Keen-eyed villagers will have noticed the posters that have suddenly appeared on the village noticeboards – yes, the Summer Pantry will be upon us soon. So batten down the hatches, search out your wellies and rainhat and mend that hole in the shed roof, for if past performance is anything to go by, 20th August will bring us floods, tempests, tornadoes and plagues of frogs.

Never mind, put on your shopping shoes and come along to see some lovely new stallholders as well as your old favourites. And Maggie and Karen and the team will be there to welcome you with a bacon or mushroom bap – what could be nicer than that?

Pantry summer 2016 colour A4-page-0

Well, I suppose it wouldn’t be The Pantry without some freak weather event.

Last time, we lost the village hall’s big marquee in the gale-force winds, and the outside stallholders had to hang on to their replacement garden gazebos all day, to keep them from flying away.

On Saturday, market day dawned with an interesting combination of rain, sleet, hail and snow – a little more than we’d bargained for in the middle of April! Combined with the power cuts that happened at odd moments, conditions were a bit challenging.

Mind you, it’s not the first time The Pantry has battled with snow at a spring market. You may remember a few years ago we took The Portable Pantry to Studley Wood Golf Club through a heavy blizzard in mid March. All I can say is don’t book a holiday on 20 August, when we’re having The Pantry Summer Market.

I’m pleased to say that Great British pluck and spirit prevailed and the day turned into a great success – a very big thank you to everyone who helped and who came on the day. Despite the atrocious weather – which naturally changed to  bright sunshine while we were dismantling the brand-new big marquee – there was a steady stream of people coming through the doors all the time, which was great. I do hope all the stallholders had an enjoyable and profitable day.

Best of all, the Coffee Shop ran out of baps, and had to use the loaves from The Cornfield that were for sale in the General Store. Well done, Maggie, Karen and the rest of the team for making the Coffee Shop such a popular destination!

Finally, I have to say a big thank you to Bella (also known as Lula) and her friends who ran a stall selling items they had made themselves to raise money for Cancer Research. They were fantastic fundraisers, and their gorgeous stall was the highlight of the market. Well done, girls!

cancer research



The gale-force winds at the last market gave the term ‘stallholder’ a whole new meaning!


OK, here’s the roll call of stallholders who’ll be at this year’s Spring Market. There are several new people as well as your old favourites, so come along and say hello.

Zena Ashdown: Gorgeous and affordable handbags.
Jennie Bosher: Handmade decorations and cards, knitted cushions and toys.
Michelle Dee: Photographic prints NEW
Wendy Foster: Aloe vera products.
Flooseymoo Jewellery: Caroline King’s handmade silver & semi-precious gemstone jewellery NEW
Horton Accessories: Chris Cox’s fine-quality accessories for ladies, gentlemen and the home
Sarah Jackson: Fund-raising for a family member NEW
Kim’s Jewels: Jewellery, scarves and accessories
Made in Wendy’s House: Wendy Sommerford’s handcrafted items NEW
Paul’s Cards: Phoenix Christmas and birthday cards, stationery and gifts
Photopurity: Portrait photography by Phil Hawley from Launton NEW
Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes in aid of St Nicholas’s Church
Seriously Sweet: Shellie Gray’s selection of sweets and gifts NEW
Piddington Cottage Garden Plants: Plants grown by Maggie and Tony Pearce, usually propagated from plants in their own garden
Waddesdon Deli Company: A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall selling delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more is always buzzing with customers

We also have the following regular attractions …

Beer Stall: Local ales from Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co.

General Store: Including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak Mustard and our own ‘Piddington Blend’ apple and apple-and-pear juices, made from villagers’ fruit.

Pantry Raffle: Fantastic prizes! Make sure you buy a ticket

Secondhand Book Stall: You never know what gems you’ll find. Have a rummage, and see if you can identify what the book group have been reading recently

And last but certainly not least, it’s the …
Coffee Shop: Homemade cakes from the Piddington Bakers, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the Cornfield Bakery, legendary bacon and mushroom baps and more, all served up with frightening efficiency by the dazzling duo of Maggie and Karen and a crack team of volunteers

If you haven’t been to The Pantry before, come and see why it’s so popular. If you’re a Pantry regular – I’ll see you at the Coffee Shop!


Pantry spring 2016 colour A4-page-0

Art coffee morning poster A4-page-0

Fans of the Coffee Shop at The Pantry markets may be interested in this one-off event, held in aid of new lighting for the village hall.

The team that bring you the ever-popular bacon and mushroom baps at The Pantry will be opening the kitchen in February, so you can have a snack and a natter and then have a look at the work of two village art groups. Work will be available to buy on the day.

It’s a good few weeks until the next Pantry Coffee Shop. Come along and enjoy this extra-special opening on Saturday – and see what your fellow villagers have been up to!


The Pantry is bursting into life for a new year

The Pantry group’s first meeting of the year is always a buzzy occasion.

It’s a chance to debrief after the previous market – to mull over what went well and what was less successful, and think about how we can improve things next time. And it’s also when we look into our crystal balls and pick what we hope will be the best dates for the coming year’s markets.

Of course, we have to make sure that key people won’t be otherwise engaged – the date for the spring market was finalised only after a quick phone call to a rather startled parent that began ‘I’m in a meeting … when are we on holiday?’ But we also try to pick dates that, from previous experience, will encourage the most people to come along.

The Christmas and spring markets are always well attended, the summer and autumn ones less so. We’ve therefore decided that, like last year, we’ll just hold three markets this year, on the following dates:

16 April

20 August

3 December

Any changes to these dates will be posted in this blog.

We look forward to seeing you!


Indeed yes. This was the big marquee on Saturday morning, just before the stallholders started to arrive. Despite the team’s best efforts to secure it, the winds overnight on Friday were so strong that the marquee was practically blown inside out, with the force of the gusts tearing the fabric and mangling the frame.

People – including the early stallholders – rallied round to help dismantle it, and some villagers brought their own gazebos to shelter the foodie stallholders, who should have been in the marquee.

The wind was still very strong on Saturday, and there was much British determination and stoicism in evidence among the (now) outdoor stallholders, hanging on to their gazebos to stop them blowing away while at the same time trying to give customers change or, in Sandy from Waddesdon Deli’s case, to cook sausages!

All the stallholders were great about the far from ideal conditions, and we are very grateful to them for their good humour and helpfulness. We are also hugely grateful for everyone who rushed to help, so that the market could carry on and to the volunteers who showed real Blitz spirit through the day. And of course, thanks to all the people who came along to buy, to snack, to chat – in fact, to everyone who helped make The Pantry’s 3rd anniversary such a success, despite the weather’s best efforts to disrupt it!

See you next year!



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