Thanks for coming – see you next year!

The Pantry Christmas Market, December 2013
The Pantry Christmas Market, December 2013

Well, the market was certainly buzzing on Saturday. It was great to see some new faces – I do hope the stallholders for whom this was their first Pantry did well and enjoyed the day.

The fact that we ran out of bacon and beer perhaps says a lot about the numbers of marketgoers. It’s a good job our local breweries are so very local, as there was some dashing out at lunchtime to replenish stocks!

Thank you, everyone who came and supported The Pantry’s second Christmas Market – all the volunteers, who worked so hard and so cheerfully, the stallholders, who brought such a variety of great products and made the market so interesting, and of course our customers, who came to buy, to sample the wares in the coffee shop, to chat with friends and neighbours, and without whom there’d be no point to The Pantry!

We’re currently sorting out some suitable dates for next year’s markets, which I’ll post as soon as they’re finalised.

Finally, you may like to read The Pantry – One Year On, written by one of the instigators and main driving force behind the project, Francesca Darby. We put the notice up on Saturday, but it was easy to miss in the general bustle, so I’ll post it here too. I think it says what we all feel about it, really. It’s been hard work, but we’ve gained a lot from it, and we hope other people have too.

The Pantry Christmas Market, December 2013
The Pantry Christmas Market, December 2013

A closer look: GladBags

This is the last post before the market, just to let you know about another stallholder who is new to The Pantry.

I’ll let Alison Court introduce herself:

GladBags – handmade bags for all occasions

In order not to clutter up this Earth any more than it already is (or to use any more of its dwindling resources), I make my GladBags entirely out of recycled, reclaimed and rescued fabrics – they have all been found in my own and friends’ cupboards and attics, charity shops and remnant bins. Only the snappers are new. Even the threads have been inherited.

Minimal transport costs; no slave labour!

005 (2)

What’s on at the Christmas Market

Better late than never! It’s been so hectic here at Pantry HQ that only now do we have a final(ish?) list of what’s available tomorrow.

So here it is, hot off the press and ready for you to download and see all the special offers and Christmassy products we have for you.

What’s on at the Christmas Market

Please don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket before 1pm. There are lots of excellent prizes, including a gentleman’s leather belt, handmade by a craftsman who lives in Piddington specially for us at The Pantry. We’re honoured. Also beautifully handmade for us (by Rosemary, famed at The Pantry for her hedgerow jams and jellies) is a Christmas door wreath. And there are hampers of various products, a Christmas decorative reindeer and much more besides. People often forget about the raffle in the general excitement of the market, so add it to your list now!

Special offer – ‘A Piddington Pair’

Cherwell-20131205-00540 (2)

Here’s another special offer you can pick up at the Christmas Market this Saturday.

Give someone a little bit of Piddington, beautifully presented in a gift bag for just £6.

The Piddington Christmas Chutney was made by Jim & Jules from apples grown in Piddington and the hedgerow jam was made by Piddington’s own Rosemary Cox.

We know everyone can’t live in Piddington, but a gorgeous little local gift like this might be the next best thing. And, seriously, who can resist that reindeer!

It’s not all cakes and ale

Of course, The Pantry will abound with local food and crafts suitable for giving as gifts, but there’s more to it than that. To take some of the hassle out of the Christmas preparations, we’ve tried to bring to the Christmas Market several stalls and services of a more practical nature.

Local butcher Peter Goss will not only be offering a good range of traditional, quality meats and poultry all sourced from local farms, but will also be taking Christmas orders.

The always popular – and award-winning – Bucksum will be back, selling their fresh vegetables and salads.

Local farmer Nick Wallington will be taking orders for Christmas trees. Delivery is possible. Order directly from Nick on Saturday or phone on 07850 880438.

We also hope to have bags of rock salt for sale, to keep your paths free from slippery ice.

On the General Store we’ll have a selection of Christmas lights for sale. (Sorry, I seem to be overcome with general Christmassyness – that says ‘Christmas lights’ in sober black and white.)

And we haven’t forgotten the garden birds. Also on the General Store we’ll be offering wild bird seed and fat balls in packs of a suitable size for gifts.

Here’s a thought. If you live in Piddington, why not set yourself a challenge and try to get all your Christmas shopping done without leaving the village this year?


Eat cake and support your village church

Just to let you know that The Piddington Bakers will once again be filling the community stall with a mouthwatering array of cakes, buns, biscuits, tarts – and I daresay a few mince pies – all baked by the good people of Piddington.

There’s nothing nicer than homemade cake at the weekend, so come and buy a little treat. Or, if you’re a keen baker, and would like to provide something for the stall, please contact Heather.

The cake stall is being run by members of St Nicholas’ Church, and all the proceeds from it will go towards the much needed repairs to the fabric of the church. You can read an update on the work done so far here.

The Pantry with no beer!

No, don’t panic!

There’ll be plenty of local ales for you to sample and buy at The Pantry Christmas Market this Saturday, from three local craft breweries: Oxfordshire Ales (Marsh Gibbon), Vale Brewery (Brill) and XT Brewing Co. (Chinnor).

If you visited our stall at Studley Wood Golf Club last Sunday, though, you may have seen our surprised faces when we ran out of bottles of Vale Brewery’s new Christmas Ale, Good King Senseless.


We thought we’d ordered enough for both markets, but people snapped up all our stock very quickly, leaving us with very red faces – and no, we hadn’t been sampling the brews over-enthusiastically.

Fear not, we’ve ordered more stocks for Saturday – but get your skates on, as they’re likely to disappear fast!

Special offer on luxury toiletries

You’ll find a few special offers at The Pantry on Saturday, to help your hard-earned cash go further this Christmas.

We have a special Christmas Offer on the Littlecote Soap Company‘s range of natural handmade luxury toiletries.

Littlecote Soap Company luxury toiletries make the ideal Christmas gift

On The Pantry General Store we’ll be selling these products beautifully packaged in a pink eco-friendly jute bag, in regular and mini sizes, ready labelled with a gift tag. Prices start from £8.50.

Pantry regulars really love this range of natural skin-loving ethical products with unique scents – including the ever popular ‘Gin and Tonic’ collection.

These products are made by hand in the English countryside using nature’s herbs, flowers, aromatherapy oils and exclusively designed sophisticated perfumes.  They contain no sulphites, parabens or petrochemicals, are soft, mild and moisturising, and are used by many with sensitive dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. They are not tested on animals.

The Pantry goes out and about

We had a great day at the Studley Wood Golf Club Christmas Market on Sunday – and the sun was even shining on us, as you can see in the photos below!

Our Piddington Christmas Chutney received a definite thumbs up, as did many other products in the Jim & Jules range, so make sure you come along and try them next Saturday. Remember, this chutney is a limited edition, made from apples grown in Piddington, so come early to secure a jar. Together with a jar of Rosemary’s Jam, this would make a unique Piddington Christmas gift. We’ll be offering pretty gingham baskets too, ready labelled with a gift tag, making it easy for you to make up your own locally sourced mini hamper.

We set up our stall next to Nicola, with her Little Shop of Cheese (who will be coming to The Pantry’s own Christmas Market next Saturday), and just along from Giuliana (Cici-Coco) and Momo (I’m Japanese), both of whom have featured at past Pantry markets, along with Lisa (Polkadot of Winslow) and James (James Soden Natural History Photography). Also there were the ladies of Shalotte, who’ll also be with us next Saturday.

It’s good to be part of such a friendly, talented and hardworking community. Roll on the Christmas Market in Piddington Village Hall, next Saturday, 7 December, and our celebration of one whole year of The Pantry!