Who’s coming?

VH Xmas Pantry pic

So here it is, the final list of stalls at The Pantry Christmas Market!

As usual, there’s a mixture of old friends and exciting newcomers – not to mention some stallholders who are certainly both. You should recognise a few familiar Piddington faces among people who are taking a stall for the first time.

I hope to feature at least some of these in more detail over the coming week, but for now, in alphabetical order, we have …

Zena Ashdown: A firm favourite at The Pantry, Zena offers a fantastically affordable range of gorgeous handbags and baskets

The Beer Stall: Local ales from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co. Tasters are of course available, served enthusiastically by the ace team of Ian and Andrew. Why not choose from our selection and make up your own mixed case of ales – for yourself or as a gift?

Jennie Bosher: Cushions, knitted toys, cot blankets and more

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative glass pieces. Offering unique gifts and decorations, Kathy’s stall was very popular last Christmas

Christmas Lights: Assorted lights to make your home sparkle

Debbie’s Home Cooked Food: Another very popular stallholder at The Pantry, Debbie produces ‘proper’ home-cooked food using local ingredients. If you’d like to order in advance to collect at the market, Debbie is happy for you to contact her on 01296 770196 or 07966 148130 or email debbiesfood@outlook.com. Her website shows what is available

Event and Party Essentials: Lots of great Christmas gifts and stocking fillers, plus ideas to make your party go with a bang (or a bong – ask at the stall!). Lynda has supported village events and initiatives for many years, so do come along and support her own brand new venture – and add some fun to your Christmas preparations too

Forever Living: Range of aloe vera products, including Christmas hampers

Horton Accessories: Chris will once again be offering his range of fine-quality accessories for ladies, gentlemen and the home – you may find the ideal gift for that chap who is so difficult to buy for!

The Piddington Bakers: This village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes needs no introduction. Go on, treat yourself! All profits are in aid of St Nicholas’ Church fabric fund

Alex Simmons: A first-timer as a stallholder at The Pantry and a resident of Piddington, Alex is selling a hand-picked range of beautiful and eclectic home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tea light holders to reindeer hides

Liz Tagert: Another Piddington villager and first-timer at our market, Liz will be offering household goods, including kitchen wares, ceramic storage jars and lanterns

Waddesdon Deli Company: It’s hard to imagine The Pantry without Sandy and her stall packed with delicious home cured and smoked produce, cheeses and more. If you sample some of her products, it’s guaranteed you’ll want to take them home with you!

Richard Walker Photography: A newcomer to The Pantry, Richard is a photographer who will be selling mounted and framed prints, cards and calendars featuring his work. Richard is married to …

Jenni Walker (The Hat Hire Company): Another very popular stallholder at The Pantry, who’ll be bringing her collection of seasonal fashion accessories and contemporary jewellery

Toys: Lots of children’s toys at bargain prices, including plenty of stocking fillers

As well as all these stalls you’ll find …

The Pantry Raffle

Fantastic prizes include:

  • a round of golf for four plus spa session at Bicester Golf Club
  • a ladies handbag from Zena Ashdown
  • a car valet worth £17
  • a Christmas hamper
  • six bottles of local ale
  • a bottle of vodka

Make sure you buy a ticket!

 

The General Store

General store collage

All your favourites, including products from Just Biscuits, Little Shop of Cheese, Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules (including a new batch of Piddington Christmas Chutney made from Piddington apples!), Rosemary’s Hedgerow Jams, Littlecote Soap Co., Jacobs Field Lavender and more. There’ll be lots of special offers and Christmassy gift packs of toiletries and foodie delights. And once again we’ll be offering ‘A Piddington Pair’ – a jar of Piddington Christmas Chutney paired with a jar of Rosemary’s Hedgerow Jam in a ready labelled gift bag – which proved so popular last year. Or why not make up your own hamper from the tempting array of goods on offer?

And last but certainly not least …

The Coffee Shop

Coffee shop collage 1

Homemade cakes from the Piddington Bakers, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the Cornfield Bakery, legendary bacon and mushroom baps and now the SUPERBAP (it’s even BIGGER, with THREE rashers of bacon in a whole ciabatta!), hot chocolate with marshmallows and more, all served up with frightening efficiency by the dazzling duo of Maggie and Karen and a crack team of volunteers

By the way, all the images in this post are taken from various Pantry markets over the years. If you appear in one of them and would prefer not to, please email me at hazel@piddingtonvillageoxfordshire.org.uk and I’ll make sure your photo is removed.

