Oxford boasts some of the oldest working kitchens in Britain, reaching back into the 14th century with a long history of fantastic food. One of the oldest is at New College, originally built in a separate wing to avoid tempting the fellows with smells of cooking. Now the colleges’ culinary secrets are still kept behind closed doors, with rumours of various chefs holding Michelin stars and competing to produce the best student food. The kitchen at Daily Info Towers are slightly less impressive, but have just as much history. The drinks cabinet has yielded the official Daily Info cocktail, ‘gingingerbeerbeer’ (a couple of inches of gin, pint of pale ale topped up with ginger beer and ice), and the walls are lined with ancient recipes for mug cake, sustaining us late into the night.
Oxford has some fantastic kitchen shops, including the ‘international archetypes of everyday objects’ at Objects of Use on Market St. If you’re after a bargain, the Barnardo’s on Cowley Rd specialises in vintage kitchen gear, so head there whenever you need a a retro microwave or a blender from the 90s. For bigger appliances, the Botley Rd Retail Park is a good place to start, but bargains can often be found at smaller shops around Oxford. You can also get involved with kitchen-based volunteering: The Gatehouse on Woodstock Rd offers meals to the homeless six days a week, and Project Soup hold micro-funding dinners for community projects in Oxford, making soup using wasted veg and a bicycle-powered blender.
If you’re looking for used and pre-loved appliances and kitchenware, this page has everything you need. As a general rule, buying used white goods like washing machines and fridges can be a bit tricky, so make sure you know the condition before you pay any money. Smaller items like coffee makers and crockery are a safer bet and a great way to find interesting gear.