What do you get when you put a former opera singer, two ex-boyfriends, her French mother, an adopted Scottish brother, a Dutch tango instructor, and a cheery Argentine house manager together into a sprawling 40-room French chateau?
Well, you get “The Chateau Diaries,” the unlikely YouTube quarantine hit that has made a star of Stephanie Jarvis and her friends and family.
Fifteen years ago, Jarvis was living in London, despairing over the cost of housing and complaining about it to her best friend (and ex-boyfriend) when she realized how relatively inexpensive it was to buy a rambling chateau in France.
Her appearances on a UK reality series inspired Jarvis to start her own YouTube channel, featuring other behind-the-scenes moments at the chateau.
Before the pandemic, she had about 10,000 followers. Now she has surpassed 100-thousand followers and earns 22,000 dollars in online donations through Patreon to help restore the chateau.