Dick Strawbridge details ‘concerns’ for transforming Chateau from ‘a ruin’ to a home

Escape to the Chateau’s Dick Strawbridge on ‘self-sufficiency’

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The former Lieutenant Colonel admitted it was concerning taking on their Escape to the Chateau project as they tried to restore the property to its former glory. Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel weren’t deterred though and have successfully set up a wedding and events business with the Chateau attracting fans globally. Each year the couple take on new projects around the Chateau too. Last year they restored the Orangery and created a bathhouse for guests to enjoy.

But it’s only recently the couple have been able to focus on the Chateau’s outbuildings.

Opening up about his “concerns” over taking on the Chateau, Dick told Virgin Radio host Chris Evans it “took a lot of focus”.

Chris began: “So there’s the good life then the really good life.

“You’re having the really really good life which is great and you’re doing what is says on the tin. How is the Chateau?”

Dick replied: “Great. It’s interesting because we’ve always done self sufficiency, and the Chateau is just bigger, it’s not bad at all.”

“The trepidation was; can you apply a small holding mentality to a proper going concern,” the host continued.

“And you have done that. What was the biggest bumps in the road in your 45-bedroom slice of heaven?”

Dick explained: “We had to turn it from a ruin into somewhere we could live.

“And that’s taken a lot of focus, but mow we’ve got past it, that’s why the walled garden is now happening properly.

“The last couple of years we’ve got out of the house and actually done some work. We’ve done exactly the same thing from living in a small terraced house all the way through.

“Now having a big house, it just means you can do more.”

Dick added: “And the thing is you’ve got to try it and see what you like, the key thing is if you don’t have a go and see – you can make cheese in a flat in London and if you suddenly discover you love it?

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“We’ve done it as youngsters! We used to take the top off the bottles of blue milk and we used to use the cream to make butter.

“You can do these things to see what you like and I think that’s the key thing and just going for it.”

Dick also spoke about a spin-off show he was working on with son James, based on their book, Practical Self Sufficiency: The Complete Guide To Sustainable Living.

Chris probed: “Will there be a TV show on the back of this [book] do you think James?”

James replied: “I went over and did some filming with my dad and Angela and did some cooking on Escape to the Chateau and it was great fun.

“I think the self-sufficiency side of things that is what we do in our private lives and we do it. There will be more about sustainability on his show.”

Fans are hoping Escape to the Chateau will return to television screens later this year but they may get a chance to see Dick and his son before then.

Escape to the Chateau is available to catch up on All 4 now.

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