Welcome

17 years at the Shoulder! Where has the time gone?

Alan, Wendy, Thomas, Tiggar, the bunnies and the guinea pigs welcome you...

In August 2013 we welcomed the arrival of Thomas Alexander Oxlade.  He is a true delight and, if you are extremely lucky, you may meet him. At three and a half he is extrememly chatty, full of fun and very athletic. If it wasn't for the sleepless nights Alan and Wendy would say- where has the time gone! But Thomas' constant chat and general happy persona make up for it.

In 2016 the Shoulder of Mutton became home to two rabbits- Isabel and Annabel, and two guineas- Rosemary and Nutmeg. We dug out a vaste amount of hedge to create Bunniham Palace, where together, they enjoy a good run around and plenty of fresh herbs from our private herb garden. They are very child friendly, just like our old boy Tiggar the cat, who turned 15 this year! And all pets can be stroked with permission.

About Alan and Wendy...

Alan has run his own restaurant for over 19 years now! Originally from Woodley, Alan Oxlade studied a two year, full-time, City and Guild's Catering Course at Thames Valley University, Slough.  Two years later he returned to take the Hotel and Catering International Management Association's Professional Certificate.  He opened his own establishment, The Greenwillows Restaurant in April 1998 and will be celebrating 19 years in business this year. Wanting to expand his small business he moved to the Shoulder of Mutton in August 2000 and has never looked back.

As head chef and proprietor Alan has maintained a commitment to quality and has refined the menus year on year.  Using locally sourced suppliers he can guarantee the use of fresh ingredients and take pride in the fact that a vaste majority of his food is home-made.

Alan and Wendy met in June 2001 and they married 2 years later. Previously a successful jeweller, Wendy had already made her mark, doing amongst other things, a private commission for the Wine Label Circle's Millennium label, which can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum and Goldsmiths Hall.

Wendy's artistic background is evident throughout the pub, ensuring both continuity and attention to detail.  Her friendly smile, warm greeting and personable presence all helps to create a warm environment.

...and The Shoulder of Mutton at Playhatch

Refurbished in October 2007 the Shoulder of Mutton offers customers the choice of either relaxing in a traditional, cosy country pub or admiring the garden from within the chic, contemporary new-look conservatory.  The open fireplace makes the bar inviting, whilst the spaciousness of the conservatory makes it ideal for private functions.  (Also see facilities page)

In 2008 the Shoulder of Mutton were named as one of only two runners up in the national Red Tractor 'Best British Pub Award'. They were the only pub to be recognised in the 2007 Pride of Reading Restaurant Awards and were Highly Commended Finalists.  In May 2005 they joined the Mutton Renaissance Club to become a pub specialising in Mutton dishes.  In 2007 the Shoulder was featured on BBC1's 'The One Show', making a mutton pie for their article.

Being recognised in two fairly prestigious awards has not made the Shoulder of Mutton at all pretentious. In fact you get the impression Alan, Wendy and their great team of staff will go to no end to make you feel at home there. With home-cooked great food, friendly service and a warm ambience the Shoulder of Mutton is a hard pub to beat. Definitely well worth a visit!