We followed their transformative journey from a smart two-bed flat in Southend-on-Sea, Essex to a derelict 45-bedroom chateau in north-west France.
And during five series’ of Escape to the Chateau, we have seen Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel completely overhaul the crumbling property into a stunning family home.
Now, almost five years later, the couple reflect on some of their biggest renovation projects in three special episodes – beginning on Channel 4 this Sunday at 8pm – called Escape to the Chateau: Living the Dream.
Pictured: Dick Strawbridge, his wife Angel and their two children sit in the renovated entrance hallway
What a transformation! The chateau’s kitchen before and after the couple’s renovation
The first episode of the new show sees Dick and Angel discussing their previous life, with excerpts from their former life in England.
They then look back on how they searched for the perfect chateau, which they could turn into a family home and wedding venue business.
They viewed almost 200 chateaux, but none fitted their requirements – or their budget of €390,000, the equivalent today of £350,000. After almost four years, they found Chateau de la Motte Husson.
What a journey! The couple moved from a two-bed flat in Essex to a 45 room chateau in France in 2015
The main receptions in the chateau have been completely renovated by Angel & Dick
At the time, Angel explained: ‘We are in search of living the dream that everyone wants, but everyone is a little bit scared to do it.’
Dick added: ‘It allows you to have all the things you dream of: decent wine, decent food, a really nice place to live and smiling a lot. That’s what it is about. A chateau in France is a fairy tale, but it is achievable.’
Now that the family is settled into the chateau, Dick went on to say that that their extensive search for the right property had its benefits, claiming: ‘It is interesting how much you learn about how much you want and don’t want.’
Home furnishings range: Angel designed some wallpaper from offcuts found in the chateau’s attic
The impressive renovated entrance hallway takes centre stage with large arched doorways
Elaborate designs: One of the bedrooms has a roll top bath directly at the end of the double bed
The new series also reveals how the couple had to improve their French to help communicate with builders and suppliers during the renovation work.
However, Angel insists that Dick has been far more successful in learning the French language. She said: ‘I know a lot of words but I just don’t know how to put them together with an accent that doesn’t sound like it is off Only Fools and Horses.’
The main staircase has been renovated into a light and attractive area
The main staircase was previously unloved, with ripped wallpaper and dusty flooring
This Sunday’s episode also looks back at the couple’s first winter in France and their attempts to install a lift at the chateau.
Episodes two and three cover some interior design projects at the chateau and the transformation of the abandoned walled garden.
Angel and Dick have plenty of ideas for their renovation projects and business ventures
The renovated chateau is the venue for the couple’s wedding business as well as their family home
In May, we revealed how Angel had launched her own furnishings range that is available in shops such as Argos and Next.
The full range includes wallpapers, ready-made and made-to-measure curtains, lampshades and cushions.
It has been a year in the making, with much of the inspiration coming from the creations shown in the programme.