Food Freebies

Features Food and Drink


Photo/ Frank Wouters
Photo/ Frank Wouters

Hello? Yes, is that Student Finance? Good, I’d like to – you what? What do you mean you’re not giving me any money?! Yes, I filled in that form! And that one! My tax return?! I DON”T EARN ANYTHING! Jesus fucking Christ.

So, the unutterable dicks at Student Finance have left you in the lurch once again and you’re reduced to begging for 60p on the cold, heartless paving stones of Market Street: you thought life couldn’t get any worse … and then your stomach rumbles. Luckily, the Gourmand is here to help you scrape through another day with a guide to the freest (and therefore most delicious) food that Oxford has to offer.

Please do bear in mind, however, that the kind folks who offer these samples have lives of their own to fund, so if you are indeed a rich twat, be you old money (you have an IV linked to your aristocratic parents’ offshore bank account) or new money (Student Finance has sloshed a bucket of government dosh over you that you have no idea what to do with), buy something and support these local businesses.

A stroll down the High Street will take you past Whittard’s, who usually have a range of teas, coffees, and sometimes hot chocolates for your sampling pleasure; directly opposite can be found the man from Formosan Tea Bar, proffering his bubble tea (taste at your peril); however, on a really good day, Starbucks sometimes decide to offer samples of their seasonal delights just outside. For maximum thirst quenching, invest in a selection of fake moustaches and pass back and forth, feigning intrigue and enchantment at each new gulp.

If you’re in that area, stop into Hotel Chocolat: if you’re not yet convinced that the ever-changing menagerie of cocoa-based treats as sold by Oxford’s very own Juliette Binoche-alike holds something for you, they will gladly tempt your palate with a free raspberry truffle. Sweets aren’t for you? EAT on Queen Street often has small cups of warming, meaty soup on offer outside; alternatively, stop into either King Edward Street’s or St. Michael’s Street’s Mission Burrito for free tortilla chips and a range of salsas – and as a bonus, if you show your Bod card when you order a burrito, they give you a free bag of tortilla chips of your very own. Speaking of which, any meal at McDonald’s comes with a free cheeseburger, hamburger or McFlurry if you flash that student card, so don’t miss out.

Along with the tempting morsels and the pushy societies at the Freshers’ Fair (Doctor Who Society? Don’t make that mistake.), there are always countless vouchers for students, giving you exceptional discounts at places like Domino’s, Noodle Nation and Mission – but if you have no vouchers, fret not, for a quick Google will usually yield helpful results for those of you looking for a pound or two off your pound of flesh.

Last but certainly not least, use your head. You’re a student! An OXFORD student! The brightest in the land! Employers want you like toast wants butter, and they’re happy to buy you swanky dinners and fruity cocktails to prove it to you, the filthy little seductresses. Obviously, you’re not the type to be bought… but oh, what was that? Dinner at Pierre Victoire? Cocktails at Freud’s? Well actually, I *am* considering a career in law – tell me more, Mr. Lawyer…


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