Dick Strawbridge’s son opens up on bond with Escape to the Chateau dad

James Strawbridge shows off his 'exciting' vegetable cookbook

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Dick Strawbridge is best known for his Channel 4 programme Escape to the Chateau where he is often seen refurbishing his 45-bedroom French home with his wife Angel Adoree and their children Dorothy and Arthur. Dick is also close to his grown-up son James Strawbridge who is starring in a new BBC cooking show called Strawbridge over the Drawbridge. James has spoken exclusively with Express.co.uk about the show and the love of cooking he shares with his father. 

Strawbridge over the Drawbridge sees professional chef James visit different country houses in the heart of Northern Ireland.

After meeting the owners lucky enough to call these spectacular buildings home, James is taken on a tour of their grand interiors while learning about the colourful past of not only the buildings but their previous inhabitants.

James also discovers what makes each estate tick today, and is tasked with creating a meal which reflects the stately homes.

Each homeowner has a silver bell present at dinner, but James will only hear them ring if they’ve decided his meal is up to scratch.

The 38-year-old spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about his new programme as well as the bond he and his father share over food. 

He said he is appearing on the latest series of Escape to the Chateau, adding: “I think it’s really interesting as I’ve gone from Northern Irish country houses of lords and ladies to my dad and Angela in the chateau.”

Comparing the chateau with the homes he filmed in for his BBC series, James said: “The first thing is what they’ve got in common is they work really hard with people who run the house.”

He said Dick and Angela work extremely hard to make their chateau as welcoming as possible for guests. 

Reflecting on his shared interests with Dick, James said: “I’d say one other thing in common is we love cooking together. 

“The kitchen is always the heart of a home. It’s where people gather and where you share a meal.” 

Dick is usually seen tending to his herbs and vegetables on his acres of land as part of the Channel 4 series and cooking in the lavish family kitchen.  

Episode two of James’ show sees him arrive at Crom Castle in County Fermanagh – home of Lord and Lady Erne. 

He learns the current Crom Castle is actually the third to exist, spots a natural wonder more than 10,000 years old and discovers how Lord Erne’s family’s royal connections run much deeper than having a home designed by an architect who helped design Buckingham Palace.

Can they inspire both the menu and the location for his meal?

Opening up about cooking for families in the series, James said: “I think for me I was confident that the food tasted good because I liked the look of it and I wanted to eat it.”

However, he said he was nervous when the time came for the guests to ring the bell or not. 

In Episode three James visits Greyabbey House in County Down, Bill and Daphne Montgomery’s home. 

He discovers how the Montgomery family ended up with land in Greyabbey and he hears how one of Bill’s unfortunate relatives met a dastardly death at the hands of a pirate.

Will they approve of the meal he has rustled up for them?

Strawbridge Over the Drawbridge episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 

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