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!

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 gaia.products@outlook.com

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

Jennie Bosher (Witch-Crafts) – handmade Christmas decorations and more

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Here are some photos of the lovely handmade Christmas wreaths and decorations you can find on Jennie Bosher‘s stall. Jennie will also be selling knitted cushions and toys.

Jennie Bosher

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.


A closer look: creative jewellery and crafts

At the Christmas Market there’ll be several stallholders who you won’t have seen before. To give you a sneaky peek at what’ll be on offer, I’ll focus on some of our new stallholders in this and future blogs.

To make sure you find a gift for everyone on your list, we’re featuring a wider than usual range of people who make a variety of arts and crafts. Three of these talented craftspeople come from the same family. Two sisters, Abigail and Naomi, collectively known as Shalotte, make their own designer range of beautiful and original luxury copper jewellery, silk jewellery and accessories, while their mother, Jenny, makes creative decorative art dolls and gorgeous cushions for the home. They all live and work in Oxfordshire, and everything they sell is 100% handmade by them.

You can see examples of their work on their websites: Shalotte showcases the work of the sisters collectively, but all three have their own individual websites too: for a closer look, follow the links for Abigail, Naomi and Jenny.

If you’d like to pre-order anything for collection on the day, please contact the maker directly in good time before market day. Contact details for all three ladies can be found on their websites.