Welcome to The Shoulder of Mutton

Introducing Alan, Wendy and Thomas

For over two decades the Shoulder of Mutton in Playhatch has continuously been run by Alan and Wendy Oxlade as a well organised, small independent, family run pub. Their unwavering dedication and commitment to creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere has made this pub feel like a home-from-home since 2000. Their passion for hospitality has been ever-present and with Alan at the helm in the kitchen and Wendy as Front of House Manager they have consistently maintained standards throughout.

Alan and Wendy have been highly commended for their hard work over the years, most recently recognised as one of Berkshires Top 10 Pubs to visit, in Berkshire Life Magazine. And Alan was asked to cook his Mutton Pie for BBC 1’s The One Show back in 2011. Even with their accolades the pub feels unpretentious and relaxed. The staff are always friendly, efficient and welcoming.

In 2013 their son Thomas was born and he is often at the pub. A delight to chat to, Tom is a keen diver and has competed in many competitions, including at National level, where he is top of his class.

The History of Our Pub

Originally three farm workers cottages, dating back over 400 years, the building became a pub in the early nineteenth century. Rumours of ghosts throughout its history have often been speculated, but have yet to interfere with a guest’s visit.

The traditional building boasts original wooden beams, low ceilings and a large inviting fireplace. The additional conservatory is light and airy, and looks out over the colourful Victorian walled garden.

Nestled in the quiet hamlet of Playhatch, between Reading and Henley-on-Thames, the Shoulder sits alongside two neighbouring pubs nicely, each pub having their own ‘niche’ market. The Shoulder is known for its slow cooked dishes and exceptional care when hosting private functions. 


32 seated in the conservatory

34 seated in the pub

55 seated in total (due to tables available)

120 capacity with the use of the garden


Highly Commended Marketing Pub of the Year,

Greene King Pub Partners 2001-2002 Highly Commended,

Pride of Reading Best Restaurant Award, 2007 Runner Up,

National Red Tractor Best British Pub Award 2008

Top 10 Best Pubs to Visit in Berkshire, 2019


5 * Environmental Health’s Scores on the Doors, 2023

4.9 on Yell.com

4.5 on TripAdvisor

4.5 on Google

4.4 on Facebook

Wendy, Alan and Thomas Oxlade x