And so this is Christmas …

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The Pantry Christmas Market, 2 December 2017
Photos: Francesca Darby and Kim Elliott

 

Thanks so much to everyone – stallholders, volunteers and customers – for coming along to our Christmas Market, and making it such a fantastic 5th anniversary.

It certainly was the busiest market we’ve had – the Coffee Shop was hectic, selling all the baps we’d bought (8 dozen of them). Maggie, Karen and the team are so well-organised and capable, I doubt anyone would have guessed that the coffee machine had broken hours before opening time, and, at the busiest market of the year, the team were having to improvise with other urgently sourced equipment. Talk about ‘a well-oiled machine’! (As a matter of fact, some of us did collapse afterwards with a large glass of something calming, but that’s another story.)

The raffle took more money this time than at any previous market – all of which will go towards various village projects. Special thanks go to Lucy and Pam for running it, and to the stallholders who generously provided some superb prizes.

The Church stall, with its extra table laden with Christmas wreaths and gifts in addition to the delicious cakes, looked beautiful and raised a goodly sum for refurbishment projects.

As I was going round chatting on Saturday, I had some lovely comments about The Pantry from stallholders and customers. It’s always interesting to hear what stallholders think about us, because they attend a lot of markets and events, and it helps us identify where we can make improvements. I’ve asked some of them if I can share their comments with you, because they suggest that, despite none of us having tackled anything like this before we started The Pantry, we seem in general to be on the right track. Organising each market is a lot of hard work, but feeling the buzz on Saturday and then getting comments like these makes it all worthwhile.

We at Riff Raffs Sew & Sew attended the Christmas Market for the first time on Saturday, such a wonderful atmosphere.

The organisation from start to finish was superb, we were so impressed with the variety of talent & stalls on offer.

Everybody was so welcoming & complimentary on our handmade products, we loved every minute.

A truly wonderful day of sales & meeting new customers, looking forward to the next market date in 2018.

(Jo & Sharon)

Prime Wood Studios attended our very first Christmas market on Saturday 2nd December. We were quite excited because we had been to The Pantry toward the end of the summer and knew what to expect, the happiest and most motivated group of villagers you could ever wish to meet, kind, welcoming and organised.

The Pantry itself is a lovely warm environment with a superb team of ladies serving up all manner of locally made produce, tea, coffee, home made cakes, mince pies, bacon rolls, what more could you ask for? Well actually, locally made beer, apple juice and a host of other products. There was something there for everyone, all of the stall holders were very helpful and presented some exquisite crafts.

The footfall throughout the day was extremely good, especially given the fact that the village is a little gem tucked away in the beautiful surrounding countryside, this was undoubtedly due to the advertising and hard work from the organisers.

Prime Wood Studios had a busy, productive and enjoyable day, we can’t wait for the next market and would thoroughly recommend this family friendly fun day out.

(Paul & Simon)

A lovely, friendly market with a great atmosphere.

(Jennie)

I’ll let you know next year’s dates as soon as we’ve fixed them.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone – and we hope to see you next year!

 

 

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Who’s coming?

 

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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.

 

 

B is for … Brand new stallholders

There’ll be four exciting new stallholders on Saturday, offering unique gifts for family and friends – or even yourself!

Colin Nicholls

Colin has been making pots in his garage/studio for more than 30 years and exhibits annually as part of Bucks Art Week. He’ll be bringing ‘domestic’ pottery and porcelain, fired in a gas kiln to 1260-1280 degrees C. All his pieces are dishwashable and microwaveable.

Gail Church

Gail will be bringing wooden rocking horses and wooden toy boxes.

Natalie Roach

Natalie will be bringing driftwood Christmas decorations.

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William Rolls Ceramics

William makes salt-glazed earthenware ceramic sculptures inspired by nature. Specialising in observing dogs, he works quickly to capture the movement, life and essence of his subjects. He includes organic matter such as seaweed, which produces unique results in each firing, so every piece is a one-off. You can see more photos and videos of William creating his sculptures on his Facebook page.

Who’s coming?

VH Xmas Pantry pic

The posters are all out in the village and surrounding area – you can’t miss our new enormous banners on the A41 – so here’s the roll call of stallholders who’ll be at this year’s Christmas Market this coming Saturday. There are several new people as well as your old favourites, so come along and say hello.

Zena Ashdown: Gorgeous and affordable handbags

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

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative glass pieces, unique gifts and decorations

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

Kim’s Jewels: Fun and affordable jewellery and scarves

Colin Nicholls: Handmade pottery items – NEW

Paul’s Cards: Phoenix Christmas and birthday cards, stationery and gifts

Pea Green Designs: Eclectic home accessories and gifts

Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes in aid of St Nicholas’s Church

Piddington Patchers: Beautiful patchwork and needlecraft items including cushions, door stops, draft excluders and table runners, handmade by Piddington’s regular patchwork group

Natalie Roach and Gail Church: Driftwood Christmas decorations and wooden rocking horses – NEW

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

Waddesdon Deli : A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall sells delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more

We also have the following regular attractions …

Beer Stall: Local ales from Vale Brewery Co., XT Brewing Co. and, NEW THIS MARKET, Loddon Brewery and The Shotover Brewing Co.

