Who’s coming?



Here’s a quick rundown of who will be at The Pantry Christmas Market on 2nd December.

There are more stalls than ever before, offering a fantastic variety of local products and handmade items, so you’re sure to find unique gifts for all the people in your life – and maybe a treat or two for yourself!

Zena Ashdown: Bespoke handbags and baskets

Bicester Party Shop: Balloon decorations for all occasions and more

Duns Tew Pottery: Functional stoneware pottery

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

Horton Accessories: Fine accessories for women, men and the home

Kim’s Jewels: Fun and affordable jewellery and scarves

Paul’s Cards: Phoenix cards, stationery and gift

Pauline Pinney: Hand made cards and hand knitted goods

Prime Wood Studios: Handcrafted wooden gifts

RiffRaffs: Handmade gifts, textiles, bespoke products

William Rolls Ceramics: Salt-glazed ceramic sculptures inspired by nature

Liz Tagert: Christmas gifts, decorations, small artworks

Topstitch: Handsewn items

Waddesdon Deli: Home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more

Rebecca White: Soaps, lip balm, etc. jams & chutneys, handmade gifts, homemade dog treats

White Wick Candles: Hand-poured soy candles

Woodstock Fudge Company: Homemade fudge using traditional methods and ingredients. Flavours include: Christmas Pudding, Chocolate Orange, Vanilla, Baileys, Gin, Vanilla, Salted Caramel & Rum and Raisin

As well as all these, you’ll find Andrew and Ian in the Beer Tent, offering you tasters of XT and Vale favourites – and possibly a surprise guest beer …

The Raffle, with great prizes …

And, new for this market, but destined to be a favourite stall at The Pantry, the amazingly popular Church Cake Stall is expanding! From now on, they will not only be selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes in aid of church funds but will also be offering local and homemade produce, and seasonal items, in place of what was the General Store. We’re really hoping this will go from strength to strength, and be a regular source of much needed funds to help St Nicholas’s Church with its new projects.



New season’s apple juice

2017 juice

It’s here!

The new season’s Piddington Village Apple Juice, made entirely from Piddington apples, will be available at The Pantry Christmas Market on 2nd December.

The apples were brought along to the Village Hall by villagers on Apple Day (7 October 2017). Some was juiced on the day, and that is now turning into Piddington Cider. All the apples that were left at the end of the day were taken to the brilliant Drovers Hill Farm , near Princes Risborough, to be pressed and bottled for The Pantry. We sell the juice and the cider throughout the year to raise money for village good causes.

We collected the new stock on Monday and sampled it at our Pantry meeting on Wednesday. I can confirm that it’s absolutely delicious. It has a slight sharpness to it, but a beautiful sweetness and depth of flavour comes through from the fairly high proportion of dessert apples that went into it. Sharp, sweet and deep – the essence of Piddington, really.


Piddington Apple Day, 7 October 2017. Photo: Kim Elliott



VH Xmas Pantry pic
Our first market – more successful than any of us had expected

Wow, that went quickly! Time to think about how far we’ve come and maybe reflect on what The Pantry may have contributed to life in Piddington.

The Pantry Christmas Market to be held on Saturday 2nd December will mark our 5th anniversary, and will be our biggest so far. We’ll be celebrating the determination of a small community to create and sustain a new village amenity in tough times, and the wide-ranging effect this successful venture has had on our village.

The first Pantry Market and Coffee Shop was held in the village hall on 1st December 2012. In an article published in the Bicester Advertiser (29th November 2012) Francesca Darby, one of the organisers, stated that “The intention is to make the market a regular feature … the hope being that this will eventually become a source of funding … and achieve greater local awareness for the plight of small villages.” At the time, Piddington had just lost its pub – one of the very few amenities left in the village.

Bicester Advertiser article
Bicester Advertiser, 29 November 2012

Fast forward five years (and over 20 markets) and we are still going strong, the organising group and fantastic volunteers still include the same faces and our stallholders continue to give their support.

Our original aim was to promote small local businesses and fundraise for a village shop. However, after village consultation, it was apparent that the latter aim lacked real viability. Nevertheless, the group believed that other village causes could be helped.

The Pantry has so far raised over £10,000, generated by profits from the general store, beer tent and coffee shop, stallholder fees, raffles and secondhand book sales. At each market, we have offered a free table to St Nicholas Church, where volunteers sell homemade cakes to raise funds for essential work on the building.

This summer The Pantry offered a donation of £3000 each to the committee of the village hall, towards the renovation of its kitchen, and to St Nicholas Church project group, for their plans to construct a kitchen/servery. We hope that by this time next year one if not both projects will be completed.

The Pantry may have had a more wide-ranging effect than simply raising money for village projects, however. It’s quite likely that the sense of involvement and community spirit it has fostered in villagers has led to other community initiatives, such as the three hugely successful Apple Days held in Piddington, which has resulted in Piddington Village Apple Juice and Piddington Cider, both of which are sold to raise further funds for village causes.

We feel delighted and proud that a small rural community that had lost most of its amenities has managed to create and sustain such a successful initiative in tough times. The market exists because people continue to come to it. While The Pantry blog has a worldwide following, it is our visitors who create the special atmosphere on the day.

So don’t forget, the Christmas Pantry will be held on SATURDAY 2nd DECEMBER, 10am to 2pm, in the village hall, Piddington, OX25 1PU, and will mark our fifth anniversary. It is going to be the biggest yet. Put the date in your diary and tell your friends!

In the meantime, thank you all for your continued support.