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Escape to the Chateau's Angel Adoree's feisty ultimatum to Dick Strawbridge


Back in 2015, Escape to the Chateau’s Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree took a huge punt when they traded their two bedroom east London house for a dilapidated 45-room moated mansion in France.

The couple and their two children packed up their lives in the UK to set up shop in the derelict mansion which had no water, heating or electricity and was home to hundreds of bats.

But for the bargain price of £280,000 they got a moat, an orangery, a walled garden and acres of land along with a property that can now command up to £38,000 for a wedding.

Angel, 42 – real name Angela Newman – and former British Army lieutenant-colonel Dick, 61, were one of the first to tie the knot at the venue in their first year of business, having met five years earlier at a 40th birthday party she was hosting.



Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree risked everything to buy a run down chateau
Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree risked everything to buy a run down chateau

Despite the 20-year age gap, their shared agent thought the driven pair would make a good match and introduced Dick to a blushing Angel.

And the 61-year-old star of Coast and Scrapheap Challenge couldn’t take his eyes off the red-headed interior designer.

“The first thing I saw when I met Angel – I call her Angela – was her smile. It’s phenomenal. We barely spoke that night, but we knew that there was something at first sight. And we fell in love very quickly,” he previously told The Times.

They enjoyed a whirlwind courtship, with Dick showering his new love with vintage gifts including feather fascinators and little pegs to hang up stockings.



They originally bought Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson for £280,000
They originally bought Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson for £280,000

At first they did long distance between his home in Cornwall and Angel’s in London, but after spending Christmas together, Dick realised the time had come to have a difficult conversation.

Aged in his fifties, he had already been married and raised two children with ex-wife Brigit, and with Angel then in her early 30s, he didn’t want to deprive her of being a mum.

Recalling their chat, he said: “I said: ‘Damn, girl, this is wonderful, but we really have to think about ending this. You’ve got to go find a young man, get married, have babies.’



Dick and Angel are parents to son Arthur, seven, and daughter Dorothy, six
Dick and Angel are parents to son Arthur, seven, and daughter Dorothy, six

“My children were all grown-up and the sensible thing would have been for her to find somebody else.”

Angel, however, had other ideas. She had her heart set on a future with Dick and explained that she wanted a family with him, not someone else.

“What she said, bloody woman, was that she actually wanted me,” Dick told the Daily Mail, admitting it made him realise, “you’re a long time dead. Why wouldn’t you just jump in and live life?”

So instead of leaving, soon after she delivered a feisty ultimatum in the form of a calendar with ‘impregnate me by this date’ written on it – a deadline they smashed by seven months when she fell pregnant with son Arthur, now seven.

“Being efficient as we are, we were seven months ahead of our target having Arthur and Dorothy,” he added.

For Angel the age difference was never on her radar – all she knew was that she had met her soulmate.

“It [the age gap] just didn’t matter. I didn’t think about it really,” she previously told The Sun.

“Age is but a number, and Dick’s always had a really ­wonderful energy and he’s a doer.

“He is just so passionate about life. Everything Dick has done in his life, he’s got the most out of it. I just love that about him.”

Would you like to do what Dick and Angel did and trade the rat race for a chateau? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…





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