ Chateau decision

The pair admitted that “life is good” for them all and it was all “more civilised”.

Writing on their website, the couple said: “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’.”

They 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!”

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