Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
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.
At the time of the First World War the village consisted of the school, the Windmill public house, the post office and general store, the blacksmith's forge and the parish church of St Peter. 'Bearmains', the big house, was lived in by Mr and Mrs Gray, employing many servants and gardeners and there was a scattering of cottages mainly occupied by the farmers and their families.
The post office and general stores were run by the Clarence family. You could always purchase lovely hand-cut bacon and cheese, and all perishable goods were kept in a back room with a brick floor, slate shelves and no heat. The blacksmith's forge was run by the two Smith brothers who were kept busy with the farm horses. When anyone wanted the doctor to call from Wickford, a white flag was placed on the smithy's wall and the doctor on his motor-bike used to call there to see where he was wanted (there were no phones in the village until the 1930s).
The Old Windmill was built in 1702, and has been a public house at least from 1799, when records show that Joshua Appleton, Licensed Victualler, held the lease for 14 years.
From 1848, William Hunt, described in a census as a Licensed Victualler and Farmer, had the pub. His family took the Windmill on after him and ran it until at least 1933. It is described at that time as a small country pub with a tap room, the floor of which was covered in sawdust, and was run by Tom Hunt and his sister Peg, together with a housekeeper Mrs Aspin. All three by all accounts were very deaf, but managed to keep the locals happy, especially in wintertime with a large fire in the tap room which had seats built in the side of the fireplace.
Since then, the pub has seen a few changes, and legend had it that the pub was demolished in 1954 and rebuilt in a different location to facilitate the building of Hanningfield reservoir. However, the 1884 Ordnance Survey Map below clearly shows the Old Windmill Inn in its current location, well away from the waters of the new reservoir.
It has since undergone much extension work, but the old charm of the building remains.
The irony of a bald, convertible driving person called Nick(y) Clark is not lost on any of us. Nick is a hard working guy who was previously with M&B before making the jump to B&P and overseeing the Two Brewers in Chigwell, before taking on the Old Windmill. A former Essex county swimmer, he could be a doppelganger for a certain Duncan Goodhew. Nick's natural charm and charisma make him a natural behind the bar, and come to think of it, he's a natural in front of the bar too.
After working at various fine dining restaurants and wedding catering, Karen found her home with us as our new deputy. An avid foodie, she is often seen eating at the best restaurants and food festivals. Not satisfied with only eating at the best places, she is a great cook and not afraid to try any kind of cuisine. Always with a smile on her face, Karen adores her dotting dog Ollie and the two of them are sure to be found at The Windmill dog walks!
Starting out as our cheeky chap front of house crew, he has moved up the ranks to become our cheeky chap assistant manager. Steve prides himself on his quick wit and natural charm with our customers. When he is not pulling pints, he enjoys watching sports such as cricket and football, while enjoying a few pints of his own.
Starting her catering career at Stock Brook Manor, she learned all the tricks of the trade before moving on and settling in at The Old Windmill. Always laughing and chin wagging with all the guests, it's safe to say she is definitely part of the furniture. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming from time to time and is learning kick boxing.
Angela has a degree in Tourism Management and Hospitality so she has a good grounding in the industry. When she's not at the Old Windmill, she is working hard to get a license in dog grooming. An ardent Chelsea fan, she can also be found at the odd beer festival or two.
Putting the 'front' in front of house, Cali is our whirl wind on the restaurant floor. The life and soul of the party, she thrives when the pub is bursting at the seams. She is all smiles while she sashays between the tables, making sure everything is to her high standards. When she's not grafting here, she dotes on her wonderful little boy Mason.
Once, a regular at our tables, now she's a regular serving them! Our lovely Katie is always bursting full of energy and smiles, she is always a please to be around. If she isn't doting on our customers or us, she is doting on her husband and her two boys. Outside the pub she enjoys a tipple or two with her girlfriends.
Keith came to the Old Windmill after running his own resturant and brings a wealth of experince to the team. He is an avid traveller and has visited nearly all four corners of the world. When he's not jet setting around the globe he enjoys a round a golf or shopping for trainers and shoes - a big passion of his. At the end of a busy shift Keith enjoys nothing better than a glass of red and a Turkish delight.
Never short of a pun, Aaron knows how to keep spirits high and everyone laughing. With a unquenchable thirst for knowledge in the food world, he is never shy of a few ideas for the kitchen. Outside of the pub, he spends time with his daughter or can catch him down his local for a couple of pints
Senior Chef de Partie
Passionate isn't really a big enough word for our Becks. Starting at our sister pub, The Combermere Arms, before coming to us and bringing her high standards with her. I challenge anyone not to have a good time in her company. You'd be well advised not to mention the football though. You have been warned.
Chef de Partie
Another long term B&P'er, Neil has been with the company since 2008 and doesn't show any sign of jumping ship. A fellow Two Brewers chap, it didn't take long for Neil to follow his best mate Nick over across the Essex county. A beloved uncle, he spends much of his time finding ways to entertain his two year old niece - when he's not quaffing beer of course.
Mike is our demon of the dishes and keeps all our plates, pots, pans and cutlery squeaky clean. Mike takes great pride in his work and keeps the kitchen looking ship shape. When Mike hasn't got a scouring brush in his hand he enjoys taking camping trips to France, and is an avid cyclist.
Our green thumbed wizard of our gardens. He does a brilliant job making sure our plants are looking cat walk ready no matter the season. With all his knowledge of the gardening world, get him a cuppa and you'll have enough knowledge to win Britain in bloom! On his days off, he enjoys going on little adventures with his wife.
Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.