An ode to Jesmond Waitrose

Where else would you get your quinoa?

The line “my local shop at uni is Waitrose”- isn’t one you hear often. It really never fails to shock as it comes from the mouth of another barbour-clad student with an overdraft.

We Waitrose lovers say they can’t even afford a Geography textbook or English novel, but somehow sure to find a few pennies to spend at Newcastle’s most rah-vellous (corner)-shop.

After all, where else in the world you can you get fresh crunchy kale, lemon crusted salmon fillets and a free coffee all under one roof?

In it’s prime

Free tea and coffee…the dream

And there’s no messing about with Waitrose’s student shoppers. By day, hordes enter, Waitrose cards at the ready so they can bag themselves the free coffee they were too lazy to make themselves at home.

“You can get free tea and coffee and there’s cinnamon and chocolate to add to any drink” comments Wizz Hewitt, a second year Geography student.

Baskets are filled with everything from Lemon Crusted Salmon Fillets to Essential Waitrose Apple Pie to Twining’s Earl Grey teabags.

Mmm Twinings…and so much choice

Not much of a bargain but it sounds nice

Freya Maclean-Boyd, second year Law student says: “it’s really annoying that they always run out of the Apple, Celery, Kale and Lime Juice”.

“Also I paid £4 for four duck spring rolls the other day”.

Whizzing through self-service because they do it the whole time, a few “hello’s” to those also in the student Waitrose shoppers community – job done.

Bish, bash, bosh, bought

By night, the semi-prostudent shoppers take action. 7pm and the poor staff member who’s on duty to change some of the full price items to “reduced” has to stand their ground to avoid being knocked over by the eager student who decides they like pickled onions and coleslaw which will go off in a few hours just because they’ve been reduced by 43 pence.

“It’s reduced!”…goes in the basket

Molly d’Aguilar, second year Psychology student, admits that “you come away after shopping in the reduced section and realise you’ve actually bought loads of unnecessary things that you’re never going to cook and which stay in the freezer for months”.

A trip to Waitrose can turn into quite an activity especially when done on a hangover. Amongst the mixed feelings of sickness, embarrassment and self-pity is the ever-present feeling of hunger.

The classic line “I want something but I don’t know what I want” is almost always followed by a trip to Waitrose.

Feeling fresh…let the fun begin

This is where the fun begins as you enter the shop with no definite idea of what you’re going to buy and return with multiple bags filled with the most random items of food. Obviously chocolate and sweets are a must and there’s even a bakery for those who are feeling in need of greater comforts.


The thing is – on a hangover your priority is to make yourself feel better which ultimately means yummy food (and lots of it) and still slightly inebriated from the night before, little concern is given to the cost of what this takes…Waitrose finest will do.

With the likes of Tesco and R&K’s providing friendly competition between Jesmond’s food shops, one worries for Waitrose’s popularity.

However, a group of boys on Sunbury Avenue, West Jesmond, say that they have no qualms about making the slightly longer trip to Waitrose despite Tesco being almost on their doorstep, claiming it’s well worth the extra walk for the better food.

Joanne Dodds, second year Economics student, reckons that “Waitrose and Tesco are about the same prices- but Waitrose is much nicer”.

Those coming from the likes of Grosvenor Road, Queens Terrace, Cavendish and Devonshire Place have the big decision to make between Waitrose and the infamous R&K’s, which are equal distances for many students living here.

Harriet Powell, second year English and History of Art student describes R&K’s as a “jack of all trades, master of none- which is why I shop in Waitrose”.

Waitrose own for £4.99…slightly more classy than Echo Falls anyway

Despite R&K’s having a large range of sweets and chocolate to choose from, when it comes to anything other than these things; Waitrose is always the answer.

After all; who buys their Sunday roasts in R&K’s with its questionable meat selection and over-priced vegetables?

Hmm which herb to go for?

When asking 3rd year Law student Zandy who lives on Queen’s Terrace whether she ever makes the trip beyond Waitrose to check out Tesco’s potential she replies “why would I bother walking the extra steps when Waitrose is just there?”

So, despite there being a handful of other shops you could head to to spend the few leftover coins from last night- there’s simply no match for Waitrose.