We love a beautifully made tie as much as the next man, but contrary to popular belief there are other options when it comes to Father’s Day presents. Here, we bring you our edit of the best Father’s Day gifts for every possible flavour of dad, from foodies to festival-goers to those who simply deserve a bit more time to themselves.
Oh, and if you do fancy getting him a tie (because, let’s face it, a man can never have too many options when it comes to neckwear), we suggest you check out the superb selection at Drake’s, made right here in East London.
1. Mortlach Cowie’s Blue Seal 20 year old whisky
A good bottle of a single malt is something of a classic gift for Father’s Day. But, in recent years, whisky might have seemed a bit too fusty to give as a ‘cool’ gift for dad. Well think again. Scotch is on the rise, and distilleries across Scotland are rising to the challenge of satisfying our once again growing appetite for the water of life with new iterations and rare releases. Take Mortlach, a distillery nicknamed the ‘Beast of Dufftown’. It’s known for making whisky with rich character, distilled precisely 2.81 times using a mysterious method simply called ’The Way’. Unsurprisingly, when it released its first bottling from its The Singing Still Series, a 47 year old taken from the final three casks filled in 1971, the limited edition of 94 bottles retailed at £10,000 each. But before you shrug off Scotch as elitist, or give up and pick off a cheap bottle from the supermarket shelf, it is possible to get something good and suitably special for your dear old pa without breaking the bank. A 20 year old Mortlach, for example, has all the robust character that sets it apart from other Speyside whiskies, but sells at the much more reasonable price of £200 a bottle. It’s a treat, yes, and it won’t cripple your overdraft. More maybe, than you can say to your dad about how much it cost to raise you.
£200 for 70cl, whiskyshop.com
See more Father’s Day whisky recommendations here.
2. Cheese making at Wildes Cheese
If cheese is his thing, then a trip to Wildes Cheese in Tottenham for its masterclass will go down a storm this Father’s Day. Led by founder and expert cheesemaker Philip Wilton, its full-day course will teach you how to make a semi-hard white cheese, a blue cheese, a soft curd cheese and a small camembert-style cheese, all of which you can take home with you, as well as giving you tour of the on-site dairy and cheese caves. Lunch is provided (spoiler alert: there’s cheese on the menu), as well as numerous samples to taste, homemade cakes and drinks throughout the day.
£130 per person, The Micro Dairy, 9/10 Frontier Works, 33 Queen Street, London N17 8JA, wildescheese.co.uk
3. Alice Made This ‘Bayley Sage’ cufflinks
Cuff links are one of those accessories that every man needs, but rarely takes the time to buy for himself – often they’re a panicked purchase with a new shirt and rarely a considered part of an outfit. Alice Made This crafts the sort of cuff links that get even the most T-shirt-centric man excited to slip on a double-cuff. This Bayley Sage pair, taken from the British brand’s new Patina line features a seriously cool face inset made from a combination of Potassium Sulphide, Iron Nitrate and Copper Nitrate oxidised through atmospheric exposure and layered by hand to create deep – and totally unique – colours.
4. Regulating Unreality at the Barbican
The internet is a minefield of fake news, bots and photoshopped images. This lecture at the Barbican, led by Lilian Edwards, professor of law, innovation and society at Newcastle Law School, will explore whether knowing what content is genuine is a human right. Whether he’s a technology lover or hater, this is a fascinating question that affects all of us.
£4 per person, 6.30pm on 11 July at Frobisher Auditorium 1, Silk Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS, barbican.org.uk
5. Be a winemaker for a day at London Cru
London Cru was the capital’s first urban winery when it was set up in 2013 by Cliff Roberson. Today it sources all its grapes from British vineyards and makes award-winning wines in the heart of West Brompton. Its ‘Winemaker for a Day’ course is a great choice for dads with bacchanal inclinations. The day includes an introduction to the winery, tasting tips and tricks, and what happens when you add acid, tannin and sugar to wine in the morning. Then you break for lunch, before learning how to blend your own signature cuvée in the afternoon. The day is rounded off with a tasting session of some of London Cru’s award-winning wines.
