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!

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Some ideas for Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day on 30th March, and you’ll find lots of ideas for gorgeous gifts at The Pantry this Saturday.

For the first time  in the General Store, we’ll be offering the full Gin & Tonic range from the Littlecote Soap Co., including home fragrances and candles. These natural bath and body care luxuries and home scented products are all carefully made by hand from natural ingredients, using time-honoured methods, and are individually hand-cut, hand-poured and hand-wrapped. They would make an ideal gift for Mother’s Day – or a treat for yourself. If you already have a fragrance diffuser, we’ll have great value refill bottles this time too.

Free pink jute gift bag with pretty labels if you spend £10 on toiletries. While stocks last!

G&T1a
The G&T range from the Littlecote Soap Co.

Alternatively, you can make a selection from the excellent Jacobs Field Lavender range of toiletries made from lavender grown, harvested and distilled in Islip.

Jacobs-Field-Lavender-Website-1378282475
A selection of Jacobs Field Lavender products

Or choose something from Polkadot of Winslow‘s cornucopia of delights. Lisa makes all manner of exquisite things, and for our market she is also offering lovely personalised keepsakes available to order in time for Mother’s Day – baubles, hearts or boxes. Pop over and say hello – and be amazed by her creativity.

MD bauble
Beautifully painted bauble from Polkadot of Winslow

At Aurora Jewellery you’ll find pieces that have been inspired by classical and vintage jewellery as well as ethnic influences from Asia – timeless chic fused with contemporary twists, to make your mum feel really special.

Of course, your mum may be a foodie, in which case you’ll really be spoilt for choice!

Mutual support is good for everyone

Driving back from Sandford Market this morning with a couple of friends, having had a delicious breakfast, chatted to some people who have supported The Pantry in the past (hello Jill!) and picked up some local bread and meat, plus a few Christmas stocking fillers for the family (including me!), we got to talking about how our visit had not only been enjoyable but also had given us the chance to look at The Pantry with fresh eyes.

I must say, we all felt a great sense of pride in what has been achieved in Piddington over the last year – a bit like proud parents, I suppose. Seeing the buzz of activity at Sandford, we marvelled at how the people who organise it manage to put on a market every week – hats off to them for an amazing effort!

It also gave us fresh heart and the impetus we needed to start pulling together our Christmas Market on 7 December. At this dank, dreary time of year, it’s all too easy to stay indoors, huddled over the fire, and ignore anything that needs a bit of effort. Visiting the market this morning brought home to us all just how important it is to resist these tendencies and support all the people who are working so hard to bring life to their communities. I wrote in an earlier piece about how volunteering can be good for your health. We decided this morning that mutual support like this can have huge benefits for the health of a community – and of course you can have great fun while you’re doing it.

So please look out for those local community markets and go along for a coffee or to buy a few things. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are lots of event-listing websites, e.g. Where Can We Go? And, of course, don’t forget to come along and support your very own community market on 7 December, 10am til 2pm. It’ll be great!

Our very first market, Christmas 2012.
Our very first market, Christmas 2012.

The Pantry Christmas Market – our first anniversary!

Can you believe it? The Pantry is a year old! Come and help us celebrate our first anniversary at the Christmas Market on Saturday 7 December 2013, 10am–2pm.

Because it’s Christmas, we’ve put together a selection of stalls offering interesting local gifts and crafts – including unusual handmade jewellery, silk scarves and accessories from Shalotte, decorative art dolls and cushions from Jenny Bowen-Pine, Kathy Chalk’s exquisite decorative glass pieces (very popular last Christmas), plus handbags from Alison Court, a selection of accessories for that hard-to-buy-for man in your life from Horton Accessories, and more still being finalised. A full list of craft stallholders will be posted soon.

In the General Store we’ll be featuring some seasonal specials. If your Christmas decorations seem a little tired, freshen them up with some new Christmas lights from the selection we’ll have for sale. Who knows, we may even put on a display to rival that well-known garden centre just up the road. We’re making up some pretty gift baskets – lined with our trademark red gingham! Or you could buy one of our Pantry cotton bags and make up your own gift bag filled with local produce.

And don’t forget the garden birds. Also on the General Store we’ll be offering bird seed and fat balls in packs of a suitable size for gifts.

Of course, it wouldn’t be The Pantry without a range of stalls offering the best of local produce, so you’ll find, for example, the very popular local butcher Peter Goss, who’ll be bringing a selection of high-quality locally sourced meats and poultry, Bucksum selling their top-class salads and vegetables, Jim and Jules with their delicious chutneys and jams (including a special Piddington variety, made with a villager’s apples!), the Waddesdon Deli Co. offering their delicious goodies and The Little Shop of Cheese providing an array of cheeses, many of which are packed to make them suitable as gifts for the foodie in your life.

The Piddington Bakers will be back with their fabulous array of scrumptious homemade cakes. All the profit from their stall will go towards the repair work that is needed on the church, so please support them by buying a cake (or two … or three …).

There’ll also be great offers and promotions on Pantry food and drink – including deals you can’t afford to miss on our popular local beer and cider stall.Our Biermeister is keen to get you tasting and comparing brews from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery and XT Brewing Co. Buy a case and mix and match the beers you choose.

Outside, we’ll be selling rock salt to keep your paths safe, and we hope that Nick Wallington will be taking orders for Christmas trees, as he did last year.

If all that isn’t enough reason to come along and join us at The Pantry Christmas Market, then do I need to mention the coffee shop, with its tempting aroma of bacon baps wafting around the village hall (sorry, veggies!)?  Plus – as it’s a special occasion, what with it being our first anniversary as well as Christmas – we’re planning one or two extra treats.

Remember, save the date – 7 December.

Who’s coming to the Autumn Market?

Well, not this Pantry Person, unfortunately, as on 14 September I’ll be otherwise engaged – though I will certainly miss being there. Not just the brilliant atmosphere on the day, and chatting with people I haven’t seen for ages while sampling some of the delicious tastes on offer (not to mention the fantastic range of local beers and ciders we’re offering), but also the buzz and excitement of helping to get the market ready. It’s hard to describe how great it feels when, after all the hard work, you step back just before it opens and see that everything has suddenly come together. The hall is always decorated so beautifully, the stalls and the coffee shop always look so attractive and welcoming, and everyone is friendly and eager to make it a really enjoyable event.

Anyway, if you’re lucky enough to be in Piddington from 10 am to 2 pm on 14 September, here’s what you’ll find there.

You can make the list bigger by clicking on the rectangle at the bottom right; clicking on a link will take you to the supplier’s website.

Calling all local craftspeople

At The Pantry we’d love to feature local craftspeople, but for some inexplicable reason we find it hard to attract them. There must be lots of people producing interesting work all around us, so this is a call to anyone in our neck of the woods who would like to take a stall at a future market, or who would like to supply some items for us to sell, to please get in touch. And if you know of anyone who might like to do so, but who may not have heard of us, please pass on the message.

More news about the Autumn Market soon. It’s starting to shape up nicely – especially if you are a connoisseur of locally produced ales and ciders!

Summer Market photos

Here are a few photographs from the Summer Market, which, I think you’ll agree, give a flavour of the fantastic atmosphere on the day. Thank you, John, for taking them.