Christmas Food Fair and more…

So much happening here at Talking Shop at the moment…

Our Shop and café is now open every weekday! 9.30am-6.30pm. It has been a great first couple of days with lots of folk coming through the door happy to find us open. Do come and see us, try out our new lunch menu and check out our expanded stock. Keep letting us know what else you would like to see in your local shop so we can add more too.

Tomorrow evening is the Sandford Christmas Extravaganza organised by the village fete committee. From 6-10pm there will be Mulled Wine, Carols, Santa’s grotto, a brass band, a roundabout and lots lots more. This is going to be quite an event so don’t miss it. Talking Shop will be open to join in the festivities serving homemade soup, mince pies and hot chocolate (with brandy too!).

It is our Christmas Food fair on Saturday (longer open from 9am-1pm). We will have Oxford Cheese Company, Potters Pantry with jams and cheesecakes and Ally’s cakes with festive bakes, mincemeat and more here with us as well as our own General Stall with some tasty new tipples to sample. You can also put in your orders for Christmas turkeys and veg etc.

Mulled cider and sparkling candles

This evening is our second Volunteer Open Event, from 6-8pm. If you’ve been thinking about joining our fab volunteer team but not yet got round to it, this is a great way to find out more. There will be free tea and banana bread too! Come and join us.

The market is moving into a festive mood now. We have some great new local goods available from this Saturday…keep away the dark nights with Brightwell Beeswax candles and warm up with Hitchcox Mulled Cider and Chillies 2 U’s spicy sauces and amazing chutneys! The Veg Stall has some lovely veg too – romanesco caulis (brilliant roasted), tasty red curly kale and hopefully the first Brussels sprouts! Then on next Saturday 19th November is our Christmas Craft Fair with a bumper crop of brilliant stalls. Don’t miss it to get some handmade pressies sorted.

As you may already know, LAM Brewing moved 300 yards in September to the other side of the river. They’re now in Sandford Lane Industrial Estate in Kennington. The brewery is open most days and they’d love to see some Sandford residents paying a visit. It’s not far, just across the lock and up Sandford Lane the other side. Locals from Kennington drop-by often, popping in for a taster and to buy beer. Do feel free to go and have a look – it’s quite a development from their old kitchen brewing days!!

Finally – next Wednesday is our Food Surplus Café from 1-2.30pm! Always a great meal, just pay a donation and enjoy!
Saturday Market guest stalls:

Sandy ( Lane Farm ( : Fruit and vegetables – grown without chemicals.

Ally’s Kitchen – Delicious cakes & puddings
Chillies 2 U – locally grown chillies, sauces & marinades

Halloween Cook-up and Market


We have two great Halloween themed events this week. Come along to our workshop tomorrow, 2.30-5pm to make warming pumpkin soup and delicious pumpkin pie. All welcome! Sign up to join by emailing Beth at

On Saturday we have our special Halloween market. We’ll have a fancy dress competition for the kids (winner announced at 11am), a Halloween themed craft table, our homemade pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie for sale as well as the usual lovely local produce on the market. Robert of Sandfoid Sourdough has baked a special spiced pumpkin loaf as well as his usual popular favourites. Oh and there will also be pumpkins for sale on the veg stall!

Saturday Market guest stalls:

Sandy ( Lane Farm ( : Fruit and vegetables – grown without chemicals.

Spoke Shop – Sandford’s bike repair team

Honor’s Cakes – Fantastic cakes and the proceeds go to cystic fibrosis research

Saturday 22 Oct – Bunny & Bear come to market

It was great to have such a take up of the leftover apples ‘by donation’ last week. A good bagful went to make a crumble for a lunch for older people in an adjacent village. A great example of the closed loop food system we aim to create here at Talking Shop. This week we have some more leftover food (bananas, salad and avocados) from yesterday’s excellent Food Surplus Café. Please pop by for our Friday Cafe and Shop tomorrow if you would like some – just stick a donation in the jar on the counter. Equally, if you have a glut of apples – feel free to bring them in and we can distribute them via the shop.

At the market this Saturday we are very pleased to welcome back Bethanie of ‘Bunny & Bear Designs ( ‘ with her great, homemade kids clothes. She uses a freestyle machine embroidery technique to make her t-shirts and babygrows each featuring a favourite animal in brightly coloured fabric. She sources t-shirts that are ethically made ensuring fair conditions for a fair wage. Welcome back, Bethanie!

