We’re in the news!

29 November 2012
29 November 2012

Today’s Bicester Advertiser contained a long feature about us, explaining why we were launching The Pantry and publicising our Christmas Market this Saturday. Accompanying the article was a great photo of some of the steering group and helpers displaying examples of the delicious goodies there will be on sale. Visible in the picture are items from Quince Products Ltd, Shaken Oak Mustards and our range of Hedgerow & Exotic Jams, but as you can see from our list of products and stallholders, there’ll be much more available on the day!

Central to the display in the newspaper photograph is a hamper containing two bottles of Brightwell Vineyard wine. Don’t forget, you can buy a basket (three sizes are available) and have it made up by us while you relax, either browsing the stalls some more or putting your feet up with a little something in the coffee shop. The price of the basket includes all the materials and the wrapping (not the contents, though – you have to buy those separately!), so it’s a great way of creating a unique and individually designed gift with little effort on your part.

The behind-the-scenes activity is stepping up a notch or two now – we all have anxious moments, but mainly we’re all very excited to see what will happen on Saturday morning.

Only a week to go!

The posters are up, the flyers have been distributed around the local villages, the products are being delivered or collected, the local press are coming to interview us – and the organisers are all having sleepless nights. But it will be worth it on the day, which should be good fun.

Let’s hope the rain stops and maybe we can even get the sun to shine on our village hall for a few hours.

Our lovely volunteers

Last night we met some of the lovely people who have volunteered to help with the Christmas market. There was a great buzz of interest in and enthusiasm for the project, and lots of good ideas zipping back and forth from everyone.

We had some examples on show of made-up hampers in three different sizes, and they looked gorgeous. And in the case of the Littlecote Soap Company’s products, smelt gorgeous too!

More stallholders

We have such a variety of stalls, you’re bound to find the perfect gift for family and friends. If you’re looking for a gift that is unique or unusual, take a look at our list of stallholders (below), to see what’s on offer.

A new addition is Debbie Mac, based in the village, who is a professionally trained hair and make-up artist. Debbie has worked in film and TV, so not only can she make you look fabulous for a special occasion, she can also create a range of special effects that are frighteningly realistic! Buy a gift certificate for ‘A make-up experience of your choice’, and give someone an amazing treat.

You’ll also find more information about Kathy Chalk, whose individually designed decorative glass pieces are intricate and exquisitely beautiful.

Hamper gift-wrap service

Saturday 1 December at Piddington Village Hall from 9.00 am to 1.30 pm

A carefully chosen selection of goodies from the Christmas market would make a wonderful gift. Why not take advantage of our hamper gift-wrap service, available at a small extra charge?

Choose the size of hamper you require, make your selection from the enticing products on offer, then ask one of our friendly volunteers to gift-wrap it with cellophane and ribbons, ready for you to give as a gift.

Christmas shopping should be enjoyable, not a chore – let us do the hard work for you, so you can concentrate on the delights around you!

Piddington Christmas Market – Our Stallholders

Now things are getting really exciting – we’ve finalised our list of stallholders for the Christmas Market!

The Pantry is fortunate to be able to join forces with a number of local companies and individuals who will be running their own stalls on the day. We hope this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship.

Zena Ashdown: Bespoke handbags and baskets.

Bucksum Salads: David Newman provides local, high-quality salad and vegetables to restaurants including Waddesdon Manor and Le Manoir. He also has a small farm shop open to the public near Long Crendon.

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative pieces made from glass, some small enough to hang on a Christmas tree and others that are larger. Kathy uses some recycled glass to make bottle clocks, spoon rests and delicate roundels. Her more complex pieces involve combinations of fused glass, paint (as seen in stained glass in churches) and sometimes incorporate chemicals and enamels for a variety of effects. Her pictorial landscapes are inspired by the contours and colours of the Leicestershire countryside.

Tracy Clark (Phoenix Trading): Based in Piddington, Tracy will be selling a range of high-quality, good value charity Christmas cards and other products, to raise funds mainly for Cancer Research. The cards are published by Phoenix, and are sold exclusively by Phoenix Traders, so you won’t find them on the high street.

Debbie Mac: A professionally trained hair and make-up artist based in Piddington, Debbie offers a hair and make-up service for weddings, parties or just for fun – take at look at the ‘Special effects’ section of her website! She also provides make-up lessons, and will be happy to give advice and answer questions about make-up on the day. One of Debbie’s gift certificates for ‘A make-up experience of your choice’ would make an ideal present.

Debbie’s Home Cooked Food: It’s just that! Debbie produces ‘proper’ home-cooked food using local ingredients with no additives, E numbers or preservatives. She sells at farmers’ markets and will deliver to customers’ houses. She offers a bespoke service to her clients, including catering for special dietary requirements and providing smaller complete meals. She can also organise and cater for private parties, from fork buffets to hot meals.

