A Year at the Chateau
by Dick Strawbridge and Angel Strawbridge
Like many Brits, 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.
Along the way we’ll read glorious descriptions of rural life in France, with charming characters, delicious food and wonderful seasonal produce, together with the extraordinary list of renovations and restorations Dick and Angel completed, many of which were not shown on TV.
As warm and entertaining as their much-loved show, A Year at the Chateauis a truly irresistible story of adventure and heart, epic ambitions and a huge amount of hard graft.