£130 per person, 11am to 4pm at Roberson Wine, 21-27 Seagrave Road, London SW6 1RP, londoncru.co.uk
6. Kitchenaid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker
If you’ve got the kind of dad who likes to impress his guests with the latest gadgets and/or latest gastro trends, then this is the piece of tech you need. With cold brew now the mark of quality in any coffee shop worth its salt (artisanal oat milk?) in the capital, this little gadget gives its owner the chance to craft their own just in time for chilled drinks season – as well as iced tea and all manner of fruity little numbers too.
7. Present Laughter at The Old Vic
Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic, directs former Bond villain Andrew Scott in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter this summer. A comedy that follows Garry Essendine escalating identity crisis as he prepares to leave on an overseas tour, it’s bawdy, provocative and at times almost farcical. And it’s a gift that means your dad gets top bragging rights at seeing the nation’s latest star in his first major role since Fleabag.
17 June – 10 August at The Old Vic, The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB, oldvictheatre.com
8. Bose noise-masking sleepbuds
Maybe he’s trying to catch forty winks on the red eye from New York, or maybe he’s just trying to drop off with your damn snoring in the next room on your monthly visit home, but these sleepbuds by Bose are a revelation for anyone trying to get some solid, uninterrupted shut-eye. Plug them in and they mask unwanted noise by playing soothing sounds over the top of any potential slumber distraction. The idea is that once you’re asleep, the noise-making buds will keep you asleep – each of the device’s ten sounds has been designed to cover a different specific sound, and can react to sounds as you sleep. Take that, crying baby in 4C.
9. Tickets to a London festival
London’s events circuit ramps up in the summer, when festivals take over the capital’s lush green spaces. All Points East in Victoria Park, East London, offers ten days of cultural scheduling – we suggest getting a couple of tickets to see French singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens. Alternatively, book into one of the Somerset House Summer Series, where bands like Gossip, Doves and singer Jacob Banks will play in the impressive historical courtyard.
Four days of All Points East are free-to-attend, but Christine and the Queens is £67 per person. Somerset House Summer Series runs 11 – 21 July, and ticket prices vary. Jacob Banks is £31.25 per person.
10. A treatment at the Acqua di Parma Barbiere
Perhaps the most valuable thing you can give a frazzled dad is some time to himself – and the new Aqcua di Parma barbershop (or, as the Italians would say, barbiere) is the perfect place to do that. Whatever level of hirsute he his, book up an appointment that will allow him to unwind in clouds of zesty Colonia fragrance. We would recommend either a half-hour haircut or one of the fragrance master’s signature prestige shaves (which includes a pre-shave consultation, purifying facial cleansing scrub, double shave and a revitalising face and eye massage).
£35 for a haircut, £59 for a prestige shave. Book an appointment at selfridges.com
11. Butchery masterclass at Provenance
We’ve already written about the best butchery classes in London, but we’ve got one more to add to that list in time for Father’s Day. Award-winning Provenance was founded by a husband and wife team from New Zealand in 2013, with the aim of bringing the sustainably sourced, home-bred and grass-fed meat they knew from home to London. It offers a range of masterclasses on prepping your favourite cuts of pork, lamb and beef, led by Provenance’s expert head butcher, Struan. Each class is limited to six participants, so you can get focused tuition, and ends with sharing a meal and wine, and taking your cuts with you to enjoy at home.
£135 per person, Provenance Village Butcher, 33 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU, provenancebutcher.com
12. Gieves & Hawkes made-to-measure tailoring
Whether your father wears a suit every day for work or just breaks one out on a special occasion, a great fit is what makes any tailoring a pleasure to wear. That’s why Gieves & Hawkes has re-vamped its made-to-measure service with a new fitting block with up to 35 different measurements taken during the process to ensure the suit hangs perfectly.
