By chance I watched Channel Four’s ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU last night and I’m mad that I missed the first series when it was broadcast in the summer. It is the kind of reality show with which we’ve all become familiar: an optimistic couple try to renovate a house-shaped pile of bricks. After problems with roofs and windows, planning departments and banks, they win through and it is a happy ever after ending when they stand in front of the home of their dreams.
The difference with this show is the couple – Dick Storbridge and Angel Adoree. They have past television experience (Celebrity MasterChef, Dragon’s Den et al) and that probably helps, but they both seem to be genuinely interesting people with a gift for making things happen. They are funny and brave and vulnerable and are allowed enough privacy to spare us from the rows they must have.
What’s left is an engaging programme about a wonderful 35 room chateau that was gently falling back into the ground before they came along. They bought Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson in the Pays de la Loire, France for £350,000 in January 2015 and it came with a moat, but without electricity, heating or a sewage system. You can find out exacrly what they had to do here.
In nine months they got it in a fit state to hold a wedding (theirs) and it is now open for team building sessions, senior management strategy retreats, £1000 French food lovers weekend (expensive but the price is per couple and you are the only guests) and vintage style weddings
Problem – I don’t qualify for any of those so I hope they start running courses that I have a realistic chance of enrolling in. I don’t know, perhaps a little light water colouring or lessons in wandering around the gardens…Really I just want a slice of Chateau life for a weekend. Angel and Dick are doing what many of us dream about and they are doing it with humour, hard work and style.
The current series of Escape to the Chateau is broadcast on Sunday evenings at 8pm. You can catch up on Iplayer and watch the first series on Channel Four here.