General Store: Including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak Mustard, our own Piddington Village Apple Juice, and our own Piddington Apple Chutney, both made from fruit grown in the village

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

Secondhand Book Stall: You never know what gems you’ll find. Have a rummage, and see if you can identify what the book group have been reading recently

And last but certainly not least, it’s 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

If you haven’t been to The Pantry before, come and see why it’s so popular. If you’re a Pantry regular – I’ll see you at the Coffee Shop!

Gearing up for C*******s

I know, I know – we’ve only just had Apple Day and Halloween, and we haven’t had Bonfire Night yet!

But The Pantry People must get busy, finalising stallholders, preparing posters and flyers, and doing all those tasks that need to be ticked off so that the next market is as good and bustling as it can be.

This year, as well as the posters and signs we usually put up, we’ve decided to have a much larger roadside sign that we hope will attract passing traffic to our lovely village market. Keep an eye out for it – and put the date of the Christmas Market in your diary now! We have some fantastic new stallholders and some old favourites – can I just mention log reindeer …?

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First look – who’s coming?

At last we have the definitive list – barring any last-minute surprises – of who is coming to The Pantry Christmas Market.

Drum roll … we have (foodies first):

Brill Organic Vegetables: Kevin is currently selling organic produce bought in from Sandy Lane Farm and North Aston Organic and offering veg boxes and home deliveries, but hopes to progressively sell more of his own organic produce grown on land he cultivates in Brill.

Debbie’s Home Cooked Food: Debbie produces ‘proper’ home-cooked food using local ingredients, selling at farmers’ markets and delivering to customers’ houses. She offers a bespoke service, including catering for special dietary requirements and providing smaller complete meals. To order in advance and collect at the market, email: debbiesfood@outlook.com; tel.: 01296 770196.

Orchard View Farm: We’re delighted to welcome Orchard View Farm to The Pantry. In 2009 Jim and Helen decided to build a farm which encompasses their core values of raising happy animals and showing people how their food arrives on their plate. Their sausages and pies are award-winners: they have recently been awarded a Great Taste 3 Gold Star Award for their free range pork – the equivalent of 3 Michelin stars for a restaurant – and last week were crowned winners of the best innovative sausage in the south east & London! The farm shop and cafe (at Little Meadle, near Longwick) is lovely – do go and sample some of their delicious food and see all the animals. Free-range bronze turkeys are available to order. To order in advance and collect at the market, contact them on 01844 273387 or via their website.

Waddesdon Deli Company: A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall selling delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more is always buzzing with customers.

Zena Ashdown: Everyone makes a beeline for Zena’s gorgeous range of reasonably priced handbags and baskets.

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

Michelle Bridges: Michelle’s handmade quilts, cushions, draught excluders and door stops were a big hit at the last market.

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative glass pieces. Offering unique gifts and decorations, Kathy’s stall is a favourite at our Christmas markets.

Avon: Jackie has been Piddington’s Avon representative for many years, and will be offering a range of toiletries, cosmetics and gifts.

Kim’s Jewels: Kim, who recently moved to Piddington, will be selling handmade glass jewellery, along with other costume jewellery, scarves and accessories, all reasonably priced.

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

Paul’s Cards: Phoenix Christmas and birthday cards, stationery and gifts.

Pea Green Designs: Alex, who lives in Piddington, offers an eclectic variety of home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tealight holders to reindeer hides.

Rustic Homemade Decorations: Gorgeous Christmassy decorations made by Milly (aged 11) and Bryn (aged 7) from Brill. How could anyone resist those reindeer?

Liz Tagert: Liz, another Piddington resident, is selling kitchen wares and home goods.

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

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 …

Beer Stall: Local ales from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co. Tasters available. Choose from our selection and make up your own mixed case of ales – for yourself or as a gift. Or just come and say hello to Andrew and Ian.

General Store: All your favourites, including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak and our own ‘Piddington Blend’ apple and apple and pear juices, made from villagers’ fruit.

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

Secondhand Book Stall (if we can fit it in!): 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.

And last, but certainly not least, the …

Coffee Shop: Homemade cakes and Christmassy goodies 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.

A few tasters …

We got together last night to finalise who is coming to The Pantry Christmas Market and what we’ll be selling in the General Store. This will be our third anniversary, so we were hoping to make the market our best yet – and it’s looking good so far.

Some of the items in the General Store are very locally sourced indeed – look out for our Piddington Christmas Chutney, made by Jim and Jules from Piddington apples, a new collection of Rosemary’s Hedgerow Jams, made from the good things growing all around the village, and the range of three Piddington apple juice blends: Piddington Apple Juice, Piddington Apple and Pear Juice and Piddington Apple Juice – Cider Day Blend. The latter was made with the apples remaining after our village Cider Day last Saturday. You can read more about this new village venture – and see the incriminating photographs – here.

We have a fantastic range of stallholders lined up, offering everything you need for a great locally sourced festive season, from free-range bronze turkeys and Christmas meats to handcrafted jewellery and reindeer hides. I’ll give you more details in a later post, but for now, here are a few tasters of what’s coming.

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Reservoir pigs – Orchard View Farm
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Pea Green Designs
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Kim’s Jewels
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Jennie Bosher – Crafts
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Rustic Reindeer