Escape to the Chateau (TV series)
Escape to the Chateau is a documentary style television show aired by Channel 4 U.K. The show follows the story of partners Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree and their family as they buy, renovate and restore the 18th century Château de la Motte Husson, and simultaneously juggle growing their business and family. Season one follows Dick and Angel’s quest to restore the chateau from its unlivable state by installing water, heating and electricity throughout the 45-bedroom castle, which hadn’t been lived in for the past 40 years. They're working against a deadline: their own wedding, which is to be hosted at the property. Season 2, 3 and 4 continue their story as they grow their events and wedding business and continue restoration, renovations and maintenance of the castle, and document the family events and milestones going on around them.
|Escape to the Chateau|
|Narrated by||Tracy Ann Oberman|
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||19|
|Running time||55 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Rapid Pictures, Spark Media|
|Original network||Channel 4 (UK)|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i|
|Original release||5 June 2016 –|
|Followed by||Escape to the Chateau DIY|
|[http://rapidpictures.co.uk/projects/escape-to-the-chateau/ https://sparkmedia.tv/ Production website]|
Originally a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, Strawbridge has been on numerous television shows such as Scrapheap Challenge (2009), It's Not Easy Being Green (2006), Coast (2006), The Hungry Sailors and Saturday Farm (2011), Dirty Rotten Survival (2015), and many others. However, his engineering and food experience is highlighted in Escape to the Chateau, with his can-do attitude and expertise often making the work on the chateau never cease.
Adoree, who runs a hospitality business called The Vintage Patisserie where she appeared on the Dragon’s Den, provides the creative factor and unique flair of the show, often encouraging Strawbridge to add her style and interior decoration skill to the castle as well as the interest in hospitality and entertaining to make their guests' memories there one to last.
|Season||Episode number||Title||Description||Air Date|
|1||1||Finding the Chateau||Dick and Angel find their castle. Looking through the large list of restorations needed, Dick begins with a heating system.||5 June 2016|
|1||2||Chickens, Heating and Blank Canvas||The deadline is approaching, and the budget is left with 20,000 pounds to finish refurbishments.||12 June 2016|
|1||3||Pineapple Chandeliers and a Wedding||Dick and Angel are expected to marry in a few weeks at the chateau, but still rooms are needed to be fixed to house and cater to their 200 expected guests.||19 June 2016|
|2||1||Pig Roaster and Versailles Loo||The couple begin to grow their events business as the chateau, with their first paid event approaches, Dick prepares by making a DIY pig-roaster. Family life also grows with their son’s first day. Angel creates a Versailles-inspired downstairs toilet.||27 November 2016|
|2||2||Fishing, Foraging and an Elevator||Dick and Angel are still wanting to expand their money making possibilities with the possibility of fishing in the moat and installing a lift in the turret for transportation up the levels.||4 December 2016|
|2||3||Christmas at the Chateau||Christmas is coming. Angel prepares the Christmas festivities and Dick the food, in time for the family from England.||11 December 2016|
|3||1||Only 20 Rooms to Go xxx||Angel and Dick keep going on the 20 rooms that still need fixing.||24 September 2017|
|3||2||Spring||Dick tries to tackle his walled garden. Angel creates a boudoir in the castle. Guests propose during a food event.||1 October 2017|
|3||3||The Wedding Season||The wedding season is coming which means it’s about to get busy, so Dick needs to clean out and prepare the barn for the events.||8 October 2017|
|4||1||Weddings, Stables & Staircases||A busy summer with 7 weddings and 14 food lovers' weekends to prepare, as well as fixing the stables and gardens.||18 March 2018|
|4||2||Harvest and Birthday||Angel plans for a floating geodesic dome over the moat. Plus—its Dick’s birthday.||25 March 2018|
|4||3||A Floating Dome||Dick tackles the chateau's crumbling stucco while Angel finishes the geodesic dome over the moat. The family use it well with a sleepover under the stars.||1 April 2018|
Background and productionEdit
Dick Strawbridge invited Channel 4 to join them documenting their journey in searching for a house. The couple had already spent 4 years searching for a home to bring up their two children, Arthur and Dorothy. In contrast to many other home shows the television coverage was never planned, but Channel 4 paid to document, the journey which lifted some of the weight that such a large task would cost. This was in the form of the presenter's fee, in addition to the exposure from the shows advertising, that has allowed the business to uphold its popularity as a wedding and events venue.
The appeal of the show may be due to the affordability on face value and lack of demand for such French properties, which attracts many English house hunters. That was the same story with Dick and Angel as when they first started house hunting in France they were looking ad more modest properties such as small farmhouses, until they realised that at such low prices, they could buy a small chateau. For 280,000 pounds, they purchased a chateau that lists 45 rooms, a walled garden and surrounded by a moat on a 12 acre property, 10 times the size of the average British house. However, the show makes viewers aware of the large restoration and running costs of such projects, which can become costly for people trying to make a business out of these castles. 
With policies on rehabilitating older houses introduced in the 70's, National Housing Agency (ANAH) was created to promote the improvement of older private dwellings, which can either improve or hinder the process. Another way to gather funds is through shareholdings schemes. This was seen in Escape to the Chateau D.I.Y with couple renovating Chateau De Jalesnes who used wealthy French nationals as shareholders. Another example, was through a GoFundMe page that saved 13th century Chateau De La Mothe-Chandeniers by receiving €500,000, that now has thousands of shareholders, invested in its restoration.
History of Chateau de la MotteEdit
From the 12th to 14th centuries the site of the chateau used as a fortified stronghold in the parish of La Motte. In 1406 that the Husson family, the Seigneurs of Montgiroux, named the castle, Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson.
