Please vote for us

The Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund is giving away five £300 awards every week to support community projects across the UK and Ireland. The awards are based on the number of votes each project receives.

The Pantry is now listed on their website, so, if you have a moment, please vote for us, so we can make the markets even better next year.

Thank you.

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Piddington Christmas Chutney!


Look what’s just arrived! Our first delivery of Jim & Jules Limited Edition Piddington Christmas Chutney. You can’t get much more local than that, can you?

It’s a brilliant gift to include in a Pantry mini hamper along with a few other locally sourced goodies.

Mini hamper2

Did someone mention baked potatoes?

Oh yes.

Not only will we be expanding into our brand-new marquee at the Christmas Market on 7 December, we’ll also be offering you an expanded menu at the Coffee Shop.

As well as the ever-popular bacon baps, you’ll be able to tuck in to a freshly baked potato – made in the village hall’s lovely new baked potato oven. Add your choice of filling and enjoy a tasty hot snack while sorting out out your Christmas shopping.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, we’ll be serving homemade mince pies as well as cakes, and you can spoil yourself with a steaming mug of delicious hot chocolate topped with marshmallows.

And we won’t mention expanding waistlines, will we? It is Christmas, after all!

A closer look: Jim & Jules Big Adventure

Do you know, in exactly one month, it’ll be Boxing Day! By this time, you’ll have demolished the turkey (or whatever festive alternative you have planned), and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to the real highlight of the festive season – days of picking at a variety of cold meats, stuffings, cheeses, breads, savoury biscuits, etc. And what’s the essential accompaniment to all these delights? Why, a good range of pickles and chutneys and jellies, of course, preferably homemade.

Another stallholder new to The Pantry can supply these delicious comestibles, to make your Christmas feast even more delicious. Jim & Jules Big Adventure will be bringing all sorts of good things – as well as much festive spirit and cheer. A real special this year is their Piddington Christmas Chutney, made by them with apples grown in our village. They will also have their Christmas special editions including Boxing Day Badboy, which is always a hit, Cranberry and Red Onion Yummo, Hearty Ale Chutney and Cranberry Sauce.

If you’d like to pre-order anything for collection on the day, please contact them directly in good time before market day. You can phone them on 07976 284746 or send an email to

We’re looking forward to welcoming Jim & Jules to Piddington, so please say hello to them at the market.

Visit The Pantry at Studley Wood

Mini hamper2

Just to let you know that The Portable Pantry will be visiting the Christmas Market at Studley Wood Golf Club on 1 December, between 10 am and 2 pm. We will be selling our ‘make your own’ mini Pantry hampers, toiletry gift sets from Littlecote and Jacobs Field, and the brand new, very seasonal Christmas Spice candles.

There will also be fresh bread from Cornfield, vegetable bags from Bucksum, chutneys and jams from Jim & Jules, including our own Piddington Christmas chutney, made from apples grown in the village, delicious handmade sweet and savoury biscuits from ‘Just Biscuits’,  including some festive flavours, Chiltern flavoured rapeseed oils and a selection of mustards from Shaken Oak.

And you’ll be glad to know that we’ve managed to squeeze in our popular beer stall, so we can offer you a selection of ales from our three closest breweries: Vale Brewery, XT Brewing and Oxfordshire Ales.  A really exciting coup for The Pantry is that this will be the very first outing for Vale Brewery’s brand-new seasonal beer, ‘Good King Senseless’, ‘a classic Christmas Ale – dark, meaty and strong! Traditionally brewed with pale, crystal and chocolate malt and choicest whole cone hops’.

You’ll be able to catch up with some Pantry friends, as Cici-Coco, I am Japanese, The Little Shop of Cheese and St. George’s Gelato will also be coming.  Plus there’ll also be a further 25 stalls of arts and crafts, gifts and jewellery made by local artisans.

So, if you are around, please come along and say hello. The last time we visited Studley Wood, for their Easter Fayre, we had to struggle through the snow to get there, so fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat performance!

A closer look: creative jewellery and crafts

At the Christmas Market there’ll be several stallholders who you won’t have seen before. To give you a sneaky peek at what’ll be on offer, I’ll focus on some of our new stallholders in this and future blogs.

To make sure you find a gift for everyone on your list, we’re featuring a wider than usual range of people who make a variety of arts and crafts. Three of these talented craftspeople come from the same family. Two sisters, Abigail and Naomi, collectively known as Shalotte, make their own designer range of beautiful and original luxury copper jewellery, silk jewellery and accessories, while their mother, Jenny, makes creative decorative art dolls and gorgeous cushions for the home. They all live and work in Oxfordshire, and everything they sell is 100% handmade by them.

