The 45-room French mansion which has welcomed hundreds of guests – and hosted dozens of weddings – for the Channel 4 series Escape to the Chateau is being sold.
The chateau’s colourful owners, Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree, bought the run-down chateau in Saint-Maixent-l’ecole, western France, for just £280,000 in 2015, with Channel 4 launching its hugely popular series following the transformation in 2016.
Seven years on, after the final episode of the show aired this month, the couple are selling the property, known locally as Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson, for £725,000.
The sprawling 19th century building – which has a vintage tea room, cinema area and its own moat – had been valued at £2million but is being marketed by French estate agent Leggett Immobilier International for the more humble sum, about the same price as a one-bed apartment in central London.
Dick estimated in 2019 that the couple had spent around £280,000 renovating the chateau, meaning their profit margin if they now sell at asking price is likely to be around £165,000.
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Au revoir! Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree, pictured with their two children Dorothy and Arthur, have put their 45-room home – star of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau – on the market for £725,000, after the last episode of the final series of the programme aired in December
Dick, 60, and Angel, 41, who would charge up to £38,000 per wedding – with an average price at around £19,000, told the Radio Times’ View from My Sofa podcast their two children, Arthur and Dorothy, were key to making the decision to end the show and start afresh.
They said: ‘The children are turning nine and 10. They’ve had an innocence and joy in what we’ve done.
‘We’ve got lots of things we still intend to do, but we want to protect the family part of it.’
The chateau has nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms including a bed and breakfast suite and even its own British food store. Spanning 15,000 square metres, the charming chateau retains original features including exposed stone walls and stone staircases, beams, mouldings, tower and two large vaulted cellars.
Estate agent Leggett Immobilier International has now listed the spawling property, Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson, in Saint-Maixent-l’ecole, Western France, for £725,000 – around the same price as a London flat
The agent’s description reads: ‘The chateau has been renovated to a very high standard by the current owners, who have worked hard to restore it to its rightful place in the hearts and life of the local community’ (Pictured: a bedroom in the chateau)
The chateau, which lies in Saint-Maixent-l’ecole, western France, has nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms including a bed and breakfast suite and even its own British food store
Just 30 minutes from the main town of the Deux Sevres region in Niort, the property is 200 miles from Paris, and has hosted dozens of weddings since Dick and Angel moved in. Pictured: a bedroom in the property
Self-sufficient: The property has a huge kitchen and a separate bed and breakfast – and had been valued at around £2million
Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree bought the run-down 45-room chateau for just £280,000 in 2015, with Channel 4 launching it’s popular series following the transformation in 2016
Outside is a small lake with water-side wooden pavilion, a self-contained apartment, stables, cowshed, a large barn, a hunting lodge and more.
Just 30 minutes from the main town of the Deux Sevres region in Niort, the estate agent says the chateau is ideally located for exploring the region – with plenty to see locally including the Marais Poitevin, Futuroscope and the beaches at the coast.
The listing reads: “Recently restored, this beautiful residence is a magnificent family home while offering a wealth of options for a special events/accommodation activity.
‘The chateau is already well-known locally and further afield due to its starring role on Ch4’s Escape to the Chateau DIY.
‘It has been renovated to a very high standard by the current owners, who have also worked hard to restore it to its rightful place in the hearts and life of the local community.
A cup of char? The English tearoom that the couple installed in the property after renovating it
Despite transforming the property, the enormous chateau isn’t expected to fetch huge sums – with many similar French chateaux on the market
The couple kept the decor in the property traditional – and would charge an average of £19,000 to host a whole-house wedding
A courtyard at the historic home, which is officially called Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson – and is nestled close to the Loire Valley
A slice of Britain on the continent: One of the bedrooms has a union jack hung above the headboard
Restored: When the couple moved in, the property had no electricity, heating or water – and a sanitation system that was emptied in the moat
Tea on the terrace: The couple say their two children are their motivation for seeking a new challenge in 2023
‘Whilst preserving the original features, renovation work has included insulation, the creation of a self-contained apartment and studio/gite, together with its much-loved stylish Vintage Tea Room (fully licensed), Bed and Breakfast Suites and v popular British Food Store!
‘Architectural plans, and permissions to create a further six gites, a restaurant and a large reception room have already been obtained.’
The couple transformed the fortunes of the historic property after snapping it up while it was in need of a complete overhaul.
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army who was previously most famous for hosting the Scrapheap Challenge. Angel is the founder of The Vintage Patisseries, a glamorous hospitality company. She appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2010 and was offered an £100,000 from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis for developing her website and business. Angel married Dick – whom she met through their shared agent – in November 2015.
