The Strawbridge's are celebrating their fifth Christmas at the chateau, and you can imagine how beautiful it is.
Angel and Dick Strawbridge captured our hearts on Escape To The Chateau when they bought their 18th-century, 45-room chateau in the north of France, lovingly restoring it back to its former glory. Te masterfully skilled couple restored the crumbling chateau by hand, while adding Angel's unique eye for design to make it the beautiful family home it is today.
And as the Strawbridge family celebrate their fifth Christmas in Chateau de la Motte Husson, Angel shares a special insight into their plans for Christmas, and how she'll be making the chateau festive.
"We are still learning the ropes from our French friends, so it’ll be a predominantly traditional British affair with a Parisian twist – lots of jewel colours, sumptuous fabrics and handmade decorations," the designer tells You magazine.
"We’re having lots of friends and family over for our annual pre-Christmas knees-up, where we give presents to everyone who has supported us throughout our château journey. But on Christmas Day it will just be me, Dick, Arthur and Dorothy (plus a visit from Père Noël). You never know, though – last year a sightseer turned up on our doorstep with a camera!"
And just as we'd expect from these crafting experts, Christmas Day is all handmade with exceptional style and quality.
The Strawbridge Christmas tree is real, of course, and is lovingly dressed with decorations Angel and Dick have collected throughout their ten-year relationship. History, Angel says, is what it's all about.
"Dick and I have been collecting decorations ever since we met ten years ago. Every Christmas now reminds us of a past one we have spent together," she says.
Angel has even commissioned handmade felt decorations of each family member, which double as Christmas decorations and as place settings on the table. They're all Christmas-themed and quintessentially Angel.
"For me, it’s about making personalised gifts and decorations," the designer explains. "Last year I collected some old footballs and wrapped them in fabric with velvet cords to make hanging decorations for the hall. It’s all about the little things and making the most of materials around you."
And while Angel focuses on the style, her husband, Dick takes responsibility for the food.
"For Dick, it's cooking – selecting the ingredients and basting the bird for the perfect Christmas roast dinner." With a large garden Dick has regrown, the food extraordinaire grows his own fruits, vegetables and herbs, which will all be featuring on the Christmas table.
And while it may all look effortless, Angel says it's down to a few things that always ensures the house looks homely, beautiful and full.
"Mix and match everything," she says. "I’m currently mixing crystals from an old chandelier with baubles to give the Christmas tree an extra twinkle.
"I’m a big fan of bringing the outside in – so lots of foliage, branches and flowers from the garden. The scent is divine."
If only we could pop round for Christmas at the Strawbridge's!
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Images credit: You magazine