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

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When Nicola's husband, Dominic, retires they decide not to spend their days finding hobbies to fill the time until Countdown is on channel 4. I've got a favourite recipe of my own for Mussels in Garlic and White Wine, but Angel's 'Sauce option 2' with coconut milk, ginger, chilli and fresh coriander is also delicious (page 70). Angel Strawbridge is an entrepreneur who became well known in London for her hospitality business, The Vintage Patisserie. 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 château, complete with 45 rooms, seven outbuildings, 12 acres of land and its own moat. Along the way we’ll read glorious descriptions of rural life in France, with charming characters, delicious food and wonderful seasonal produce, together with the extraordinary list of renovations and restorations Dick and Angel completed, many of which were not shown on TV.

This book is a must read for anyone who is a fan of Escape to the Chateau or anyone who is looking to make their own Chateau dream a reality. Her first television appearance was in 2010 when she sought investment for her business venture on Dragon's Den.As warm and entertaining as their much-loved show, A Year at the Chateau is a truly irresistible story of adventure and heart, epic ambitions and a huge amount of hard graft.

The charming, inspiring and remarkable full story of Dick and Angel Strawbridge's first year at the Ch a teau-de-la-Motte Husson. I did feel that the book was just a carbon copy of the first series, and even though it is a lovely book for fans, I was hoping for lots more like nuggets that was not featured on the channel four show. A Year at the Château covers just that—the first year of ownership and renovations and, finally, their first event.They take turns reading a bit then there is a pause and Dick picks up from Angela which is a slight relief. I have never seen this show before, and I didn’t think watching it would be a prerequisite, but I think this book is better suited to show watchers who are looking for more behind the scenes information. Located in the bustling heart of Saint-German-des-Prés, just behind Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the famous cafes Les Deux Magots and le Bonaparte cafe, this tiny place is a photographer’s delight. Weirdly enough, there was never any mention in the book about having a film crew tracking their lives and how that felt.

Dick and Angel Strawbridge go into even more depth on their first year in the Chateau de la Motte-Husson, which they bought in pretty rough condition, and renovated on a budget. Along the way we'll read glorious descriptions of rural life in France, with charming characters, delicious food and wonderful seasonal produce, together with the extraordinary list of renovations and restorations Dick and Angel completed, many of which were never shown on TV. At the halfway point, it is fair to say the Strawbridge’s might be a little too focused on the food aspects of France (and you can’t blame them), Thankfully, the aspects of the chateau eventually come back to the forefront and their journey continues.I raised the question with Better World Books and although they could not supply a hardcover version they were extremely generous in making up for the descepency. The book itself is wonderfully written, with witty anecdotes, fabulous recountings of this remarkable renovation, and the surprising addition of Dick describing his cooking (which sounds beyond amazing to me) it was the icing on the cake and now I want to try mussels. 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.

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