It’s all go at The Pantry

Our first Pantry get together of the new year saw the creative juices really flowing (along with a particularly nice little Chardonnay), with lots of ideas for different things we could do.

We’re quite excited about some of them, which you’ll find out about later in the year, but for starters we thought it might be fun to hold some Book Swap Coffee Mornings, where you can come along for a cuppa and bring along a book to swap. After all, if there’s one thing running The Pantry has shown us it’s that what Piddington folk like best is to have a rummage through the secondhand book stall followed by a chat over a cuppa and a little something.

It’s free – The Pantry are sponsoring the refreshments, so come along if you’re around.



Is it spring yet?

With forecasts of snow and a general feeling that this year January is even gloomier than usual, we all need something to look forward to – and here it is! The Pantry Spring Market. A perfect antidote to B****t.

You’re welcome.

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Merry Christmas from The Pantry

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From left: Andrew, Hazel, Chris, Karen, Maggie, Ken, Francesca, Tony

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our three Pantry markets this year, and look forward to seeing everyone again next year on 30 March, 7 September and 7 December.

We thank everyone for their support and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Thank you!



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The Pantry Christmas Market, 1 December 2018
Photos: Chris Weavers and Kim Elliott

Thanks so much to everyone – stallholders, volunteers and customers – for coming along to our Christmas Market, which our Treasurer, Chris, tells me was our 22nd! I found this so hard to believe, I counted up all the markets we’ve held since we started in December 2012 and it’s true. We really have got together as a community this many times and created something that lots of us in the village think is meaningful and important. And not just in the village. We’ve got to know several of the stallholders who have become regulars, and real friendships have grown as a result of these markets. The Pantry is part of their world now, as they are of ours.

Glancing back over the list of producers and suppliers, I was surprised by the variety of stalls and produce we’ve had. We featured more food stalls at the beginning. The idea for The Pantry had grown from disussions about the possibility of having a village shop, so our initial focus was on food, with some craft stalls – hence the name! For various reasons the balance has shifted. (Reasons include, for example, the difficulty of finding small food producers who want to attend a market as infrequent as ours, or who already sell elsewhere on our dates. Also, we can’t guarantee large sales of perishable goods and, if we buy in stock to sell ourselves, most companies will only agree to sale or return on bigger orders than we can make, and of course won’t offer sale or return on food products, quite understandably.) In recent years we’ve mainly relied for our food offering on the homemade cakes and produce sold by villagers, the fab bacon and mushroom baps freshly cooked to order in the Coffee Shop, an order of bread from artisan bakers and Sandy from Waddesdon Deli, who brings her delicious cheeses, meats and home-smoked produce. We’d love to feature more food stalls, though, so if you’re a small food producer, or know someone who’d like to come to a market next year, please contact me.

Thank you again for coming on Saturday. The hall was lively and buzzing, as usual, and beautifully decorated for Christmas (thanks Kim, Chris and Ken!). We moved the Christmas tree into the front marquee to make it more festive out there, along with lights, tinsel and a festive soundtrack, then shifted it back afterwards. I’m not sure this was enough to keep customers from making a beeline into the warm hall, drawn by the delicious smell of bacon and mushrooms, so we’ll have to rethink this next year. We’re very grateful to the stallholders in the marquee for being so good-humoured about their position this time. And we’re sorry you missed the Christmas music, Jen. We were so concerned about having it in the outer reaches (the front and side marquees), we didn’t notice that neither sound system managed to make it into the main hall! We’ll do better next year – promise!

We couldn’t hold these markets without the help and support of everyone involved – no matter how small a part they may play. After all, someone coming along to have a cup of tea and slice of cake, then spotting a neighbour they haven’t seen for ages and enjoying a good catch-up was one of the main reasons for starting The Pantry 22 markets ago. To see it happen so many times, at every market, is absolutely brilliant!

See you at the Spring Market on 30th March!

Shop (very) locally this Christmas

Don’t forget, it’s The Pantry Christmas Market this Saturday (1st December)!

What a great year 2018 has been for our lovely market. We even broke our record for terrible weather with a hot and sunny Autumn Market in September. You can see that rare blue sky in one of the photos below.

We’ve raised lots of money for Piddington village causes (over £11,000 since we began in December 2012) and we’ve so far donated £3000 to the new village hall kitchen, £3000 to the refurbishment programme in St Nicholas Church, plus funding the Apple Day ploughman’s lunch. We also want to help with the fundraising efforts for a new children’s playground at the village hall.

