Angel Strawbridge of Escape to the Chateau on her passion for vintage

Star of Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau tells us about her most prized possessions and decorating triumphs


The first piece of furniture I ever bought was a brown Chesterfield sofa for £60 from a car boot sale in Essex.


The oldest thing in my home is actually the walls. The stones are from the original 12th-century castle, which stood on the site of the chateau. Although, we did recently find a fossil in the attic that pre-dates the dinosaurs!

My most recent purchase was a lorry-load of double-glazed windows for the old coach house that we are converting into a larger home for my parents.

My favourite period of design is the art deco era, especially the architecture and interior design. I just love the symmetry, geometric elegance and beautiful, vibrant colours.

At the top of my interiors wishlist is a miniature grand piano for the salon and a taxidermy polar bear (fake, of course).

I’m currently collecting anything that is stylish, old and useful. My biggest collection is vintage china, but I also have lots of taxidermy, vintage fabrics and royal memorabilia.

My most notable decorating disaster is the colour that I painted the salon – I mixed it myself and it looked lilac. It was two days before my wedding and I was in such a rush that I just thought ‘That’ll do!’ It really didn’t work.

My ultimate decorating triumph is the wallpaper museum that I created in the honeymoon suite tower. When we first moved into the chateau, I discovered reams of old wallpaper in the attic. I couldn’t bear to throw it away, so I cut the wallpaper into diamonds and made a bespoke design around the inside of the tower.

My favourite shopping spot to visit is Spitalfields Antiques Market, but nowadays we often go to a charity shop called Emmaus here in France.

The artistic skill that I wish I had is the ability to draw – it would save me a fortune! You can see illustrations throughout the chateau and on the vintage van that we use as a mobile bar.

I continue to buy lots of old books. My husband [the television presenter and engineer, Dick Strawbridge] and I still refer to a first edition of Mrs Beeton.

My next renovation plan is finishing of our new glamping project. We’ve erected a geo-dome on a floating pontoon on our moat that visitors can sleep in. It’s been really popular already!


Follow Angel and Dick on their adventures in France in Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau and Escape to the Chateau DIY, available on All 4.

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