A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II2 Leighton Road
Tel: (020) 8567 1654
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: West Ealing
Station Distance: 900m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (West Ealing) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
One of England’s finest Edwardian pubs, built in 1909 for the Royal Brewery, Brentford, and designed by well-known pub architect, T. H. Nowell Parr (cf. the Angel, Hayes ). It displays a distinct shift away from late Victorian opulent glitz to something more restrained. Behind the frontages, with their prominent gables and columned porticoes, lie five splendid intact rooms, all with good-quality mahogany and oak woodwork which was supplied by Maples. There are two public bars (on the corner and the next room along Leighton Road), the saloon and, at the back, a restaurant: even the former off-sales along Seaford Street remains, albeit disused. The only major changes are the loss of double doors between some rooms and the insertion of loos at the north end of the main public bar. There is a good deal of attractive stained glass. The bell-pushes in the saloon are interesting, as such things are exceedingly rare in London pubs, so is this why one of them is labelled ‘BELL’ to avoid any doubt!?
A fine example of Edwardian suburban pub-building, erected in 1909 to designs by T. H. Nowell Parr for the Royal Brewery of Brentford. Parr provided a most distinctive piece of architecture, notable for its columned porticoes, green-glazed brickwork and prominent gables. Like Parr’s Three Horseshoes, Southall, UB1, (now sadly permanently closed and converted to residential use) the Forester shows a shift away from late-Victorian glitz and glitter towards a more restrained style. In all there are four rooms. There were originally five plus the (disused) off-sales (with 1960s bar fittings) on Seaford Road, the reduction being caused by the amalgamation of the two rooms to form the public bar. There are two rooms facing Leighton Road and one of these has the remarkable distinction of possessing the only historic bell-pushes for waiter service known in a London pub. For the avoidance of doubt they even have the word ‘BELL’ above them! Apart from their rarity, they are curious in that there is a perfectly decent bar counter in this room where able-bodied drinkers might reasonably have been expected to order their drinks!
There are some fine furnishings at the Forester. The servery still has its original counter and bar-backs which display a number of Tudor arches, a favourite motif of Parr’s. There are a couple of Edwardian fireplaces complete with the green tilework and in the public bar there are long-defunct remnants of gas lighting. There are also some delightful floral Art Nouveau-style stained glass panels in the windows. In the heart of the servery is an office for the publican.
There are doors in the counters for gaining access to service the beer engines in former times. The rear lounge is given over to well-regarded Thai food.
History across the road: The allotments on the eastern side of Northfield Avenue have been there since 1832. The allotments were established next to market gardens and orchards which proliferated in this area.