The first step – locating the right tent poles

marqueeI thought you might like to see what a few of the hardworking volunteers are doing at this very moment – putting up the marquees, setting out the tables and generally getting the hall ready for the market tomorrow.

Actually, this isn’t one of the marquees we’ll be using at The Pantry, but one we came across at the back of one of the village hall sheds during a sort-out a few weeks ago. All seemed to be going well until the final moment, when, no matter how they tried, the marquee just wouldn’t fit over the metal frame. Much serious discussion ensued, possibly involving a few sketches and the odd equation scribbled on a scrap of paper. Heads were solemnly scratched and teeth sucked, all to no avail. Leaving the marquee aside for now (doubtless in the hope that when they surprised it later, it would then obediently fit itself together perfectly), they returned to the gloomy recesses of the shed where they found … another set of poles, presumably the right ones for this particular marquee. Which of course immediately prompted the question, where was the marquee that fitted the previous poles? By now, tiredness and hysteria were taking their toll on the doughty crew, so the question remained unanswered.

By the way, the stocks you can see in the background have been put back in the shed, awaiting a suitable use.

See you tomorrow!

Coffee Shop menu

Not that I’m hungry or anything, but I thought you might like an advance view of what you can treat yourself to at the Coffee Shop on Saturday.

Pantry menu summer 2015-page-0By the way, the croissants and pain au chocolat are freshly baked by the Cornfield Bakery (the suppliers of our tasty speciality breads), the mushrooms for the veggie bap are chopped and sauteed in butter and the cakes are homemade by the Piddington Bakers. Maggie and her team will be ready to serve you!

Overwhelmed by aubergines? Can’t face another courgette?


The Pantry can help!

We welcome donations of surplus vegetables from all you green-fingered gardeners out there, as we can sell them on the General Store. If you have anything suitable, please bring it along to the village hall next Saturday morning before the market begins. There’ll be people around from 9.00am.

We’ve talked for a long time about how lovely it would be to offer villagers’ produce to fellow villagers, but the markets so far have never been at quite the right time. Now, however, the action on the vegetable plot can get a bit fast and furious, so we hope people will be encouraged to donate some of their summer glut to help village funds.

We’ve posted the notice below around the village – strategically, on the allotment gates! – but please pass on the message to people who might not hear about it otherwise.

The Pantry have decided to donate 50% of the profits of the Summer Market towards the purchase of a defibrillator for the village. So your surplus produce might even help to save a life someday.

Pantry summer 2015 produce poster_A4-page-0

Who’s (finally) coming?

It’s been a while since I last wrote, and what a roller-coaster of a few weeks it’s been! We’ve had stallholders having to drop out, and other stallholders taking their places, for those stallholders only to have to cancel at the last minute. We’ve been underbooked, overbooked, but now – like Goldilocks – we think we’re just right. Though of course there’s a week still to go, so anything might happen.

So … keeping my fingers tightly crossed that this is the final line-up, here’s who will be coming to the Summer Market next Saturday:

Tony’s Plants: Beautiful plants propagated by lovely villagers Maggie and Tony

Fish 4 You: High-quality fish, plus a range of gourmet food products, delivered free to your door.

Kirsten Kinsella-Miles: Independent consultant for Neals Yard Remedies, an award-winning range of natural organic health and beauty products, who’ll be doing mini demos, selling products, and giving advice and information.

Jillicious: Tasty, homemade preserves made in small batches from seasonal, local fruit and vegetables

Michelle Bridges: Handmade quilts, cushions, draught excluders, door stops

Penny Duncan: Textile and mixed-media pictures and cards printed from them

Alex White: An eclectic variety of home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tealight holders to reindeer hides.

Gaia Products: Delicious homemade Greek pastries and other delights, plus health-giving pine and thyme honey, from bees kept by Vass’s family in Delphi. Vass is happy for people to order items in advance and collect at the market. Contact her on 07772454411 or email at

Horton Accessories: Chris Cox’s fine-quality accessories are always very popular at The Pantry.

Jenni Walker (The Hat Hire Company): Jenni’s is another stall that people really love, with her range of beautiful and affordable jewellery and accessories. She also sells her photographer husband Richard Walker’s mounted and framed prints, cards and calendars

Wendy Foster: Aloe vera products

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

Zena Ashdown: Bespoke handbags and baskets

Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes. All profits are in aid of St Nicholas’s Church fabric fund.

As well as all these stalls you’ll find the …

General Store: All your favourites, including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak and more.

Beer Stall: Local ales from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co. Tasters available. Make up your own case of ales. Or just come and say hello to Andrew and Ian.

Secondhand Book Stall: Have a rummage and see if you can find that modern first edition that’ll make your fortune. Or ponder over just how many John Grisham fans there can be in one village.

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

And last but certainly not least …

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.

Coffee shop collage 1