The couple have been raising their two children – Arthur and Dorothy – at the chateau and the children both attend local French schools.
The series was coined in 2014 after an executive at Spark Media heard that Angel and Dick (pictured in 2016) were leaving their two- bedroom flat in Southend, Essex, for a new life in France.
The series was coined in 2014 after an executive at Spark Media heard that Angel and Dick were leaving their two- bedroom flat in Southend, Essex, for a new life in France.
After searching for the chateau for four years, the pair bought the sprawling 19th century building in 2015 after swapping their two-bed home in east London.
The mansion is called Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson and it is in the picturesque Loire region of North West France around 200 miles from Paris.
When they moved in, the property had no electricity, heating or water – and a sanitation system that was emptied in the moat.
The sprawling 19th century building had been valued at £2million, with Dick, 60, and Angel, 41, receiving up to £38,000 per wedding – but the end of the show has seen a more modest price tag on the French home
The couple also enjoyed a booming merchandise business off the back of the show, with a number of books available
Now the venue boasts a grand reception room which can host up to 200 people, or the salle à manger which can seat 12. The decadent orangery holds 80 people for a wedding breakfast.
A six-course wedding dinner plus canapes upon arrival, a cheese and meat table during the evening and an unlimited full bar for the day for the maximum 80 guests cost £20,000, a post-wedding brunch £1,600 and hiring the chateau for the weekend is £6,250.
As well as weddings, the couple also sold glamping nights for £350 in ‘geodesic domes’ in the chateau’s grounds and £230 ‘days of decadence’ where you can meet Dick and Angel, enjoying lunch and afternoon tea at the chateau.
And the couple even charge guests £75 for a ‘working day in the garden’, with the website saying: ‘Yes to be frankly honest we are charging you to come and work! And in return you have to help make the place beautiful!’.
The chateau has since been valued at £2million but the couple also cash in through TV rights from Channel 4 for the series and its day-time spin off.
Channel 4 made nine series of Escape To The Chateau and the popular show got almost 3 million viewers every Sunday night – making it one of the channel’s biggest hits.
After searching for the chateau for four years the pair bought the sprawling 19th century building in 2015 after swapping their two-bed home in east London
At the end of series one, which aired in June 2016, the relationship between the Strawbridges and the original Spark Media production crew had become dire
The series continued, and by the end of filming series four, in 2017, Spark Media set up a separate production company, Kindling, through which they produced ETTC, with none of the original team
How much would a wedding at the chateau set you back?
The full run-down of the costs a wedding weekend for 80 at the chateau include:
Chateau hire – £6,250
Six-course wedding dinner with unlimited full bar including ‘bubbles’ – £20,000
Welcome dinner and drinks – £5,200
Personalised embroidery with guests names – £440
Flowers – £750
Wedding cake – £325
Post wedding brunch with champagne – £1,600
At its peak, its audience is 50 per cent higher than Channel 4 normally get in the same slot – but the series wasn’t without controversy.
There have since been claims that from the start, sources claim, the couple — reportedly paid thousands per episode — wanted control.
Dick, insiders said, believed his previous forays in television convinced him he could do better than the crew. ‘He’d say, ‘Put your camera there, or follow that.’ They’d say how f*****g useless we were,’ a source told in 2021.
One thing that is clear is that at the end of series one, which aired in June 2016, the relationship between the Strawbridges and the original Spark Media production crew had become dire.
The couple reportedly said they would only allow Spark Media to carry on making the series if the show’s director was no longer involved.
As the Spark source depicts it: ‘When Channel 4 gave in to Angel’s request to get rid of him it was like they had the power to continue this approach to anyone they didn’t like . . . Channel 4 let them get away with anything.’
To which Dick and Angel’s representatives retort: ‘My clients made it clear from the outset that only those who were competent and respected the sanctity of our family should work in their home; as they were fully entitled to do.’
The series continued, and by the end of filming series four, in 2017, Spark Media set up a separate production company, Kindling, through which they produced ETTC, with none of the original team.
The final three series enjoyed a smoother passage, with the last episode airing on Sunday 18th December.
Goodbye Escape to the Chateau! As the final episode airs, how Dick and Angel’s transformation of a £280,000 mansion became Channel 4’s biggest hit – but faced claims of bullying and violence on set
Escape to the Chateau viewers go wild over Dick Strawbridge’s hunky tattooed chef son James as he helps cook up a storm in the kitchen
Escape to the Chateau stars Dick and Angel say it was ‘really emotional’ filming the final episode their son, Arthur, 9, broke down in tears
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