Perched elegantly in one of West London’s leafiest suburbs, just two miles from the River Thames, is one of the oldest pubs in Ealing.
The Drayton Court Pub and Hotel, on The Avenue, is known for being an ideal spot to soak up the summer sun and relax with family and friends.
Not known by many, though, is the tale of the former Vietnam president who worked at the pub before going on to change the history of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh worked at the pub, nicknamed The Drayton, in 1914. He was a cleaner in their kitchens and is believed to have lived there during his pot washing days.
(Image: Drayton Court)
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In his autobiography, Minh said he worked as a snow sweeper and boiler operator, before moving to the Drayton Court Hotel, a busy establishment near the railway.
The leader went on from the Drayton Court to push the likes of the USA, France and Japan out of Vietnam, changing the country’s history forever.
Nguyen Pham, 74, Vietnamese born, now living in Ealing, said: “Ho Chi Minh is a hero among most of us Vietnamese people.
“I knew his history of living in Ealing and also his travels across London. If you go into the Drayton Court Hotel there are still photos from back then when Ho Chi Minh would’ve been working.
“It’s hard to imagine that someone who meant so much for our country used to live and work around West Ealing.
“It probably would’ve been hard for anyone to believe just how influential Minh would be for our country and to think that he once probably stayed at the top of the pub and washed dishes is quite hard to believe.
“I actually share my first name with Minh’s, until he changed it. It might sound coincidental but it is a very popular name in Vietnam. It reminds me of how much he did for us and protecting our country. Me and my friends and family will be forever grateful to him.”
The Drayton Court Hotel is still owned by Fullers and was established in 1893.
(Image: Drayton Court)
It now has a modern feel and a big garden space, which recently showed games during Euro 2020. This seems worlds away from its impressive history.
Minh was so highly regarded that the capital of South Vietnam was changed from Saigon, to Ho Chi Minh city, which it remains today. He is celebrated throughout Vietnam in museums, statues and even days to remember him.
If you fancy visiting the hotel and pub which Ho Chi Minh worked in, you can find out more and book a table or room at www.draytoncourtlondon.co.uk.
Alternatively the hotel can be found at 2 The Avenue, London, W13 8PH.