 

 

 

Rain, rain, go away

It’s wet. And cold. And coldly wet. Summer, eh?

Squelching back home through the puddles last night, after a shorter than usual Pantry meeting (owing to one of us having to dash off for physio as a result of a yoga-based injury), we had all our fingers crossed for a return to summery weather by 7 June, when we’ll be holding our summer market.

The theme this time is holidays,asparagus both at home and abroad, and we’ve tried to bring to Piddington a few of the delights that lazy summer days can bring.

Think of early summer in England and the chances are you’ll be picturing fresh green bunches of delicious asparagus and bowls of luscious strawberries. We’ll have both of these for sale at the summer market, freshly picked from Rectory Farm.

strawberries

What else? Well, naturally, you need some ice cream, and all the better if it’s locally made. We’re quite excited about the fact that at the market this time you’ll be able to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream from local milk from two different ice cream makers. On the General Store, and at the Coffee Shop, you can buy single-serve tubs of ice cream from St George’s Gelato, based in Haddenham. You may have tried their gorgeous Italian-style ice cream at one of our markets last year. In the car park, outside the main hall, you’ll find Bradshaws Farm Ice Cream, who’ll be selling cones and smallice cream pots of ice cream made from fresh milk from their family herd of Holstein-Fresians in Grendon Underwood.

If Italian gelato sets you dreaming of more far-flung holiday destinations, look out for Vasiliki Ntaverzani, who will be selling real Greek honey and homemade Greek pastries. Are you hungry yet?

Also coming on 7th will be the very popular stalls from Waddesdon Deli and the butcher John Walman, who this time will also be bringing a range of salad produce.cakes

Once again, members of St Nicholas Church will be running the Community Stall, selling delicious homemade cakes in aid of the fabric fund. So do go and treat yourself – and support an important part of the village at the same time.

And when it’s time for a little drop of something? Never fear, the beer stall will be there, with beers from Vale, XT and Oxfordshire Ales. Have a glass at the market, then take home a few bottles for later. Or you could choose tea, coffee, chocolate, squash from the Coffee Shop  – and maybe a bacon or mushroom bap to tide you over until it’s time for an ice cream.

Of course, it’s not all food and drink at The Pantry. Emma Arnold, whom you may have seen at Art on the Hill at Brill earlier this year, will be selling her gorgeous hand-printed garden cushions and other items, Zena Ashdown will be offering bespoke handbags and baskets, Tony Pearce will be bringing a lovely selection of plants for your summer garden, we’ll have a brand-new selection of secondhand books, CDs and toys, and of course, there’ll be the General Store, with an interesting selection of local foods and toiletries.

So all we need now is for the sun to put his hat on. But even if it’s raining, we’ll just put on our plastic rainhats, galoshes and scratchy plastic macs, raise an ice cream in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other, and enjoy the Great British Summertime. We know how to have fun, don’t we?

Rain-and-Sunshine-Photography

 

 

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.

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.

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.

Who is coming?

Here is the current list of what’s on offer at The Pantry Summer Market. It should be great – now all we need is summer to stay around for a little bit longer.

And please be assured that all roads into Piddington will be accessible – the local council have been very accommodating, and have made sure we have free access at weekends. So do come along – and, to make a perfect day of it in our lovely corner of the world, why not go on to Ludgershall Fete afterwards?

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.

We’re still here!

Anyone driving around Piddington in the last few days can’t fail to have noticed all the road closure signs that have sprung up like weeds after rain. Not to mention the barriers across the roads into the village, which are often held by stern road workers who stop nervous travellers, asking fiercely where they’re going before allowing them to pass.

The reason for this quarantining is, fortunately, not plague but road resurfacing. We villagers are starting to feel a bit cut off from the rest of the world – and sometimes from the rest of the village, as we’re unable to leave our house when the work is being done in front of it.

But if you’re deciding that venturing into the lost world of Piddington on 8th June will just be too nerve-wracking, please don’t worry. There will be access to the village hall on the day, and in any case, the road works aren’t happening at all in Ludgershall Road, where the hall is located, so even in the worst case scenario, you could still reach us easily by coming via Ludgershall.

We just have a couple of details to finalise, and then I’ll post a list of who’ll be coming to the market and what products we’ll have for sale.

And don’t forget, you can preorder from Bucksum, Debbie’s Home Cooked Food and JM Walman, and collect your goods on the day. (Contact details are in the previous post.)