You can see examples of their work on their websites: Shalotte showcases the work of the sisters collectively, but all three have their own individual websites too: for a closer look, follow the links for Abigail, Naomi and Jenny.

If you’d like to pre-order anything for collection on the day, please contact the maker directly in good time before market day. Contact details for all three ladies can be found on their websites.

Where to start? Our new marquee?

The Pantry People got together last night to run through all the things that need doing before the Christmas Market on 7 December, and I came back home with my head spinning. (And no, it wasn’t the small glass of something we all needed to warm us up on such a cold night.)

We were looking back at last year’s market, and realised what a long way we’ve come in a year. When we formed our little group, in October 2012, none of us had any experience of putting on an event like this. We just wanted to have a community market in Piddington that villagers would find interesting, fun, social and something a little bit different. We all put in our own money to get the market off the ground, and, while we hoped we wouldn’t lose it all, we had no idea if we’d break even, let alone make a profit. Fortunately, the people of Piddington were fantastic – volunteering to help on the day, make cakes, set up and clear away, and do all those useful things that need doing.

One year on, and, while we’re never going to be a threat to Tesco’s profits, we have managed to make enough money to buy (with the help of a grant from Piddington Parish Council) our own Pantry marquee. We already make use of the Village Hall’s marquee, so, with two marquees to play with, we’ll have even more space for a variety of interesting stallholders.

The new marquee’s first outing will be at the Christmas Market on 7 December. (I originally thought we’d be using it before this, at the barn dance on 30 November, but this was just me getting my marquees muddled. But the reminder is still worthwhile: if you’d like to come to the barn dance, but don’t yet have your tickets, please email or ring 07591 186 495 as soon as possible, as there aren’t many left.)

Bathshebas wedding poster1-page-0-2

So please come along and see the new, improved Pantry – now with extra space. And baked potatoes. But that’s another story …

Christmas is coming

There’s no avoiding it: every magazine and newspaper has its Christmas Gift and ‘Countdown to Christmas’ features, encouraging us all to shop online and have items sent from large warehouses all over the country, and we are already starting to panic at the glitzy sparkle of the John Lewis and M&S TV ads (or is that just me?).

But what if there were a better way to shop for Christmas? A place just around the corner, where you can buy gifts for the whole family from the people who have made them, or stock up on locally made festive food and drink while chatting to your friends over a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake made by one of your neighbours? Where the money you spend goes back into the local community rather than into a faceless corporation?

Of course, you’re reading this, so you know what I’m talking about – at The Pantry Christmas Market you’ll discover a different way of starting your Christmas preparations. We’ve tried to bring together everything you need under one roof, so you can shop for gifts, food, drink, order your turkey and buy your fairy lights without the hassle of fighting the crowds (or the online ordering system) or struggling to find somewhere to park.

Look at the photo below, taken at last year’s Christmas Market. Don’t you just feel the Christmas spirit? Come along on 7 December, between 10am and 2pm and be part of our village Christmas celebrations.

Christmas Market, 2012
Christmas Market, 2012

And finally … Congratulations to Bucksum!

Congratulations to David Newman on being named best local farmer at the 10th Observer Food Monthly Award.

Regular Pantrygoers will know David, who runs Bucksum Salads in Long Crendon, and supplies produce to a number of top restaurants in the south east such as Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir and Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers. David and his partner Tracy Russell have supported The Pantry from the beginning, and we’re very pleased and proud to have them at our markets.

Well done!

Pictured: David Newman, second from left, with partner Tracy Russell, third from left, and awards celebration co-hosts, Observer restaurant critic, Jay Rayner, and The Great British Bake Off presenter, Sue Perkins.
Pictured: David Newman, second from left, with partner Tracy Russell, third from left, and awards celebration co-hosts, Observer restaurant critic, Jay Rayner, and The Great British Bake Off presenter, Sue Perkins.

The Portable Pantry @ Studley Wood

Thinking about mutual support ….

… The Pantry will be making an appearance at the Studley Wood Golf Club Christmas Fayre, together with some other people you may know from previous markets – Cici-Coco, I’m Japanese and The Little Shop of Cheese. 

Studley Wood Golf Club Christmas Fayre will be on Sunday 1 December, exact times to be confirmed. It’ll be a chance for us to promote our Christmas market the following Saturday, and catch up with friends, so please come along and say hello if you’re around.