Scenes from this year’s Pantry markets

We’ re now getting ready for the best one of the year – The Pantry Christmas Market. And there are even more Piddington stallholders this time!

Kim will be there, with her scarves, jewellery and hand-decorated boxes, Lynda and John will be showcasing their wonderful balloon arrangements for all occasions, Olivia will be fundraising for a new children’s playground at the village hall, Liz and Madeleine (sorry, I don’t have a photo!) will be selling handmade gifts, cards and prints and Alex will be selling her range of gorgeous accessories and gifts for the home.


As well as these, we have for the first time a stall from Piddington’s own Craft Club, featuring a variety of Christmas decorations and gifts, many made in the village hall on Wednesday mornings! And once again St Nicholas Church will have two tables, selling homemade cakes, Christmas wreaths and decorations and more.


Of course, we’ll have bottles of the new season’s Piddington Apple Juice, which has just been collected from Drover’s Hill Farm, who press and bottle the apples for us, as well as a new batch of Piddington Apple Chutney, made from Piddington apples by Jim and Jules. (The labels will be different from those shown here, but the contents will be just as delicious as ever.) There may still be some 2017 cider left (I’m not sure), but you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the new season’s cider, from juice pressed at this year’s Apple Day!

Naturally, we also have stallholders who are now very much part of The Pantry family: Zena with her fabulous bags, Chris with his classy accessories, Paul and Simon with their beautifully crafted wooden items, Jen with her varied and colourful range of handsewn and knitted decorations, cushions, scarves and cards, as well as newer visitors Kathy with her exquisite handmade fabric necklaces, pendants and snoods, Shuan and Daphne with handsewn items, pictures and crafts, plus Colin‘s clean and simple pottery. Plus two very popular stallholders who are back with us: Kathy with her exquisite handmade glass art and Sandy with her fantastic range of cheeses, meats and deli treats!


Plus our lovely Coffee Shop will be in the new village hall kitchen for the first time, with the kitchen team turning out bacon (or mushroom) baps as fast as you can order them.

And of course you can stock up on your Christmas ales at the Beer Stall – come and ask Andrew or Ian for a taster. Local breweries featured include XT, Vale, Loose Cannon (based in Abingdon) and Wriggly Monkey, a brand-new artisan brewery based at the Bicester Heritage Centre.

And it’s free entry, so please come along to The Pantry, on Saturday 1st December at Piddington Village Hall, near Bicester, OX25 1PU, between 10 and 2, to get your local Christmas started.

If you can help in setting up the hall and the two marquees on the Friday before (from 2.30pm) or taking them down on Saturday afternoon, that would be great. For a demonstration of what this entails, have a look at ‘The Pantry – Behind the Scenes’.



Who’s coming for Christmas?

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It’s not long till The Pantry Christmas Market on 1st December! Here’s who’ll be there – and where you’ll find them.

In the front marquee …

Zena Ashdown: Your favourite source of great handbags at great prices

Event and Party Balloons: Amazing range of balloons for all occasions

Horton Accessories: Fine accessories for women, men and the home

Prime Wood Studios: Exquisite handcrafted wooden gifts and decorative items

In the hall …

Jennie Bosher: Handmade decorations and cards, knitted cushions and toys

Kathy Chalk: Handmade glass art gifts and decorations

Kim Elliott: Fun and affordable jewellery, scarves and boxes

Haddenham Pottery: Functional domestic pottery

Kathy Hodge: Agate pendants, snoods, fabric necklaces

Piddington Craft Club: Unique gifts and decorations handmade by our village craft group

Liz Tagert: Handmade gifts, cards and prints

Topstitch (Shuan Meekings) and Daphne Bray: Handsewn items, boxes, pictures and jewellery

Alex White: Eclectic home accessories and gifts

Cake stall  + Produce and gifts stall: Raising funds for St Nicholas Church

Children’s playground stall: Raising funds for the new children’s playground


Outside …

Beer stall: Local beers from XT, Vale, Wriggly Monkey and Loose Cannon Breweries

Piddington Produce: Our own Piddington Apple Juice, Cider and Chutney

Waddesdon Deli: Sandy is back, with her fabulous range of cheeses, meats and deli treats! 


It’s Apple Day in the village, but it’s Christmas at Pantry HQ

I know, I know, it’s only just October and the next exciting event in Piddington is Apple Day, but here at Pantry HQ we’re organising our 6th Christmas Market. The posters will be appearing on noticeboards and in local publications over the next few weeks, and a fantastic selection of crafts, gifts and treats will be available for you to buy, so please spread the word among family and friends that the Piddington Pantry really is the best place to start your Christmas shopping.

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