Escape To The Chateau Dick and Angel’s love story revealed – and why he begged her to leave
WE can't deny that Escape to the Chateau is one of our all-time favourite guilty pleasures – and that's only partially because of the amazing renovations.
The hit Channel 4 show follows loved-up Dick Strawbridge and wife Angel Adoree slowly transform their 19-Century retreat in the sprawling French countryside – and it's their relationship which has really captured viewers' hearts.
The couple first met at a 40th birthday party Angel (real name Angela Newman) was hosting in 2010 and were introduced by their agent, The Times reports.
Recalling their first meeting, Dick, 61, said: "The first thing I saw when I met Angel – I call her Angela – was her smile. It's phenomenal."
After serving as a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, Dick appeared on Coast and Scrapheap Challenge which is how he bagged an invite to the same party as the up-and-coming interior designer Angel.
At that point, Dick had been separated from his ex-wife Brigit for six years and the estranged couple have two adult children James, 36, and Charlotte, 34.
Although Dick and Angel hardly exchanged a word that night, he added: "We knew that there was something at first sight and we fell in love very quickly."
At the start of their romance, Dick was living in Cornwall while Angel was up in London – and he wooed his future wife by sending her vintage items, including pegs to hang her stockings.
However, their 20 year age gap was always at the back of Dick's mind and he'd previously said he'd even begged her to find a younger man to start a family with.
He continued: "After spending Christmas together we knew we had to have the conversation. I said: 'Damn, girl, this is wonderful, but we really have to think about ending this.'
Angel’s renovation tips:
Embrace the imperfect: I love the Japanese art of Kintsugi – mending old property by filling the cracks with powdered gold. I’ve always loved things that are a bit old.
Experiment: Don’t be scared to try new tools and strip things back to see their original beauty. Some of our best outcomes have come about by accident.
Start small: Even one simple room can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, so always make a plan and start with something small.
Buy in Britain: If renovating a property abroad, bear in mind that DIY tools and paint can be so much more expensive abroad.
Prioritise the basics: Sort out the less exciting stuff first, such as electrics and plumbing, before planning your veg patch and buying chickens.
Set lots of little deadlines: It will keep your morale up and keep you focused at the same time because renovation can be a long game.
Interview yourself: Ask yourself questions like, how many bathrooms do we need? Where are they going to be? So you really future-proof your project.
Last year, Angel told Fabulous: "The age gap just didn’t matter. I didn’t think about it really. Dick thought about it at one point, but we got over it five minutes later.
"Age is but a number, and Dick’s always had a really wonderful energy and he’s a doer.
“It was definitely love at first sight. The night we met properly, we consider to be our anniversary."
Just 16 months into their relationship, Angel gave Dick a calendar with the words ‘impregnate me by this date’ on.
“It was a little hint,” she joked.
After becoming parents to Arthur, seven, and Dorothy, six, the couple moved from their two-bedroom London flat into a 45-room chateau in the French countryside and even tied the knot there.
When the couple bought Chateau de La Motte Husson in Pays de la Loire in 2015 there wasn’t even any sewerage, and the restoration has put pressure on their relationship.
Angel says: “We argue all the time, every day. But you’ve got to be passionate and we are both madly in love so there’s no point getting hung up on silly little details.
"If you asked me what we argued about yesterday, I’d have no idea. Argue every day and drink gin at night with a smile.”
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