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The John Lewis student essentials collection is the most middle-class thing yet

But where is the ket spoon?

Waitrose are famous for their not-very-essential essentials. It's all flageolet beans and sirloin steak. Last year their student essentials included harissa and organic soy sauce.

But the madagascan-sugar glazed mascharino cherry on top is this year's John Lewis "University Essentials" range.

With champagne flutes, yoga mat carriers, and £1100 iMacs, this is just a great con on parents to convince them that buying all this shit is completely necessary.

Champagne flutes

Ah, yes. The idea of surviving at uni without champagne flutes, the mere concept of drinking Bollinger out of a mug is positively barbaric.

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But then you read the description and the sarcasm dies: "The slender shape retains effervescence and the stem helps prevent the drink from warming up in the hand. Dishwasher safe, they're suitable for everyday use."


Nespresso machine (£120)

Here you were, about to send Sebastian off to uni with a mere cafetière. How could you, Sandra?

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A "window canister"

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It genuinely took me a click to guess what this was. A bin? A Nos cracker?

"Our stainless steel window canister is perfect for storing a variety of cooking ingredients. The window allows you to see when a refill is needed. Wipe clean," reads the description. None the wiser.

It costs £6. I think it's for spices.

Ok, the review clears things up: "My plastic canisters were looking very tired and cracked so I purchased two of these to store my decaf tea and English breakfast tea. They are easily wiped down and polished to a nice shine and fit within the shelves of my kitchen cupboards. The lids were a bit stiff to start with but after a very short time they became a good fit and easy to remove, I consider them to be reasonably priced and good enough to have out of display."

A £350 desk

If for some reason your uni room comes without a desk, don't spend £350 to fix the problem.

For that price, wood is a given. But no, for £350, MDF-fronted veneer chipboard it is.

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John Lewis & Partners Mini Chopper, Black/Stainless Steel

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£30 on something to chop veg for you seems silly. Until you realise it also has a "stainless steel ice crush blade"

Review: "I like the fact it has a glass bowl. Makes great pesto. I have used for grinding nuts too. I had one which was very noisy but this one isn't that noisy."

John Lewis & Partners Hand Blender, Black/Stainless Steel

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Like your favourite rifle on Call of Duty, this absolute essential comes with four attachments: whisk, blender, bowl, and idk.

Tell me this description doesn't make your loins tingle: "Plus, variable speed lets you tailor the blending pace to achieve your preferred texture and ideal consistency, whether you're tackling a new recipe or following an old favourite."

A weird lamp

Who needs modafinil to stay awake when you can just LOOK STRAIGHT AT THE BULB.

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Three different vegetable peelers

How deprived and cold my life was until a few minutes ago: I didn't even know there were different types of vegetable peelers.

Now, I will live like a samurai. Mastery of the blade is within my reach. John Lewis has provided me with a julienne peeler, a serrated peeler "for waxy and slippery fruits such as mangoes, and a speed peeler.

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The speed peeler is "for tackling potatoes quickly", a turn of phrase which brings to mind one of pop culture's odder bits of trivia. When Justin Timberlake pitched Madonna with the lyric "We only got four minutes to save the world" he had been trying to peel potatoes up against a fierce deadline, and inspiration naturally struck.

An instant printing camera


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A £1,100 iMac

You can't even take it to lectures.

£219 sports headphones

These are excellent value because they'll make two people happy. First, the person who convinces their parents to buy them £200 headphones for uni. And then second, the person who finds a pair of £200 headphones left in a lecture theatre on the third day of term.

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A yoga mat carrier (not a yoga mat)

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I genuinely thought this was yoga mat. The £20 price tag had me convinced.

And then I read the description: "Suitable for almost all yoga mats, this carrier features two thin shoulder straps, an exterior expandable zipper pocket.

"Please note: Does not include yoga mat."

John Lewis: Never knowingly assuming you don't have a yoga mat.

A compact soupmaker

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Leaving aside the fact it sounds like some kind of insult, £36 is more than you'd spend on soup in a whole year. Soup is for wronguns.

Check out yet more John Lewis x the middle classes collabs:

Waitrose have made a ‘student essentials’ list, and I can confirm none of them are essential

Just a list of the most unessential items from the essential Waitrose range

A woman returned some bread to Waitrose with a note saying ‘too many seeds’ ruined its ‘character’