£1,250, service available at Gieves & Hawkes, 1 Savile Row, London W1S 3JR, gievesandhawkes.com
13. Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook Automatic watch with interchangeable straps
Why give your dad one watch when you can give him three? Well, sort of. Rado’s handome new edition Captain Cook comes with a total of three interchangeable straps (fabric Nato, brown leather and mesh Milanese) that can be swapped around depending on the occasion and outfit. Whichever strap it hangs from, the face has a sleek-yet-rugged adventurer vibe that’s supported further by the fact that all the accessories fold up into a specially-made leather travel case – perfect if your dad’s headed out on manoeuvres.
14. Rémy Martin XO by Atelier Steaven Richard
If your dad’s idea of a good time is opening up his drinks cabinet for a quiet after-dinner snifter, then this limited edition bottle from Rémy Martin will make a great addition to his collection. The French cognac brand has teamed up with metalwork artist Steaven Richard to produce a unique new aesthetic for its XO blend, the signature bottling of its skilled cellar master. Richard has created a finely wrought design, reworking the Rémy Martin centaur alongside an intricate motif that represents the house’s vines.
£195, available exclusively in-store and online at Selfridges from 27 May, remymartin.com
15. Orlebar Brown ‘Fathers And Son Day’ T-shirt
The coolest ‘Dad merch’ around right now comes courtesy of Orlebar Brown. The brand’s new capsule range of T-shirts – a collaboration with the Father And Son Day charity initiative – feature iterations in both navy and white with a selection of six slogans where a chest pocket would usually reside. And because the net profits from each sale go to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, you’re not only helping your dad look smart but you’re also helping fund research into and raise awareness about male cancer charities. Everybody wins.
16. The Skateroom Jean-Michel Basquiat trumpet-print skateboards
The pieces produced by The Skateroom takes the work of famous artists and twists it up with street culture by emblazoning it onto skateboards. While the ones using Magritte and Warhol are cool, we especially like this Jean-Michel Basquiat tryptic – as will any art-loving dad.
17. Whitley Neal Blood Orange Gin
If he’s more into G&Ts than whisky then this blood orange-infused gin from artisanal distillery Whitley Neal will do the trick this Father’s Day. It’s full of the tangy citrus flavour of Sicilian blood oranges grown in the Mediterranean sun – and is just what he needs for a refreshing apéritif at the end of a long summer’s day.
£25 for 70cl, juniperclub.store
18. Patrón Añejo
Tequila isn’t just for those nights you’d rather not remember anymore. Our growing love of Mexican food has lead to the logical next step – an appreciation of the best thing to wash it down with. Patrón’s Añejo tequila can be enjoyed just as you would a fantastic whisky or cognac. It’s oak-aged in French, Hungarian and American bourbon barrels for over 12 months to make it perfect for sipping, and has notes of vanilla, raisin and honey, with a caramel and smoky finish. Although it’s intended to be enjoyed on its own, it can also be used in Old Fashioned cocktails instead of whisky, or for a tequila twist on a Moscow mule. Something new for your dad to try this Father’s Day – it could be his new favourite thing.
19. Fortnum & Mason x Slowboy exclusive Father’s Day prints
Menswear fans will recognise the supremely elegant work of Mr Slowboy (aka London-based illustrator Fei Wang) either from his Instagram or one of the many collaborations he’s undertaken with some of the coolest brands around (see: Drake’s, London Undercover and The Armoury). His latest is with Fortnum & Mason, designing a series of prints depicting different types of dads for the department store’s Father’s Day celebrations. Being rather partial to a glass of the grape-stuff, we’d recommend The Collector (above), but there’s also an adventurer, a foodie and a man into more hirsute pursuits on offer too. Or, if your dad can’t be distilled down to one archetype, might we suggest all four?
£275 each, fortnumandmason.com