About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...

[2512,1564]
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History

Here is little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth read.

Read on...

Usually we would write a few pages about the history of a pub, which makes for interesting reading if you’re dealing with a 450 year old manor house or a water mill with its feet in the 13th century, but in this instance there isn’t much history to go on as the Old Orchard is a comparatively sprightly 80 year old.

No doubt a Zeppelin would have drifted overhead sometime in the 30s, and the residents would have watched the battle of Britain from the house’s terraces, but of documented history there is none. What the Old Orchard does have in spades is an extraordinary panoramic view of lakes and countryside stretching for miles, with almost no human habitation visible in any direction.

The lakes you see are themselves of comparatively recent origin, having been originally formed by the extraction of gravel going back to the 19th century. It is a conservation area known as the Colne Valley Regional Park, and covers over 40 square miles with 200 miles of river and canal and over 60 lakes: it is a haven for wildlife and is a major recreational facility for west London.

Lesley Alaway, a local historian, has been immensely helpful in piecing together the history of the building. She found out that the Old Orchard was originally just a country house and the two bungalows at the entrance to the property also belonged to the estate. The Gills bought the property in 1965 and were there until 1972. Mr Gill started doing bed and breakfast, and subsequently obtained a drinks license as many of his guests were business men away from home.

He then opened the restaurant to the public and progressed to dinner dance nights with cabaret – local people remember them fondly: apparently they used to be extremely popular and would take place in the room on the left as you enter the building.

Mr Gill eventually sold the business to Peter Gordon who installed manager Keith David, who subsequently bought it from Peter, who in turn sold it to Mike Walsh.

When we took the building it had been trading as an Edwinns restaurant for a number of years and had a small but loyal following who were sorry to see the brand’s demise.

If you are local and are able to shed any further light on the history of the Old Orchard, I would be indebted if you could email the pub at [email protected]

[2512,1564]
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If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


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Front of house

Alisha Craigwell

Manager

After studying Law Enforcement in Canada, Alisha upped sticks and moved halfway around the world to Shanghai. Here, she discovered that she was a natural host, taking over a failing pub with her friend and turning its fortunes around. Always smiling and happy to help, be it in English or Mandarin, Alisha is multi-lingual and knows a thing or three about quality service. If Alisha isn't working or in the gym, she'll be running to the gym whilst pumping iron - blimey!

Kate Lomax

Deputy Manager

Or Katard as we call her, is the most organised person you could possibly imagine and is always at least an hour early for her shift. Kate is made up of 50% gin and 50% tonic, or maybe more like 90% gin and 10% tonic! She took a two month holiday recently as a teacher, but she saw the light (free G&T’s) and thankfully is back with her second family, where she belongs.

Stuart Roe

Assistant Manager

Stu is our cellar monkey and works really hard to keep things shipshape. He is extremely enthusiastic when bringing new ideas/challenges to the team. Stu loves to keep fit and play football in his spare time. He is also a trained chef but felt he belonged behind the bar (and we agree). It works in our favour as he has been known to bake the odd cake and bring them to work.

Nicole Dredge

Bar/Waiting Staff

Nicole is our number 1. She is fantastic with customers and loved by all our regulars. Nicole loves to whip the team in to shape, us managers always feel at ease when we know Nicole is there. When she's not with us, Nicole studies Philosophy. In her spare time, she loves to take her gorgeous pup, Hugo, for walks. Nicole seems to have a special talent, she always knows everything about everyone, if you ever need to know anything, ask Nicole, Nicole knows.



Kitchen

Roland Short

Head Chef

Roland is a mellow, likeable chap who runs our kitchen superbly. He trained the hard way in some of London's finest restuarants including a stint at La Gavroche working for the Roux brothers, though he claims our food is much better. He is married with a young son and lives locally.

Thomas Gill

Sous Chef

Thomas? Who's that? We call him 'Cheech', but don't ask why -no-one knows. Cheech is an amazing chef and is extremely passionate about food which is really proven in his cooking. He is a huge character and can always be found laughing and joking in the kitchen, bringing a smile to everyone's face.

Brooke Lightley

Sous Chef

Brooke is the blonde bombshell of the Old Orchard. She is never without a smile on her face and is seen whipping the boys into shape on a daily basis. Since we welcomed her into the kitchen the chefs say bad days don't exist. Brooke is our little ray of sunshine and we wouldn't be without her.

Reece Rawlinson

Junior Sous Chef

Reece has been with Brunning and Price for many years now, working his way up to Junior Sous Chef. He's been away, and come back and now, we're not letting him go! Reece is a confident chef with great finesse in his food, he's a cheeky chap and is guaranteed to make you smile!

Ben Lewington

Chef

Ben is a little legend in the kitchen. He is a newly qualified chef and is already proving himself in the kitchen. Ben comes from a huge family, he has around 300 brothers and sisters. Ben is a ray of sunshine and keeps everyone in good spirits.

Lewis Brown

Senior Chef de Partie

Lewwwwisssssss, as we like to call him, is a promising young chef who's moved through the ranks from kitchen porter to Junior Chef de Partie. He has an excellent singing voice but is a little bit shy, so requests normally fall on deaf ears. He tells us he wants to keep moving up the ranks, so watch out Chef.

Alan Palmer-Halligan

Chef de Partie

ALAAAAAAAN, but we call him Dewey. He's a keen young chef with lots of passion. Dewey has a great pallet but he still has a weakness for a cheeky- Nando's.

Liam Gasser

Junior Chef de Partie

Liam is one of the youngest members of the crew in the kitchen. He is a keen learner with lots of ambition, one day he'll be running a kitchen, somewhere, we're sure of it!

Janusz Ciach

Commis Chef

Janusz - 'The Machine'. Janusz is a trained baker and works like a machine in the kitchen. He's super organised and always has a smile on his face. If you ever need anything in the kitchen, ask Janusz, Janusz knows.

Monika Degutyte

Kitchen Porter

Monika is a legendary KP. She works extremely hard and always has a smile on her face. Monika can be found in the kitchen early in the morning, cleaning, listening to her Lithuanian music on full volume. Knowing that Monika is 'manning' the KP section, put us mangers at ease.



Maintenance

Sharon Sharp

Cleaner

Sharon is our number one! We love Sharon. She keeps the pub in pristine condition and bosses the other cleaners around. She's always smiling, even if she does start at silly o'clock.

Oliver Roques

Cleaner

Ollie is a fab cleaner and is super friendly. We have to rein Ollie's music choices in every-so-often, as he loves a bit of Disney. We're not all fans of Disney at 8am. Ollie loves a hug and is a truly lovely guy.

Andrew Johnson

Gardener/Handyperson

Andrew has been hailed as one of the best gardeners in the company. He had to hit the ground running having inherited the landscape around the pub in a pretty sorry state. He trims hedges, cuts grass, builds fences, plants....er plants, fixes lights, builds sheds, erects curtain rails and so on and so on. We simply couldn't do without him. But be careful, once you get him on his favourite subject, local history, make sure to set aside at least an hour. Like all gardeners, he loves to talk.


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