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

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A Year in the Chateau takes a light-hearted look at a group of friends who decide to pool their resources and who find themselves the owners of a dilapidated chateau in Northern France. I was expecting a book about a families first year at a chateau, the ins and out of renovating a chateau and maybe even a little history about the historic building. Their love for each other, their families and their chateau shines through with this book being dedicated to Arthur and Dorothy. I am not sure how they have payed for everything or how they even have the energy to do it but it is fun watching them do it. I would have liked a more "real" account of the struggles of owning and renovating a derelict château, managing a family and being essentially broke (their word).

He is a man of many interests, some of which are reflected in his successful and varied television career. I wouldn't make all the same design choices, but it's really fun to read all about what they did in much more detail than the TV show allows. After recently posting some photos of my handmade wreath on my fireplace at Christmas time, many of you asked for more information on how I made my wreath.A Year at the Château 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 Château for their beautiful wedding and incredibly special first Christmas. 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. My favourite bits were about some of the cultural differences they encountered in France, that was quite fascinating and hilarious. Last time we sat inside and the glow from the red lights as the evening descended was really rather magical.

I liked hearing from both Dick and Angel, neatly signalled by whether the text was emboldened or not, although there were quite a few typos and bad edits of sentences that had only been half-rewritten. Her first television appearance was in 2010 when she sought investment for her business venture on Dragon's Den. I will start by saying I've known of Dick, Angel, and their Chateau for a couple of years after finding them on HGTV one night when I couldn't sleep. Yes there is lots from the show, but I didn’t mind reliving that and there is still a few behind the scenes bits too.

I'm always so curious about floor plans with this sort of thing, too, because they let me better imagine how spaces might have been used back when the building was built. The book is also very written, with each of them writing alternately, adding their own account of the day to day work, as well as their experience of living in France, the great food they enjoyed and the joy of parenthood. Especially in times like these, we all need a little escape and A Year at the Chateau offers that in abundance.

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