Posted 20 hours ago

A Year at the Chateau: As seen on the hit Channel 4 show

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By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. I liked a good amount of this book but kind of skipped ahead over much of the last couple chapters (which are broken down into months) as it was mostly made up of wedding preparations, sentimental lovey-dovey stuff and family and friends info which I was not as interested in. 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. Yes, there were a few minor editing mistakes but this all added to the quirky nature that many of us have come to know and love. In fact it made me nostalgic for the early episodes (which unfortunately aren't currently available to me for streaming - I'll wait).

Angel Strawbridge is an entrepreneur who became well known in London for her hospitality business, The Vintage Patisserie. We hadn't really followed the television series but (naively) assumed that this was a couple with a vision who had acted on their own. As someone who has never seen it, I felt that it glossed over so many things and was really lacking detail in places I was really craving more. Dick has a very soothing, melodious voice therefore, in my opinion, he is better at narration but Angel is so lovely that I enjoyed her parts just as much. I love the Strawbridge family and their values and have been rooting for them since the show first aired.Like many couples, 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.

As warm and entertaining as their much-loved show, A Year at the Château is a truly irresistible story of adventure and heart, epic ambitions and a huge amount of hard graft. To my surprise, I read it word for word, and looked forward to catching up with Dick and Angel every day until I'd finished reading it. Channel 4 has been following and documenting their journey since 2015 when they bought the derelict château. There is no doubt, Angel is extremely good in her area of expertise (interior design and making things look outstandingly pretty), but there are times in her book she has struggled.The concept of moving house let alone moving to another country sounds like a massive headache, however the positive way in which this book is written would allow people to at least contemplate a move to a ‘better way of life’ where you could possibly live self sustainably or just be in a place where you can appreciate the culture more. As I wind down from lunch with the family, and take a brief moment to relax and breathe before I start preparing the pastry for the Tarte Citron for our New Year’s Eve dinner party guests, I thought I’d pop in and wish you a very happy New Year!

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