Pantry summer 2014 poster 1_A4-page-0

The marquees are up, the tables are being put into place at the moment, and their gingham tops fitted on, the menus are in their holders, the goods are ready to be put out first thing tomorrow morning, the red pinnies are washed and ironed, the bunny ears have been tried on for size and – can it be true? – the sun is still shining.

With only a few hours to go, the pressure is on to pull everything together for our Mad March market. If you want to join in with this forward planning, and make sure you don’t miss a thing tomorrow, click on the links to download some information about what’s on tomorrow. Both leaflets will be available at the market, but in the bustle of the day it’s easy to miss things.

The main information sheet shows what’s on offer and when the raffle and competition judging will happen, and the beer tasting notes may help you decide what you’d like to sample tomorrow.

The Pantry information sheet

The Pantry beer tasting notes

It’s Mother’s Day on 30th March, and you’ll find lots of ideas for gorgeous gifts at The Pantry this Saturday.

For the first time  in the General Store, we’ll be offering the full Gin & Tonic range from the Littlecote Soap Co., including home fragrances and candles. These natural bath and body care luxuries and home scented products are all carefully made by hand from natural ingredients, using time-honoured methods, and are individually hand-cut, hand-poured and hand-wrapped. They would make an ideal gift for Mother’s Day – or a treat for yourself. If you already have a fragrance diffuser, we’ll have great value refill bottles this time too.

Free pink jute gift bag with pretty labels if you spend £10 on toiletries. While stocks last!


The G&T range from the Littlecote Soap Co.

Alternatively, you can make a selection from the excellent Jacobs Field Lavender range of toiletries made from lavender grown, harvested and distilled in Islip.


A selection of Jacobs Field Lavender products

Or choose something from Polkadot of Winslow‘s cornucopia of delights. Lisa makes all manner of exquisite things, and for our market she is also offering lovely personalised keepsakes available to order in time for Mother’s Day – baubles, hearts or boxes. Pop over and say hello – and be amazed by her creativity.

MD bauble

Beautifully painted bauble from Polkadot of Winslow

At Aurora Jewellery you’ll find pieces that have been inspired by classical and vintage jewellery as well as ethnic influences from Asia – timeless chic fused with contemporary twists, to make your mum feel really special.

Of course, your mum may be a foodie, in which case you’ll really be spoilt for choice!

daffs signpost

Just a quick note to let you know that we have the following confirmed stalls for the Spring Market:

Zena Ashdown (Bespoke handbags and baskets)

CiCi-CoCo - NEW

Debbie’s Home Cooked Food

Horton Accessories

Avon  (Local representative: Jackie Cooper-Smith) – CANCELLED, WILL BE AT THE JUNE MARKET

Aurora Jewellery – NEW

Little Shop of Cheese

Polkadot of Winslow

Waddesdon Deli Company

JM Walman (Quality Butcher)

Tony Pearce – Plants

Piddington Bakers

In addition to these, we’ll have the General Store and Beer Stall, with products from:

Cornfield Bakery

Islip Mill Honey – NEW

Jacobs Field Lavender

Jim and Jules Big Adventure

The Littlecote Soap Co.

Oxfordshire Ales

Vale Brewery Co.

XT Brewing Co. (XT 9 – Black IPA is new for 2014)

And, of course, there’ll be our popular

Secondhand Bookstall

And our special event for children:

Mad Hatter’s Corner (Creative craft table for children – with competition to design a mad hat or mask)

As it’ll be Mother’s Day soon (on 30th March), we’ll be putting together some gorgeous little Mother’s Day gifts featuring products from the Littlecote range in jute gift bags.

VH signBy the way, if you’re in Piddington in the morning of 3oth March, the Village Hall is opening for another Lazy Sunday. The breakfasts are delicious – bacon or mushroom baps, croissants, egg or beans on toast, and plenty of tea and coffee. There’ll be Sunday papers to read too. Why not come along (with or without an accompanying mum!) and see what’s happening? You might even hear some gossip!

Another Pantt partyry meeting last night, and the ideas were coming thick and fast for our Mad March Market – some slightly madder than others, it has to be said.

Only the Coffee Shop volunteers know (and they’re not saying) just how they’ll be interpreting the theme of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

But one idea we did put some thought into was having an activity at the market that would interest children. So we came up with …

Mad Hatter’s Corner

A space where children can get crafty making their own Mad March hat, or mask, or whatever their imagination comes up with.

Craft materials and equipment will be provided, and there’ll be a competition to find the best creation.

Children can enter on the day – all entrants will get a small prize – and there’ll be two age categories: Under 11 and 11-16.

The judging will take place at 1.30 pm – at the same time as the raffle draw.

So you can shop the stalls and have a coffee break in the knowledge that the youngsters will be happily occupied with scissors and glue – and someone else will be clearing up after them!

hare mask

Here it is.

By the way, when my mother-in-law saw this yesterday, she read ‘Special Offers’ as ‘Special Otters’. I can’t promise these at the spring market, but I do hope to spot a few March hares.

Pantry spring 2014 poster 2_A4-page-0

Despite the almost constant rain and general greyness, you can sense a faint stirring of spring in the village. Snowdrops are sprinkled in gardens, primroses brighten up the bare earth beneath trees and the earliest daffodils, beside the stone walls, are pressing upwards urgently and will soon be bursting into flower. It’s lighter a little earlier at the two ends of the day, and, after the rare glimpse of sunshine yesterday, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to feel a lightening of the spirit and the step. The earth has turned on its axis once more, and everything feels poised to hurtle into the turmoil of spring.

At Pantry HQ, we’ve had our first planning meeting for the spring market. I don’t know whether it was the satisfaction at starting on our second year, the pleasure of getting together again and throwing around lots of new ideas or the two bottles of wine that mysteriously disappeared over the course of the evening, but I’m afraid by the end of the meeting we were all a bit overcome by laughter. Hence, probably, our theme for the next market – Mad March.

Posters will be going up on noticeboards soon – to replace the last ones, which mentioned the spring market, but gave the wrong year. Oh dear. My (not very convincing) excuse is that it was still 2013 when I did them. And it was still the festive season …


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