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.

 

 

Who’s coming?

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The posters are all out in the village and surrounding area – you can’t miss our enormous banners on the A41 – so here’s the roll call of stallholders who’ll be at this year’s Spring Market.

Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day on 26th March! You’ll find a selection of lovely gifts at The Pantry – from jewellery, handbags and accessories to pottery, ceramics and handmade fudge. And Paul is sure to have the perfect card!

Zena Ashdown: Gorgeous and affordable handbags

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

Flooseymoo Jewellery: Caroline King’s handmade silver & semi-precious gemstone jewellery

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

Kim’s Jewels: Fun and affordable jewellery and scarves

Colin Nicholls: Functional domestic pottery that is simple, beautiful and safe in the dishwasher and microwave

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

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

Piddington Cottage Garden Plants: Plants grown by Maggie and Tony Pearce, usually propagated from plants in their own garden

William Rolls Ceramics: Salt-glazed earthenware ceramic sculptures inspired by nature – a big hit at the Christmas Market!

Woodstock Fudge Company: Delicious homemade fudge using traditional methods and ingredients – 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 Shotover Brewery

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

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

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!

A is for … Apple juice and Ale

… both of which can be found at The Pantry Christmas Market this Saturday.

First, for the second year running, we are very proud to offer our own Piddington Village Apple Juice, made exclusively from fruit grown in the village. The apples were all donated by villagers at the Apple Day in October, and, after the Piddington cider makers had filled their containers with sufficient freshly pressed juice to experiment with a 2017 vintage, the remaining apples were all taken to be pressed and bottled for us by Drovers Hill Farm in the Chilterns. Piddington Village Apple Juice makes a wonderful very locally sourced gift. And because it has been properly bottled, the juice has a long shelf-life.

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The Pantry Beer Stall features two new breweries this time: Loddon Brewery, near Reading, and The Shotover Brewing Company in Horspath, just outside Oxford.

From Loddon Brewery we’ll be selling four ales: Ferryman’s Gold (4.8%;
‘Golden, smooth, aromatic and zesty’), Hocus Pocus Old Ale (5.0%;
‘Rich, smooth and ruby in colour’), Hoppit (3.9%;
‘Highly hopped session ale’) and the quite special Night of the Stag (4.4%; ‘Murderously good beer’), brewed especially for an episode of Midsomer Murders of the same name that was filmed at the brewery. (Though the brewery was turned into a cider producer!) You can see some photos of the filming here.

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From The Shotover Brewing Company we have these four beers with an Oxford connection: Trinity (4.2%; ‘A pale gold intensely hoppy beer’), Prospect (3.7%; ‘A session bitter full of hoppy character and flavour’), Scholar (4.5%; A’ classic mid-strength, complex English bitter’) and Oxford Porter (5%; ‘A smooth, rich, dark, flavour packed beer’).

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And from our two regular breweries we’ll have:

From Vale Brewery, Good King Senseless (5.0%; ‘Rich ruby red seasonal ale’), Red Kite (4.3%; ‘Deep red hoppy chestnut bitter’) and Gravitas (4.8%; ‘Single hopped premium pale ale’.

And from XT Brewing Co., Penguin (4.6%; ‘Spiced seasonal ale’), XT 1 (4.2%; ‘Blonde’), XT 4 (3.8%; ‘Mellow amber’) and XT 9 (5.5%; ‘Black ale’).

All these ales and our own apple juice would make a perfect local gift hamper when combined with some other products made in the village or nearby, e.g. Piddington Apple Chutney, Rosemary’s Jams, Oxford Blue Cheese, Islip Mill Honey or Shaken Oak Mustard. You can find them all in the General Store.

We have some interesting new stallholders this time too. I’ll focus on some of them before the market.

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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Pick your own Pantry

We always like to welcome new stallholders to The Pantry, but potential stallholders need to know about the markets before they can ask to come.

You can help!

If, when you’re out and about locally, you spot a stall that you’d like us to have at a market next year, we’d be really grateful if you could mention The Pantry to the stallholder, and ask them to get in touch with us if they’d like to attend.

We’re particularly interested in inviting food stalls, and of course anything handmade or locally produced, but we’ll be happy to consider any type of stall as long as there’s a local connection.

We’ve produced a flyer (see below) containing all the key information potential stallholders will need. It’s small enough to keep handy in car or bag, to give to anyone who is interested in selling at The Pantry.

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Download The Pantry flyer here

 (The link takes you to a page from where you can download the file. Sorry for the faff – at the moment it’s the only way of attaching a PDF.)

The flyers are printed four to a page, like this:

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You’ll need to cut them up into four separate little flyers, ready to give to potential stallholders!

If you are a potential stallholder yourself, we’d love to hear from you!