The Hairy Bikers’ Guide To Student Survival


No strangers to the rigours of the road, The Hairy Bikers have some tried and tested survival tips for students away from home including how to prepare for and survive a proper night out!

Do you have any words of advice for a new cook’s first foray into the kitchen?

Absolutely, taste as you cook – because if your palette likes it, then you can pretty much guarantee your friends will. Start with some simple dishes. You’ll soon gain confidence in the kitchen and be able to move onto more complicated recipes to learn different cooking techniques. The key to great cooking is to season as you go – it’s all about the taste.

You’re about to embark on a UK-wide tour and many students will be moving to a new city or town. How do you go about seeking out the best places to eat in a new place?

Talk to people and ask where to go – the hidden gems are always kept a secret. The best places to eat are often only available to people ‘in the know’. The best way to get great food, at a price you can afford, is to chat to folk that have the same love and attitude towards food as you do.

If you were living on a shoestring would you try and budget throughout the term or would you eat like a king at the beginning and a pauper at the end?!

The likelihood is that we would have a couple of days where we ate like lunatics, with some really nice treats and we would then budget the rest. There’s always a way to eat well on a tight budget, it’s just being smart about it and being bothered about what you put in your body. Decent, cheap food is always available – you just need to look for it. Good food boosts your stamina when it comes to partying your socks off during freshers week, so make sure you eat well!

New students may have heard of the ‘Freshers Pound’. What would be your top tips for staying trim on a budget?

Try really hard not to eat rubbish – the key is moderation. Find yourself a local supermarket, and invest in some veg, pulses and spices. Get a good relationship with the people behind the counter – there’s always something available that’s dead cheap. Fruit and veg are the way forward.

What are the key components of a ‘proper night out’, and what can we expect on the live tour?

The key components of a ‘proper night out’ for us is great company, great food, and some great music! We’re bringing the food and the music to Hairy Bikers: Larger than Live and we’re looking forward to meeting the audience. They will really make the show and if it’s like our last tour they’ll be there with bells on, we can’t wait!
Any tips for preparing for and recovering from a big night out?
Milk thistle (available at all good health food shops) softens a hangover. Taking milk thistle before you go out will help enormously with the morning after, and the hangover from hell. Dioralyte can also help – it tastes minging but it really does the trick. Drink lots of water and rehydrate.

If you’re an inexperienced cook or on a tight budget it’s tempting to play it safe with food, how would you encourage students to experiment in the kitchen?

It’s all about developing a relationship with a local Asian supermarket. Go in with an empty bag full of questions, and come out with a full bag of answers. Chat to people in the store. Get advice on spices, veg, etc. that may look odd but will be cheap, and change the taste of a boring meal. Experiment with herbs and spices.

Thanks go to the Mayflower for providing this promotional material. The Hairy Bikers will be performing live at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on Sun 24 March 2013. For tickets and more information about the tour visit:


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