Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Gift Guide: Back To University Essentials

In about two weeks time I'm about to start my third and final year at university, and over the next couple of days I'm due to move into my third set of student digs since I left school in the Summer of 2011. After all, the whole food aspect of this blog started with my 'Student Suppers' column, shot with terribly lit and styled photos in my student halls shared kitchen, I thought I'd mark the last time I'd be able to write a 'back to university' post from an actual students perspective by putting together a gift guide, either for friends or family of incoming students, or existing students to treat themselves from with some treats and essentials for both their rooms and kitchens be they/ you be moving into halls for the first time, or a new flat. 

Lets start in the kitchen; always, in my view the most important room in any house. Here we have a few of my ultimate kitchen essentials; plastic containers for freezing or refrigerating spare portions, vegetable peelers (I'm a disaster trying to do it with a knife) and those small, cheap metal mini whisks which I've been using in the kitchen forever and are perfect for anything except for beating panna cotta mix to scrambled eggs. However, the two items here I own in some guise or another and I could not live without are my Cath Kidston apron which my parents gave me for Christmas which helps me keep my clothes clean (I'm a messy chef!) and a hand held blender. This is great for making small portions of soups, sauces and even smoothies. Mine is by Kenwood, but I think these Breville coloured ones are adorable, and a must have. 

Now, some other bits and pieces. Lets start with the few big ticket, investment pieces on this list. I love this fox print tuck box, and while you think it is an investment it will last you forever. I still use my bright pink tuck box I got when I started my second boarding school age 13 in my flat and it is great for cute storage, and packing your flat up when it is time to move into new halls. The Cath Kidston Eiderdown and Joules rug also look steep, but they'll last forever, be much loved in Winter and will also move with you from place to place. In other news, I think I need this set of Joules towels in my life, and I actually use Noble Isle soaps in my own bathrooms in the Rhubarb Rhubarb! scent, both at home and in all the cottages at Pilgrims Nook. They are a fantastic, unique, best of British range with such and amazing ethos. 

What are your university, student or first time flat or apartment essentials that you would recommend to other Rachel Phipps readers?


  1. When I furnished my previous house I went around a few antiques
    shops and found you can get some real bargains and beautiful unique pieces, first
    time buyers always head to Ikea which is fine but if you care to spend a little
    time/effort you can buy pieces made from real wood etc that no one else has. Plus
    when John Lewis has sales you can pick up some lovely items at very reasonable cost and for those who like to whip up a storm in the kitchen I brought a huge amount of Le Creuset with about 30-50% off from TK Maxx. Katie x

  2. i always have twice as much kitchen equipment as anyone else and my essentials never seem to match others (adjustable rolling pin?!) but everyone should get a cheap set of scales and a large frying pan with a lid! also i loveeee that fox tuck box!!

  3. Absolutely love all of the cooking pieces! I'm starting my second year at uni in two weeks and I swear that I have at least double the amount of kitchen items than other ones!

    (Also, I have that Cath kidston rose throw with the duvet covers & pillows... Any one eyeing them up: they are ridiculously comfy and worth the price, I love them!)

    Wish I had seen a post like this last year, its those little knick knacks that make a room after all.

    Emily xx

    My Ginger Bread Journey

  4. Oh how I want that fox trunk! So cute!!

  5. I must agree...the fox trunk is just too precious! I started college several years ago...and I can hardly remember what I thought was essential! Certainly my grandmother's quilt and a good toaster :-) Thank you for sharing!