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Shoulder of Mutton, Wantage

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user reviews of the Shoulder of Mutton, Wantage

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Enjoyably simple furnishings and characterful sections as well as one of those classic bars where the pumps are situated inside the bar area make this a good place to visit. Some very good offerings were on including a nice range of craft and cask (those purveyors of both forms Tiny Rebel are represented) although some were very much on the strong side and Wantage's position a fair way out of Oxford on the bus makes any visit here seem like a trek to see the Golden Fleece.
BoehmBawerk - 5 Dec 2019 07:46
Still a classic alehouse makes the awkward journey to Wantage worthwhile.
Snarling_Mallard - 19 Aug 2018 09:51
Further to previous comment, it feels very much like a friendly, busy, buzzing pub to me. Also, lots of music to be found - blues and jazz on Tuesdays and folk on Fridays.
sloejane - 3 Mar 2014 22:48
Good ales and food. However, it's a shame that the new landlord has now banned over 40 people - which is probably almost 5% of the population of Wantage. It feels more like an exclusive gentlemen's dining club than a town pub c.2013.
Angelus100 - 21 Apr 2013 15:45
A smashing pub - very friendly. The choice of ales and cider is amazing, including some brewed on the premises. Top quality and certainly my favourite pub in Wantage.
sloe_jane - 14 May 2012 22:01
I used to be a regular visitor here, but my first visit back last week was a bit of a shock. No TVs, no loud music, all the old crowd seem to have gone save for fat Tony and a couple of others. The bar's been ripped out and replaced, it's a bit of a shock but it works. They serve food - vegetarian in the Shoulder of Mutton! but the bar is buzzing and they have loads of real ales on. I went over to go to the toilet and swore when I saw what's been done there, but was told by a regular to watch out and not swear! It'll take a bit of getting used to, but I like it, generally. The feeling and atmosphere is very good and I can see where theyr'e trying to get to. Well done!
Jimbiber - 14 Dec 2011 01:33
A revisit to reaffirm this pub as a 10. Tried Butts Ordinary which went down well... has two bars and small cubby hole kind of snug area... small angular yard for smokers.... ale reigns here. A proper pub as they should be.
anonymous - 5 Sep 2010 13:45
A proper old fashioned pub serving superbly kept ales. Interior has been updated since I was last there (which has slightly spoiled its circa 1950s look - but still frequented by some of the old locals I remember. Great atmosphere, friendly staff and good beers.

emeraldisle - 20 Jul 2010 15:47
Good ale, of course, and always a guest ale to sample. The regular lagers and ciders also available if you prefer. V.freindly landlord, landlady and bar staff, a good atmosphere all round.
richard000 - 16 Jul 2010 11:43
Lovely little pub.

Three real ales all in excellent condition. New landlord & landlady are a very nice couple. I visit regularly and can say it's generally a very pleasant atmosphere with and array of quirky locals. Perhaps the only drawback is the introduction of two giant televisions which some people cant help but gawp at, even when it's playing the radio!
queenalfred - 15 Jun 2010 19:26
A fantastic pub, almost on a par with the Royal Oak (interior is a classic). The Butts beer was gorgeous.
mtaylor40 - 4 Mar 2010 16:43
Old fashioned proper town pubs like this are few and far between. Tried two of the offerings from the Butts brewery - tradional and the one with the fish on the pumpclip, both of which were on good form. All that was needed to compete the timewarp thing was a few of those Capstan Full Strength tin ashtrays on the tables. The whole town seems to be have been bypassed by a few decades but the ominous mass building of new housing right in the town centre may change that (probably for the worse). Anyhow, this place shows that you don't need to serve food, attract brats, be 'family' friendly and cater to Vegans to run a successful drinking establishment.
anonymous - 11 Oct 2009 12:55
Have happily ended up back here again a couple of times recently, and enjoyed my visits.

Couple of extra bits of info:

1) Meeko (he of the Nags Head fame in Reading) is one of the landlord team. Hooray.

2) The place used to be even more old-skool (CAMRA heritage standard, apparently), until Greedy King raped the interior. Thankfully, there's enough been saved to keep the basic old style pub atmosphere alive.

3) Beer is nearly always local (Butts and Loddon seem to be the staples).

I won't claim that this pub will suit everyone, but it should appeal to the type of punter I want to drink with!
Quinno - 22 Aug 2008 21:49
Interesting characterful little pub with a few separate seating areas and a courtyard garden resembling the hanging gardens of Babylon in the summer. Staff friendly and locals always up for a chat.
Serve a couple of BUTTS ales, plus one frequently changing other.
Has internet access too.
yogibeer - 27 Jul 2008 12:49
I really enjoyed this pub, a step back in time locals pub, with little nooks and crannies and a good range of well kept Real Ales. The locals enjoy a bit of banter and it was relatively full on a Saturday afternoon when compared to the other Wantage pubs we went into.
I would return to this pub with no hesitation at all. Great stuff.
imdownthepub - 6 Apr 2008 07:51
Brilliant, a Gene Hunt timewarp pub. Apart from the (thankfully switched off) flatscreen TV, nothing about the inside looks to have been updated since the miners strike, including the punters.

Two bars, a small (but very well kept) choice of ales (two Butts brewery and Loddon on Sunday) and some good banter with the locals (got told I was a 'troublemaker' for ordering a lemonade for Mrs Quinno) by the bar, plus a pub dog, all made for a good hours worth of drinking.

Recommended if you like your beer old-skool. Should I ever return to Wantage, I'll drop by. Worth its place in the Good Beer Guide.
Quinno - 11 Feb 2008 14:11
A cracking pub, the best in the town. Run by a couple who has 2 phylosophies in life - Good beer and a good sense of humour.
Mossy - 14 Oct 2007 22:29
Detrimental to the amenity.
pubinspectors - 19 Aug 2007 01:52
If you drink lager, be careful. If you like beer, enjoy. A FIVE pint jug for 10.00 Bloody good value.
tweekey - 6 Aug 2007 11:16
"Time Warp" pub. 3 Real Ales from micro breweries. Pub of the Year in 2005.

Real fires in the winter, flower adorned patio in the summer.

Don't bother to play dominoes against the locals --- you'll lose.
pubinspectors - 31 Jul 2007 14:34


meeko - 30 Jul 2007 14:37
Smile miko
anonymous - 29 Jul 2007 11:26
Internet access is always a pluss. Great ales and 'unique' locals. Worth getting to know the customers, as they're all gems once you get to know them. Sometimes has a 'are you local?' feel to it, but it's no big worry. Meeko's a great, inthusiastic landlord and Bev keeps the bar up-to-scratch. No big variety of spirits, but do the basics, no coctail licence. Music's entertaining. Certainly worth checking out.
Lucifer_Chapel - 15 May 2007 10:09
Come to the mutton and meet the wonderful meko a more friendly character you will not find a true diamond
anonymous - 14 Apr 2007 04:58
Why can't lager drinkers spell? (see below) Perhaps its the lager. Anyhow, very good priced, extremely well kept proper beer with a lovely mix of regulars.
goodgulper - 22 Nov 2006 18:51
lagers to expensive don't see why i should subsadise real ale drinkers
anonymous - 19 Feb 2006 00:59
great pub internet access as well
kingalfred - 19 Dec 2005 19:17
Great traditional pub
It's in the good beer guide
meeko - 5 Sep 2004 10:34

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