I had half watched Escape to the Chateau a few times before but this Christmas, a dear friend mentioned she had caught up on all episodes over the festive period and spoke of the way one of the stars, Angel, had inspired her to mend a pair of curtains rather than buy new.
View this post on Instagram
💥They’re back! 💥 Kindling Media is delighted to announce that the NEW series of ‘Escape to the Chateau’ returns to Channel 4 on Sunday 11th November at 8:30pm. Will you be watching? 👀 • • • #escapetothechateau #bignews #dickandangel #angelstrawbridge #dickstrawbridge #renovation #diy #wedding #chateaulife #thechateau #channel4 #newseries #craft #crafting #interiordesign #glamping #homesandgardens #homestyle #frenchstyle #couplegoals #lifegoals #dreamlife #hardgraft #familygoals #propertyporn
Something sparked in my head and I downloaded the first series that night. Never one to do things by halves, I binge watched the whole three series over the next couple of months.
If you haven’t seen it, Escape to the Chateau follows the story of Dick and Angel Strawbridge as they leave Britain for their new life in France in a 19th century Chateau which they have lovingly restored.
An ex army engineer who you might recognise from other shows like Celebrity Masterchef, it seemed to come naturally to Dick to renovate everything using tools and equipment already at his finger tips but Angel, his amazing wife was brought up in the bustling lights of the town and I think it is that which makes me love the couple even more.
Angel definitely has an artistic eye and enthusiasm (and success) in a variety of different crafts. I cannot watch the show without doing something else so I have happily crocheted as I watched in my own little homage to Angel.
Thought watching the show, I am totally channelling my inner-Angel. I may have blamed her for my recent visit to the thrift store but, my obsession with the show has gone far beyond the dungarees I ordered to be all ‘Chateau’ on the farm.
I too have enjoyed a renaissance in the pleasures of old things being repurposed. I have always loved charity shops and, while I do believe my own thriftitis (I made that up) means Angel and I may have been separated at birth, I think everyone can learn something from the show.
So here are my ten reasons why watching Escape to the Chateau is good for the environment, your pocket and your mental health and you can do it in small ways in your own home.
1. They promote seasonal eating. The couple run Food Lovers weekends which they highlight on the show and they regularly mention the produce that is in season at that time. I have written before about the important of living a more seasonable life and this is perfect.
2. They grow their own vegetables. With two small children, the couple are certainly teaching their children where food comes from and while most families don’t have a Chateau or a farm on which to grow things, most vegetables, fruits and herbs adapt to pots, patios and window boxes.
3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. If you have watched from the start, you will know that most of the decoration and furniture has been either refashioned or reused from things that were either already in the Chateau attics or, from charity shops. What a great way to live. Like Queen Kirstie (Allsopp) herself, Angel is the master of making old things look fabulous again thanks to a lick of paint and some artistic flair.
4. Imaginative thinking. I truly believe that if people stopped for a moment every now and then and thought about things, they might well come up with genius plans for things already lying around their homes.
5. When you want something new, why not head to your local charity shop? The term ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’ is not only true, by shopping in a thrift shop, you are helping reduce landfill and you might just grab yourself a bargain. I follow someone on Instagram who found a whole set of Cornishware in her local charity shop. I haven’t ever been that lucky but you can live in hope.
6. Embellish embellish embellish. If you just try thinking a little imaginatively, you can create amazing things for your home. In the show, Angel decorated a whole turret of their castle with antique wallpaper she found in the loft. Why not ask all your friends and relatives if they have any offcuts and use them to do a feature wall. It would be so lovely to have a little piece of paper from all the people you love.
7. If you fall out of love with a piece of furniture, have a think about upcycling it. I have done this many times and it is amazing what a difference a fresh lick of paint and new knobs can do to an old chest of drawers.
8. If you have a load of mismatched china sat in your cupboards, do what Angel did and make them into cake stands. You can buy the metal screw bits white cheaply off places like eBay and then all you need is a drill bit for tiles and you’re laughing.
9. Rather than visit a florist, head outdoors and look in your own garden. Fallen twigs and branches can be sprayed and used as trees for hanging things off-especially in the run up to Easter and Christmas. foliage sometimes looks more lovely than flowers and it defiantly brings he outdoors in.
10. If all else fails, remember that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get something thoughtful and unique. Just think of the wedding favours Angel makes by embroidering people’s names onto old table linen.
If that lot doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. In our throw away society and age where most people are trying to reduce their plastic consumption, by adopting just a few of Dick and Angel’s ideas could well put you on the way to doing your bit for the planet-as well as having a fabulous home.
To find out more about Dick and Angel Strawbridge and their amazing Chateau and life, visit their website Chateau de la Motte Husson.