Look out for next week’s ‘Halloween at Talking Shop’ (halloween-poster) events. A pumpkin cooking session on Friday (2.30-5pm) where you can learn to make pumpkin soup and pie (to sign up email and a fancy dress competition and kids craft area at Saturday’s market.

Saturday Market guest stalls:

The Clays Market Garden: Fruit and vegetables – grown without chemicals.

Ally’s Kitchen – Delicious cakes & puddings



Food Surplus Cafe, Wednesday 19 October

This Wednesday is our monthly instalment of the Food Surplus Café!

Serving delicious lunches from food that otherwise would have gone to waste, we will be open 1pm to 2.30pm for you to come along and enjoy great food, freshly made that morning by our volunteers. All available on a pay as you feel basis!

See you there!

If you think you’d like to get involved with the Food Surplus Cafe, or just want to find out more, please get in touch with


‘Alice in Waterland’ – Friday 21st October


You are invited to join the River Thames Society: Upper Thames Branch for a talk by Mark Davies about his book ‘Alice in Waterland’

Friday 21st October 2016 at 6.30pm, Sandford Village Hall, Henley Road, Sandford on Thames

Free entry for RTS members, £2 for non-members

Tea/Coffee after the talk please contact Abi on 07776136423 or if interested


Flood risk: get your question answered at Saturday’s market

We still have loads of apples left from our fantastic apple day a couple of weeks ago. If you would like a bag pop in and see us during opening hours tomorrow – just give a donation for whatever you take. We are open 9.30am-4.30pm. Our Friday Café will also be serving our great lunch menu plus Anne’s excellent homemade cakes and scones. And tomorrow we will be offering homemade baked beans on toast! Come and give them a try and let us know what you think!

Alongside some regular great food stalls (and a new spiced pumpkin Sandford sourdough loaf on our own stall!) we are very pleased to welcome the Environment Agency to Saturday’s market to answer your questions on flooding in the local area. An important issue for us as the wetter months approach.

Finally, there is a great job as a Recovery Coordinator going at Restore down the road in Littlemore. Have a look here ( if you are interested.

Saturday Market guest stalls:

Sandy ( Lane Farm ( : Fruit and vegetables – grown without chemicals.

Ally’s Kitchen – Delicious cakes & puddings

Potter’s Pantry – Homemade jams and chutneys made with allotment produce


Apple, Cider & Beer Festival!

It is our Apple, Cider & Beer Festival this Saturday! We will be staying open right through from 9am-2pm with:
* apple pressing: bring your apples and sterilised bottles to make delicious juice
* apple bobbing!
* From 12noon: pulled pork rolls (made with Coopers Pork of course!), with homemade apple sauce in a Cornfields bun – just £3 each. Also lovely homemade veggie burgers.
* loads of extra food and craft stalls
* free beer and cider tasters with Hitchcox Cider, Lam Brewing and more

Finally, don’t forget our online survey: There is prize draw to win a fantastic food hamper too!

Saturday Market guest stalls:

Sandy ( Lane Farm ( : Fruit and vegetables – grown without chemicals.

Ally’s Kitchen – Delicious cakes & puddings

LAM Brewing – Beers brewed in Sandford

Natalie Ellett – Beautiful things from our talented local crafter

Country Bunches – Flowers from Lizie

Sew & Sew – craft by May Wylie

Statues 4 Gardens

The Face Place – Facepainting

Fudgilicious – great fudge

Volunteers wanted!

In preparation for our doors opening through the week later on in the year, we’re looking for some more volunteers to add to our brilliant team. Have a look at the volunteer page on our website to find out more about the roles. If you’re interested, or would like to know more, please get in touch:

Also, please do spread the word to friends and family who might want to get involved!



Flowers, cakes and the chance to win a hamper!



We had a fantastic Food Surplus Cafe on Wednesday. Around 50 people enjoyed an incredible, gourmet range of amazing salads – all made from food that would have otherwise gone to waste – and all dreamt up by the team. The nest one is on 19th October.

A very welcome new stall at the market this Saturday: Lizie of Country Bunches will be bringing her beautiful, rustic bunches of blooms from her Toot Baldon garden. They are always gorgeous and much less than you would pay in a florists.
We now have our new café lead in post – Beth McAllister has lots of fantastic experience in catering and local food and we are very lucky to have her involved. Beth is keen to get feedback and ideas on the cafe side of the project and has made a survey asking for your thoughts. You can do the survey online here: Or, if you’d prefer a printed version, there will be one coming around with the next leaflet. There is prize draw to win a fantastic food hamper!