Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Pantry Christmas Market.

This year it’ll be our third Christmas Market – I just can’t believe how the time has flown! Anyway, this year it’s on Saturday 6 December, 10am to 2pm in Piddington Village Hall.

We’ve had confirmation from lots of stallholders already, so can tell you that there’ll be a great variety of Christmas gifts and local produce, including jewellery, handbags, accessories, toys, Christmas lights, local cheese and meat, jams and chutneys, homemade Greek delicacies, local beer, homemade cakes. And of course the ever popular Coffee Shop.

Now we have to get going with all the publicity – posters, flyers, notices in local magazines and newspapers and events listings on websites. If you’d like to help by distributing flyers, we’d be very grateful. Just let one of us know and we’ll give you a batch of flyers. Of course, you can also let people know about the market by sharing this blog with other people or sharing The Pantry’s posts on the Piddington Facebook page or retweeting our blog posts on Twitter. Every little helps. Now where have I heard that before …?

Pantry xmas 14

Sadly, we’ve made the decision to cancel ‘A Market on a Plate’, our evening of local food and drink tastings that was planned for 13 September.

Although we’re still convinced it would have been a really good event, we just didn’t sell enough tickets to make it viable. We all felt that, if there weren’t enough people to give it a really buzzy atmosphere, it would be better not to go ahead but to have a rethink.

The Pantry would still like to hold an evening social event based on locally sourced food and drink, perhaps in the spring, but we need to tailor it to what people want. Because we feature only local produce (including wine), the cost of putting on such an event is always going to be higher than if we were to source our menu items from further afield. In fact, to keep the ticket price for ‘A Market on a Plate’ at £15, we decided to subsidise the event using £200 of Pantry funds. Although we would have made a monetary loss, we thought it would be an exciting thing to offer to Pantry-goers, and a little bit different from other social events held in the village.

The regular Pantry markets are very well supported, and always have a great buzz about them, so we’re really interested to learn why this event didn’t appeal to people. We know a lot of people were away at that particular time, but were there other reasons for the low ticket sales? Was it the cost of the tickets? Was the publicity material unclear? Or was it simply the wrong type of event for the village?

If you saw the event advertised but decided not to come, what were your reasons? Would you be interested in a similar event in the future? If not, would your decision be different if the tickets were cheaper? Should we perhaps explore holding a joint event with the Village Hall, where The Pantry supplies the food and the Village Hall supplies the drink? Contact The Pantry and let us know your views.

Posters and leaflets are everywhere now, so there’s no excuse for missing out on what should be a really great foodie night. There’ll be lots of different foods to taste, all supplied by our favourite Pantry suppliers, and lots of local drinks to sample alongside them, together with expert advice on good – and not so good – food and drink pairings. You’ll have fun, learn something new and perhaps make a few surprising discoveries about exactly what food and drink is being produced very close to home. And of course you’ll be able to buy products from the General Store after the tasting.

So do come along and help to make it a really buzzing night.

Incidentally, as this is an expensive event for a small group like ours to put on, The Pantry has decided to subsidise it, to keep the price of the tickets at £15, as we really want to bring something a little bit different to Piddington.

So please support The Pantry by joining us on 13 September, and please encourage anyone you think might be interested about our Market on a Plate to buy a ticket. The more people that come, the better the atmosphere.

See you there!

Posters and leaflets have been distributed, but the best publicity is word of mouth. So please spread the word about this exciting event – get a group of like-minded friends together and have fun sharing the various tasting platters and comparing notes on the different food and drink pairings.

The Pantry food and wine night A4 v3 web-page-0

The change in the weather over the last few days has sent me hunting through my drawers in search of warm woollies, and, while not quite ready to swap the chilled rose and salads for a warm red and a casserole, I am starting to look forward to the good things autumn can bring. One of these is our extra-special autumn event, which we’re calling ‘A Market on a Plate’.

Regular Pantry-goers will know that we always try to make each market a little bit different, but this autumn, instead of our regular market, we’re putting a local food and drink tasting evening, open only to ticket-holders. Tickets will be available soon, and the ticket price will include a welcome drink, tasting platters – Savoury (meat, fish, vegetable), Sweet and Cheese – and drinks tasters. We’ll have some guest speakers and there’ll be an opportunity to do a bit of shopping, as a range of products will be available to buy on the night. This promises to be a really interesting and enjoyable social evening, and we should all learn something about the local food and drink we have available to us.

So, put the date in your diary now: Saturday 13 September, 7 pm, for a 7.30 pm start.


Hope you’re all making the most of this lovely weather. Long may it last. But don’t be sad about the approach of autumn, because it brings an exciting new event to Piddington in the form of The Pantry Food and Wine Extravaganza!

We always try to make each Pantry market a little bit different, but this autumn, instead of our regular market, we’re putting on something really special.

On Saturday 13 September, we’d love you to come and join The Pantry team for a food, wine and beer tasting extravaganza! We’re still working on the details, but it’ll be an evening event, open only to ticket-holders, where you’ll enjoy a food-and-wine-pairing presentation (the ticket price will cover the full tasting plate), meet local producers and do a bit of shopping too.

I’ll let you know more details when I can.

Thank you to all those people who made it through the rain to join us at what we think was one of the best markets so far. Despite the almost biblical torrents, not to mention the many other local events going on at the same time, villagers and people from further afield stoutly stomped through the storms to enjoy the summery delights of The Pantry.

And a huge thank you, too, to all our doughty volunteers for their hard work setting up and putting away the market, including putting up the marquees in the sweltering heat on Friday (and for improvising gutters between them in anticipation of the deluge to come!) and for turning up and helping on the day.

We’ve had a couple of lovely emails, one from a visitor and one from a stallholder, both saying what a lovely atmosphere the market had, and what friendly people they’d met. I know there are a lot of community and farmers’ markets around these days, but it really does seem as though we have something a bit special here.

I felt extremely sorry for the chap selling Bradshaws Farm Ice Cream from his trailer in the car park, outside the main hall. On a sunny day, he’d have done a roaring trade. But there was plenty of interest in our other new stallholders, Emma Arnold (Blue Hydrangea), with her fascinating range of handmade pieces, and Vasiliki Ntavertzani, who presided over a table of mouthwatering Greek delights, including the most delicious homemade Greek pastries (oh, that heavenly baklava!) and pine and thyme honey, from bees kept by her family in Delphi. (Contact details: 07772 454 411; gaia.products@outlook.com) Vasiliki has sent us this photo of the family beehives – if you bought a pot of honey from her on Saturday, this is where it comes from!


Finally, as we slowly start to recover from the summer market, we have already started planning our autumn event. We’re quite excited about this, as we’re hoping to do something a little different this time. Local food and drink will still be involved, of course, but with a twist. I’ll let you know more later, when plans are a little more advanced …

In the meantime, have a great summer!


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