Dick Strawbridge admits Escape to the Chateau financial setback ‘Causes me pain’

Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree bought a chateau in France to set up their new life and start their wedding venue business. However, in an old episode, Dick explained the setbacks he faced when trying to restore all 59 windows in their enormous house.


The windows in the chateau operate on a sophisticated locking system known as cremone, but for Dick restoring 59 broken down windows was tough.

Dick explained: “If you look here, you’ve got the curve going in on the female, and it sticks out in the male.

“When those two come together, the male goes in like that, and it gives it rumpy-pumpy which means the draught doesn’t come through, I like that.”

The wood on many of the windows was completely rotten, which meant they would need to be rebuilt which would normally cost over £60,000.

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However, Dick had ambitions to restore them himself, saying: “Paying other people to work for you it causes me pain, much better to do it yourself.”

Dick recruited the help of Angel’s dad Steve and told him: “We just have to cut off enough, and then that gives us two straight edges.”

Dick bought timber from local sellers and was hoping that they would be cut to size for him, however, he faced another setback.

“I went along to the lumber yard to discover that they’re going on holiday for five weeks, so I had to very quickly buy what is basically dried oak,” he explained.

“So, what we have to do now is find the planks, the bits of wood that are inside this heartwood what was going to be a big job has just got a lot bigger.”

Laughing at what was in store for him, he told the camera: “We love a challenge” and set off on his mission.

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It doesn’t take Dick long to abandon the idea of making the windows himself and decides to patch them up instead.

“We have not enough time and too many windows to try and redo, so we’re going to have to make some really brutal decisions.

“Here’s an example, a little bit rotten, but apart from a new sheet of glass in here, some new putty, a lick of paint, you know this winter it will be great.

“It’s only the first year, so we’re repairing every window that can be repaired as opposed to replacing it,” he said.

While tackling smaller jobs, Dick and Angel ignored that larger jobs needed to be done in the house, like plumbing and electrics.

Angel explained: “We are not made of money, it is a constant expense, and you know what, bit of a shock to Dick and me, but things are expensive here, much more than in the UK.”

Making matters worse, they were let down by their French suppliers, Dick exclaimed: “I’ve waited five weeks for my double-glazed windowpanes, and I’m still waiting.”

Luckily, Angel and Dick managed to pull through create the Chateau of their dreams which also hosts wedding receptions.

Escape to the Chateau is available on All4. 
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