The de Baglion family acquired the estate in 1600, after that it was rebuilt within the square moat during the period 1868-1874. The current façade is reflective of the efforts of Countess Dorothée who told her husband that she wanted a grand chateau. The purpose of the chateau served as a summer residency for the family.
Escape to the Chateau D.I.YEdit
Escape to the Chateau D.I.Y. follows Dick and Angel again giving their tips to other British owners trying to run a business from chateaus in a similar state to Dick and Angel's. It follows their renovations and possibilities for generating profit. The show has one season with 20 episodes. The initial air date was April 9, 2018 and the last episode aired May 4, 2018.
|Episode Number||Description||Initial Air Date|
|1||Dick and Angel give Jonny their tips and tricks on how to find the perfect Chateau, without falling into a money pit.||9 April 2018|
|2||Jonathan and Michael try to start making money through booking a wedding of an American couple. Also, Dick and Angel help Jonnie and Ashley search for their own chateau.||10 April 2018|
|3||Philip and Angelina get a visit from Dick, and with his engineering expertise helps them build a bridge for the chateau. Meanwhile Jonny and Ashley are still hunting for their dream Chateau.||11 April 2018|
|4||Jonathon and Michael hunt for treasure in their caves of the Chateau; treasure in the form of a stash of wine from World War 2. On the other hand, Fiona starts renovations in the dining room.||12 April 2018|
|5||Jonathan and Michael have help from investors to keep their dreams of renovating the chateau afloat, however their meeting with the investors about keeping their goats did not go well. Philip and Angelina must fix the toilet at their own anniversary party.||13 Apr 2018|
|6||Mandy and Steve have decided to build a swimming pool at their chateau in the Dordogne. Michael requests the aid of Angel’s touch to do afternoon tea for the locals.||16 April 2018|
|7||Jonathan and Michael’s first wedding booking is approaching. With that comes preparation and problems like a sewerage issue that threatens the whole first floor. Steve and Mandy are stilling having pool problems.||17 April 2018|
|8||The first wedding guests of the season are here. With that Angel shows Michael and Jonathan tips to keep wedding costs low but enhance the experience. For Mandy and Steve, the pool continues to be an issue.||18 April 2018|
|9||New couple, Tim and Kys join the show in the Dordogne. Colette and Paul try to launch a new menu. Lastly, Donna believes a horde of ancient armour was hidden in her chateau's lake.||19 April 2018|
|10||Dick and Donna's search for the armour in the lake continues. Tim and Krys struggle getting the attic converted in time.||20 April 2018|
|11||Dick's building a compost toilet for use at outside weddings, Billy and Gwendoline want to open their chateau as a wedding location, and Clive and Tanith need to win over the locals.||23 April 2018|
|12||Billy needs to repoint the chimney, problem is he’s scared of heights. Meanwhile, times running out for Marian and Tanya and Clive and Tanith get stuck into some hard labour.||24 April 2018|
|13||Billy, Gwendoline and Michael want to finally move into their chateau, however the kitchen is still not finished. Paul and Karen devise a plan to get more bookings. Clive and Tanith try to bring a couple together.||25 April 2018|
|14||Billy and Gwendoline have a boar that’s making a mess off the property, which needs hunting. Clive and Tanith utilise their garden by making a dish out of its content. Paul attempts to convert the water tower into am office.||26 April 2018|
|15||Billy and his dad do some DIY with levelling the patio. Paul and Karen have nearly finished their office conversion. Meanwhile, Clive inspects a strange nest in his orangery.||27 April 2018|
|16||Tim and Margreeth plan to sell 'gite timeshares', which is a form of holiday renting to increase income and returning customers. Nicole and Stephan choose to convert their hall into a tearoom. Alison and Paul are adding to the chateau features by creating a 'wedding terrace'.||30 April 2018|
|17||Nicole asks Angel for some styling advice about wallpaper. Easter is coming and Tim and Margreeth are getting prepared. Meanwhile, Paul and Alison show off their new wedding terrace with a party.||1 May 2018|
|18||Tim and Margreeth concentration is on refurbishing a caravan in their park. Paul and Alison haven’t given up on the possibilities that secret tunnels exist on the property.||2 May 2018|
|19||Dick and Angel give some advice and plans for Tim and Margreeth’s business in hospitality. Stephanie gets ready for her single’s weekend event. Sophie and James need to get some funds fast if they are to keep their chateau afloat.||3 May 2018|
|20||Tim and Margreeth get started on their new business venture with research. Stephanie's singles weekend event is here. Sophie and James hold a walking event near their chateau.||4 May 2018|
- Fox-Leonard, Boudicca (2016-06-04). "We bought a crumbling French château - but restoring it was no fairytale". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "Escape to the Chateau - Episode Guide - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
- Wollaston, Sam (2016-06-06). "Escape to the Chateau review: an inspiring fairytale about crumbling walls". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- Stephenson, David (2018-04-08). "How an Englishman's home is his chateau! Channel 4 stars helping others". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- Turkington, Richard; Watson, Christopher, eds. (2015). Renewing Europe's housing (1 ed.). Bristol University Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctt1t89c85. ISBN 9781447310129.
- "How a London couple raised £3.5m to restore a crumbling French chateau". Homes and Property. 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- Willsher, Kim (2017-12-05). "La Mothe-Chandeniers - the French chateau now with 7,400 owners". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "L'Histoire - By Dick Strawbridge - Chateau de la Motte Husson". Chateau de la Motte Husson. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "Escape to the Chateau: DIY - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
- "Escape to the Chateau: DIY - On Demand - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 2018-10-29.