The Hat Hire Company: Started in 2004 by Jenni Walker, who now stocks over 260 hats and fascinators in her Launton studio. She also sells seasonal fashion accessories and bright contemporary jewellery, hand finished and from renewable sources wherever possible. Her stall will showcase a selection of her jewellery and accessories.

Horton Accessories: Men’s belts made by Chris Cox of Horton cum Studley.

Spring Hill Farms and Gardens: A regeneration project that is developing an educational centre and revitalising the extensive farms and gardens resource at HMP Springhill. Their focus is on education, training, rehabilitation and community engagement. Fresh, locally grown produce and garden gifts … for sale locally!

Nick Wallington: Nick will be taking orders for Christmas trees. He’ll have samples to view in the car park on the day.

JM Walman (Quality Butcher): Located in Launton and owned by John Walman, whose passion for his craft and enthusiasm guarantees award-winning meats and homemade products, a selection of which he will have for sale on the day. He will also be taking orders for Christmas turkeys.

Piddington Christmas Market – General Store

In the Piddington General Store you’ll find locally made and locally sourced products from the following suppliers:

Brightwell Vineyard: Producers of high-quality English wines, which frequently win medals and awards at national and international competitions. The 14-acre vineyard is situated 1 mile north of Wallingford, on the south side of the River Thames in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A selection of their wines will be available to sample on the day.

Chiltern Natural Foods: A small but growing company based near High Wycombe, offering great-tasting premium natural confectionery and snacks. You won’t find a single E number or artificial additive in their recipes, only raw ingredients combined with spices and natural flavouring. Try their crumbly Christmas fudges, chocolates or spiced cashews.

Cornfield Bakery: A family-run independent craft bakery, proud of making real bread in the traditional way – no additives and with wheat almost exclusively grown in Oxfordshire. The General Store will offer a selection of speciality loaves, including tomato bread and spinach with mustard bread.

Crudges Cheeses: An artisan cheese maker based in Kingham, near Chipping Norton, where they make a range of semi-hard and soft cheeses using locally sourced milk. Inspired by alpine cheese-makers, Crudges aim to produce a range of cheeses that reflect the grazing pastures and animal husbandry afforded to the dairy herds.

Hedgerow & Exotic Jams: Made by our own Rosemary Cox. Using local fruit where possible Rosemary has put together a tantalising selection of jams and jellies – her crab-apple and clove jelly is to die for!

Just Biscuits: Once tasted never forgotten! A selection of handmade, freshly baked biscuits, made with all butter and other good-quality ingredients and winners of six Great Taste Awards (2006). We are offering a great selection of Jill’s biscuits, including Ginger Shorties and Chocolate and Chilli or, if your preference is for savoury, try her Parmesan and Rosemary Bites.

Littlecote Soap Company: Formed by Elaine Stavert after a life-changing move from a London television career to life on a Buckinghamshire farm. The company is renowned for its high-quality ethical products made from natural ingredients in imaginative ways, producing traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. Our General Store will offer a selection of Elaine’s products, from her innovative ‘Gin and Tonic’ range to more traditional soaps and bath bombs.

Made by Mums: Lucy started her business 2 years ago, after having children. Located in Haddenham, she offers seasonal lines of jams, chutneys and confectionery. Her ethos is ‘Passionate about food and traditional values’. Our General Store has a selection of chutneys, including ale and cranberry or her moreish sweet packs – sugar and spice pecans are a must!

Oxford Cheese Company: We’re happy to be offering not only their famous Oxford Blue but also its sister brands College White and Oxford Isis. All three cheeses have recently won awards at the 2012 British Cheese Awards.

Penny’s Ponchos: A selection of children’s ponchos handmade by Penny Hepburn from Oakley. These bespoke items will keep any child warm and snuggly this Christmas – available in various designs and sizes from age 6 months to 6/7 years.

Quince Products Ltd: Based in Watlington, this company has restored the quince to the British table. We have a selection of jellies and marmalades as well as their specialist fruit cheeses – versatile products that can be used with cheese, meats and in puddings.

Ridgeway Brewery: We have a selection of their seasonal beers, including their IPA ‘Bad Elf’ (4.5%) and ‘Very Bad Elf’ (7.5%), ‘Santa’s Butt’ Winter Porter (6%) and ‘Reindeer Droppings’ (4.75%). Ideal stocking fillers for the man who has everything!

Shaken Oak: What started as a hobby, making mustards for friends and family, has become a thriving commercial business offering a mouth-watering selection to mustard devotees. We will be selling a variety of mustards, all made with the finest ingredients, wherever possible from local sources.