The Peartree branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at the junction of the A34/A44/A40 near Oxford, Oxfordshire.
The site was first opened in June 1964 by the Forte group as a proper Fortes service area, branded as Fortes Motor Lodge Oxford and boasting "every facility for meeting the needs of the motor traveller and his family". At the time it sported their Autogrill brand, which was fully licensed and boasted a special charcoal grill, in a stand-alone building which also contained a snack bar and shopping facilities. The Autogrill building was almost identical to the one at Barnsdale Bar on the A1, which opened slightly earlier, and has the same orange roof.
The hotel itself featured 60 en-suite rooms with some studio rooms and even a swimming pool. under their own brand, Autogrill.
The site could be accessed by three busy roads converging at the "Woodstock Roundabout", meaning that the restaurant had a high chance of receiving a lot of customers travelling on different roads. Over the years, Forte bought lots of different brands to what was the Autogrill component of the site, including a carvery at one point but most famously their Granary Restaurant" which was a feature of their roadside services portfolio. In fact it was the first Granary Restaurant to open. The motel component also became known as Oxford Lodge while the whole site became known as Oxford Service Area.
In 1980/81, Forte decided to up the ante and offer their growing Little Chef brand at the site. The Little Chef was very much an addition to the site, not replacing any other brands, and was housed in its own building separate from the main services amenity building. In the mid 80s Forte then rebranded Oxford under their newly acquired "Welcome Break" brand.
In 1995, Forte were taken over by Granada, another group with a large roadside hospitality presence, especially on motorways. However, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission forced Granada to sell of Forte's motorway sites, although it was allowed to keep the non-motorway ones which it rebranded as Granada (in keeping with its own Motorway and A-road sites). At Oxford, this led to the removal of all Welcome Break brands from the site with the Granary Restaurant replaced by a coffee shop and Burger King. The Little Chef initially continued to trade from its separate building but, by around 1997, the decision was taken to move the Little Chef into the main services as the main restaurant option, alongside the Burger King and Shop. The result was one of the largest Little Chefs on the network. Always a popular site for trialling facilities, Oxford was one of the first Little Chef sites to get the "New Choices" makeover and the Coffee Tempo addition.
By 1998 there was a new kid in town and Welcome break, under its new owners, had opened a new motorway services on the M40, known as Oxford Services. At this point, to avoid confusion, Granada opted to refer to the original Oxford Services as Oxford Peartree, after the junction it was located beside.
Other changes to the site included the closure of the elderly Oxford Lodge and its replacement with two hotels, a Holiday Inn and a large Travelodge hotel.
In 2010, the sites owners decided that Little Chef wasn't generating enough income and its lease wasn't renewed. The Little Chef, Coffee Tempo! and Burger King all ceased trading in the main services building and instead Welcome Break, allbeit under new owners, came back. The site now trades as a Welcome Break TRSA with Starbucks, KFC and Waitrose replacing Little Chef, Coffee Tempo and Burger King.