Please don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket before 1pm. There are lots of excellent prizes, including a gentleman’s leather belt, handmade by a craftsman who lives in Piddington specially for us at The Pantry. We’re honoured. Also beautifully handmade for us (by Rosemary, famed at The Pantry for her hedgerow jams and jellies) is a Christmas door wreath. And there are hampers of various products, a Christmas decorative reindeer and much more besides. People often forget about the raffle in the general excitement of the market, so add it to your list now!
Of course, The Pantry will abound with local food and crafts suitable for giving as gifts, but there’s more to it than that. To take some of the hassle out of the Christmas preparations, we’ve tried to bring to the Christmas Market several stalls and services of a more practical nature.
Local butcherPeter Goss will not only be offering a good range of traditional, quality meats and poultry all sourced from local farms, but will also be taking Christmas orders.
The always popular – and award-winning – Bucksum will be back, selling their fresh vegetables and salads.
Local farmer Nick Wallington will be taking orders for Christmas trees. Delivery is possible. Order directly from Nick on Saturday or phone on 07850 880438.
We also hope to have bags of rock saltfor sale, to keep your paths free from slippery ice.
On the General Store we’ll have a selection of Christmaslights for sale. (Sorry, I seem to be overcome with general Christmassyness – that says ‘Christmas lights’ in sober black and white.)
And we haven’t forgotten the garden birds. Also on the General Store we’ll be offering wild bird seedand fat ballsin packs of a suitable size for gifts.
Here’s a thought. If you live in Piddington, why not set yourself a challenge and try to get all your Christmas shopping done without leaving the village this year?
There’s no avoiding it: every magazine and newspaper has its Christmas Gift and ‘Countdown to Christmas’ features, encouraging us all to shop online and have items sent from large warehouses all over the country, and we are already starting to panic at the glitzy sparkle of the John Lewis and M&S TV ads (or is that just me?).
But what if there were a better way to shop for Christmas? A place just around the corner, where you can buy gifts for the whole family from the people who have made them, or stock up on locally made festive food and drink while chatting to your friends over a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake made by one of your neighbours? Where the money you spend goes back into the local community rather than into a faceless corporation?
Of course, you’re reading this, so you know what I’m talking about – at The Pantry Christmas Market you’ll discover a different way of starting your Christmas preparations. We’ve tried to bring together everything you need under one roof, so you can shop for gifts, food, drink, order your turkey and buy your fairy lights without the hassle of fighting the crowds (or the online ordering system) or struggling to find somewhere to park.
Look at the photo below, taken at last year’s Christmas Market. Don’t you just feel the Christmas spirit? Come along on 7 December, between 10am and 2pm and be part of our village Christmas celebrations.
Congratulations to David Newman on being named best local farmer at the 10th Observer Food Monthly Award.
Regular Pantrygoers will know David, who runs Bucksum Salads in Long Crendon, and supplies produce to a number of top restaurants in the south east such as Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir and Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers. David and his partner Tracy Russell have supported The Pantry from the beginning, and we’re very pleased and proud to have them at our markets.
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!