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.


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 …?


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.

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

Cheers, my (rein)deers!


To help you decide which beers to buy at The Pantry tomorrow, why not download the tasting notes for all the beers you’ll find at the Beer Stall.

Try before you buy, and make up your own bespoke gift packs. As usual, the Beer Stall will be in the marquee next to Sandy, from Waddesdon Deli, who’ll also be offering tasters of her delicious cheeses and meats and more. So come along and see what’s on offer. It’ll keep you going until you bite into your bacon or mushroom bap!

Here are the notes for the beers from three local breweries:

Oxfordshire Ales, Marsh Gibbon – Tasting Notes

Vale Brewery, Brill – Tasting Notes

XT Brewery, Long Crendon – Tasting Notes


A browse around the General Store

General store collage

When we started the market, we were all completely new to stocking and running a stall selling locally made high-quality foods and toiletries, and to be honest we had no idea of what would be popular and what wouldn’t. We wanted to offer as wide a range as possible of items that were a little bit special, but that were also affordable. We’ve offered a variety of products in the General Store over the last couple of years, but there are some ranges that people now ask for specifically, and which disappear very quickly!

Of course, the artisan breads from the Cornfield Bakery are always extremely popular, as are the tasty savoury products from Just Biscuits and the appealing little waxed cheeses from Little Shop of Cheese. But what is a hunk of cheese without a good tangy chutney or pickle?

Jim and Jules are a small family business making top-notch jellies, chutneys and pickles from locally sourced produce, and we find that once people have sampled their wares, they come back for more. Last year, they made a special Christmas chutney for us, using Piddington apples (provided by Karen and Derek – thank you!), which was hugely popular.

Cherwell-20131205-00540 (2)

This year, we’ll again be selling the little gift sets ‘A Piddington Pair’ – a jar of Piddington Christmas Chutney paired with a jar of Rosemary’s Hedgerow Jam in a ready labelled gift bag. Honestly, you couldn’t get a more local and unique gift for a foodie friend! As well as our own special chutney, you’ll find some other delicious-sounding items made by Jim and Jules (unless someone else has snapped them up first):

  • Jim and Jules Onion & Chilli Gubbins
  • Apple & Chilli Jelly
  • Pops’ Perfect Piccalilli
  • Beetroot & Orange
  • Hearty Ale Chutney – made with beer from Tring Brewery
  • Jingleberry Jelly – a very special edition made with Hedgerow fruits after a family forage along the canals
  • Cranberry & Red Onion
  • Quince & Apple Jelly – made with Quince from Jim and Jules’s village
  • Green Tomato Chutney – made with Tomatoes from Jim and Jules’s greenhouse


Another much loved range is Jacobs Field Lavender. These toiletries are made from extracted oils produced from lavender grown in Jacobs Field in Islip, Oxfordshire. The venture is an inspiring example of ‘land share’, bringing together like-minded people who own land with those who would like to share and cultivate it for a greater good. Profits are given to local charities; local schoolchildren come to learn about growing veg, and there are beehives producing honey. The products themselves are gorgeous. You’ll find all your favourites – Hand Cream, Hand Wash, Linen Water, Moisture Lotion, Pillow Spray – but you’ll also be among the first to try their brand-new products – Body Butter, Body Latte and Essential Oil. We’ll be selling Jacobs Field Lavender products in beautifully presented ready labelled gift bags, to make your life a bit simpler. If you buy two or more products, the gift bag is free.

There are lots more interesting products on the General Store. Why not make up your own hamper from the tempting array of goods on offer? Ask for a basket at the stall.