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Another pub with an interesting history, though not one I am fully conversant with - so offers of information gratefully received!
From 1933 to 1971 it was a restaurant run by the Ansells family, and from 1971 it was what it is now, part of the Beefeater chain.
At some time in the 1930's it was rumoured to be a brothel, and at another time a home for a mistress for one of the royal family....or is this the one in Harefield? What is not in doubt is that it was used for accommodation during the second world war for Polish airman and a wonderful statue in memory of this was unveiled in the nineties in the front garden of a fighter plane on two slender mounts, all in steel. So wonderful was it that somebody pinched it one night, and it has never been seen since. They are now having an appeal to collect money to put up there a full sized replica of a Spitfire, presumably too big to pinch. (Something has now been put in place but I have yet to see it)
Prior to being a Beefeater, when run by the Ansells, it was the local restaurant, where ties were obligatory and a three piece band played in the corner. Ruislip's very own version of the Savoy, with prices to match...well nearly.
It was in the early 70's that it was "modernised" inside and made in to more or less the layout as it is today. Inside the spacious interior was, in the 70's, made in to a "village", with a "green", and lots of "houses" around it. Sounds very unusual and in its day it was, it has since been copied as an idea, but possibly never bettered. The green had a large table on it, the houses smaller ones, so when you ate you had your own intimate room, (and has it been there before?). It did make the whole place a little claustrophobic and so was opened out somewhat a little later and then all the little houses were taken away and it became "normal"...which was a bit of a shame really.
It attracts a wide age range and unlike most of this type of pub/restaurant arrangement still manages to be a real pub and not just a restaurant.
It is a place well worth a visit, on a revisit if you have not been for a while. The small garden at the front is well kept, but not secure for children to play in.
A memorial dedicated to the Polish Airman that served at RAF
Northolt was erected outside the pub in 2006, to see pictures of it go to the
Polish War Memorial page
Continues below picture....
Where it is, by road
It is on Ickenham Road, which leaves Ruislip High Street at the crossroads in the centre, towards Ickenham. The road turns a left hand bend at its junction with Church Avenue and the entrance to the car park is just after it on the right.. Alternatively, from the traffic lights in Ruislip, head up Kingsend towards Ickenham and at the roundabout take the fourth exit (almost a u-turn). You pass alongside a hedge in front of the pub and the car park is on your left just after it and before Church Avenue.
Telephone Number - 01895 633481
Web links that may interest you
Access via public transport
Reasonable From the tube station walk to the traffic lights and then head up Kingsend along side Quilters. It is at the top of the hill by the roundabout. Total walk from the tube station about 15 minutes away and the U1 bus stops very nearby, which runs from Ruislip Station to Uxbridge and beyond - timetable link to follow(?). It is about the same distance from West Ruislip station as Ruislip Station.
Pub Crawl Potential
OK. The White Bear is on the other side of the roundabout, so you could spend an evening flitting between to two. In Ruislip High Street there are four pubs, but you face a 15 minute walk to the nearest.
Read what people think of this establishment on Trip Advisor
Ruislip Online review
Visited on the evening of 31/8/02 for a drink. The bar side was not busy, indeed it was almost quiet, especially as this was Saturday night. All the little "houses" built in the bar side have now gone. With its wooden floors and table and benches it is quiet a well thought out and welcoming place. Real ale was on offer and the piped music was not the latest stuff and not loud, and all the more welcoming for that. The clientele in the bar was mainly younger and there was a little "Johnnie Walker wisdom" about, but the staff were all aware of what was going on and it never got more than entertaining. However, the place is just beginning to look a tired....but I would go again.
Visitors views (click to submit)
About a week ago I read in the pub" section about the old Orchard Hotel before it was taken over by the Beefeater chain. This person was asking for other people who had memories of the Orchard. My memory goes back to about1937 when my mother sent me to a childrens' Christmas Party at the Orchard. This was in the days when the hotel was owned by Ansel's. The front of the hotel had a lovely orchard which had lighted trees all year round. The Christmas parties were well attended. Upstairs we would leave our coats and then go down to one of the main rooms where we would play organized games, there would an entertainer followed by the usual childrens' tea in those days. I also used to go to dinner parties there when I got older and my 21st Birthday Party was held there which was a dinner dance. A lot of fun. After I left England I did not go back to the Orchard Hotel until about l0 years ago after the Beefeater takeover. I was very disappointed. Does anybody else have any memories?
I visited The Orchard regularly during the 50s and 60s, mostly with my
parents, who were very friendly with the proprietors Leslie Ansell and Mr
John. Your comment about The Orchard being "Ruislip's own Savoy" is spot-on
as they had both learned their trade at the Savoy.
In the style of the day, the menu was huge and varied, maybe twenty or thirty starters, and the same number of main courses. The kitchen brigade was ten or twelve people - imagine that now! I spent a week in the kitchen during my own training in hotel management.
As part of my course I had to write a report on The Orchard. I remarked that the only cloud on the horizon was their ageing clientele. And that proved to be the case, excellent food and service, but an outdated concept.
Wonderful memories, though, of a warm welcome and a very professional operation.
I was reading one comments about the Orchard
Hotel in Ruislip before it was taken over by Beefeater. My grandfather
was Mr John Tambourne and I have very many happy memories, Would love to
hear from people who remember this time with Mr John and The Ansells.
Please contact me, Elizabeth
The opening comments say it all. Externally a very handsome building (though I am not sure about the "conservatories" added on the front) it is really well worth a visit. Also check out the old postcards section where there are many of this pub
There are some pictures of the orchard in the postcards section