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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lots of love in today’s blog!

 

Many of you, like me, might be a fan of the run-away hit British TV show, Escape To The Chateau starring Dick and Angela Strawbridge.

 

The couple sold their two-bedroom apartment in Essex England to buy (for 285, 000 pounds!) a dilapidated 19th-century French chateau with 45 rooms and have worked tirelessly to restore it back to its former glory.

 

If you love their story, you will enjoy next month’s guest for The Virtual Adventures Club.

 

 

Jane Webster in her kitchen in the chateau!

 

 

Australian Jane Webster and her husband Pete were on their honeymoon back in 1990 when they visited a beautiful chateau in Normandy outside of Paris.

 

Besotted with the idea of owning a chateau, Jane kept a book on French chateaus beside her bed, in the hopes that her intense focus on her dream would make it happen.

Le Château de Bosgouet

 

That dream came true in 2005.

 

Ok, like many chateaus in France that have fallen into disrepair, this one needed a lot of work.

 

Le Château de Bosgouet is northwest of Paris near Rouen.  It was built in 1843, in the style of Napoleon III, on 50 acres, and is five stories high.

 

If you think 45 rooms to renovate is formidable, imagine 72 rooms!

 

“We will never be done,” Jane told me.

 

But what has been done is beyond glorious. Living rooms, sitting rooms, drawing rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, a stunning kitchen, and goodness knows what others there are!

 

 

The French Table

 

While living there is spectacular I am sure,  Le Château de Bosgouet is also the backdrop for Jane’s ever-expanding offerings.

 

Jane is a gourmet and has been running a unique culinary experience (and cultural experiences also) where groups of up to twelve people spend a week learning about French food and wine from world-class chefs.

 

 

Jane detailed the experiences of organizing cooking classes, meals, and other activities, as well as restoring the Château de Bosgouet in a book titled At My French Table (2008). The book also included seasonal recipes, including some of her originals, and hundreds of beautiful photographs.*

 

In 2018, she added Château Life and French House Chic to her repertoire, beautifully designed coffee table books with recipes, table settings, and magnificent interior design that embrace French style and traditions.*

 

Château Life Residency Program

 

In 2019 Jane added long-term stays for individuals who wanted to spend a month or more at the chateau from April to October. The program offers all the trimmings of chateau life.

 

“You can sit and write, paint or meditate for an entire month or visit markets, dine in exquisite restaurants, visit gardens, other chateaux, exhibitions, artisans all hand-picked by Jane through deep forged relationships over the past 16 years.”

“You might like to join a cooking class, a publishing workshop, a French lesson, a sewing circle, or just go for long beautiful walks where the patchwork quilt!”

 

Gosh after the year we have had, doesn’t this sound wonderful?

 

Wouldn’t you love to hear more?

 

You can. See below!

 

How To Buy A Château!

My Interview with Jane Webster

Owner of Le Château de Bosgouet

TUESDAY MARCH 9TH at 12:30 pm EST/9:30 am Pacific,

6:30 pm in Paris, 5:30 pm in London

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

Jane will take us on a tour of some of the château and share her story

Check her out on her website  https://www.thefrenchtable.com.au/

And on Instagram at #janewebsterthefrenchtable (26K followers)

 

NOTE: Annual members do NOT need to register for this interview. You are already registered.

(NOT an annual member yet? Click HERE to go to The Virtual Adventures Club to find out more.)

 

NOTE: There is a small administrative fee for this interview. It is posted in Canadian Dollars, and if you are paying in USD, euros, or pounds, you will get the benefit of the exchange rate.

*NOTE: Jane’s first two books are out of print now so they have become collector’s items. On Amazon, you can get a hard copy of At My French Table for $648.00 CAD/399.95 USD, and Château Life is a bargain at $288.21 CAD/200.87 USD!

 

Disclosure Policy: This site uses affiliate links that may generate, small commissions based on clicks and purchases, and income from the Membership services. These commissions pay for administrative costs of publishing this blog, the labour involved in arranging and setting up these interviews, the giveaways, and related services I provide. I pay all of these costs personally, so I always appreciate it when you purchase through my links and support me in my efforts to bring Paris and France a little closer to all of us.  Many many thanks.

6 Comments

  1. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on February 14, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    People who dream of owning a French Chateau and renovating it must have BAGS of money! The results are stunning – but at what cost?!!!

    • Diana Bishop on February 14, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Gretchen,

      I can only assume that Jane has buckets of money! But the TV show that is so popular right now, the couple
      bought the chateau for 285k pounds which is about 500k Canadian. They have spent years fixing it up themselves.
      He is engineer and she is a designer. They run it as hotel, B and B and host weddings in the summer. Making buckets of money. Not for everyone but fascinating none the less. Love hearing from you. Diana

  2. Trudy Van Buskirk on February 14, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Yes – I’m a big fan of Escape to the Chateau with Dick and Angela Strawbridge. Watched ALL the episodes on CBC and PBS … and it’s on PBS again! Also watched them in Escape to the Chateau DIY. Something one can watch and dream about in the current pandemic.

    • Diana Bishop on February 14, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      I am in love with that show Trudy, and my dream interview for my series next year would be Angela Strawbridge!
      Wouldn’t that be fun?
      I hope you can join us for some of the interviews. Best to you and thank you for yourcomment! Diana

  3. Helen McKenna on February 14, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Being An Australian I had bought her book detailing the transformation of the Chateau a few years ago. It is a joy to read and to feel part of her life.

    • Diana Bishop on February 14, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      Helen, How lucky were you to buy that book! Isn’t it crazy what they are charging for copies now
      on Amazon??? I will be Giving away her French House Chic book in Jane’s interview. It has a value of $60 CAD so also a beautiful book! Thanks you so much for the comment! Stay well, Diana

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