Father’s Day ideas that don’t involve a trip to the pub

Drinking at home will seem to be the order of the day, though a family get-together in the garden remains an option

It’s Father’s Day in just over a fortnight’s time. Had you remembered? Me neither. I guess I’m guilty of some form of reverse sexism, but I have always regarded Mother’s Day as being much more important – and we all know what a damp squib that was this year thanks to Covid-19.

Sadly, I don’t expect dad’s day to be a lot better. Should pubs and restaurants reopen with social distancing in place, the earliest date I have seen quoted is July 4, too late to save Father’s Day on June 21.

If you are thinking about what you can get your dad at least the shops look like being open with a little less than a week to spare on the 15th. But, if you don’t want to risk cutting it a bit fine, here are just a few ideas* of what you might care to pick up online.

Drinks-wise, I have a selection from I could have filled this section with whiskys, but I decided to mix things up a bit.

This set of Scotch whisky miniatures features delicious and well-aged independently bottled expressions. The four 5cl miniatures in this collection include Ledaig 19-year-old, Inchmurrin 20-year-old, Blended Malt #1 26-year-old and Cameronbridge 27-year-old, all with wonderful labels. Price: £46.95.

Six essential aromas commonly found in wine and cased in glass vials. Aromas of grapefruit, pear, raspberry, blackcurrant, violet and toast. The ideal starter kit to sample before moving on to a larger set of aromas. Price: £29.95

Distinctive British craft rum inspired by the landscape and heritage of the Isles of Scilly. Triple distilled and infused with island samphire and Atlantic sea salt to complement its rich, caramel tones. Price: 37.50.

Woden gin mixed with Italian bitter apperitivo and Italian sweet vermouth. Simply pour a double over ice and add a slice of orange. Created in a small, independent distillery in Bristol. 

Beautiful champagne cork stool for seating or decoration. Made of solid cork. Perfectly suited for a wine cellar or wine room. Height: 50cm. Width 34cm. Price: £159. 

With more of an accent on food, you could consider some of the offerings from Partridges, the independent family–owned and run food store, which celebrated its 48th anniversary on May 25. It has many Father’s Day gift suggestions. The company slogan has always been ‘good things for the larder’ and there are certainly many good things for the larder available in its shops in Duke of York Square, Chelsea, and Gloucester Road, Kensington, and online at  Partridges was awarded its Royal Warrant to HM The Queen 26 years ago.

Partridges has many fine food present ideas including – a bottle of Partridges Pinot Noir at £11.59, a jar of its Wild Boar Terrine £4.99, Piccalilli £4.65, Mr Shepherd’s Blend Fine Tea £4.49, Finest Chocolate Chip Cookies £4.99, Thick Cut Seville Orange Marmalade £4.65 or a gift wrapped box of its exceptional crystallised ginger for £5.95.  They would all make delightful gifts on their own or they can be combined for an extra special gift into one of Partridges shopping bags or hampers. 

Or if you can’t decide, Partridges sells Gift Vouchers for £10, £20 and £50 which can be spent instore or online.

Of course, you could try to win a gift for your father. To celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday June 13, Partridges is holding a gin cocktail competition. To enter all you need to do is mix your favourite gin-based cocktail, photograph it in a pretty glass in a summery setting (without the bottle), name the cocktail and post the picture on your Instagram account before 5pm this comiong Friday, June 12. Please use #chelseaflowergin @chelseaflowergin @partridgesfoods and tag in one friend. Over-18s only.

Prizes? The three entrants with the best-looking and sounding cocktails will win a bottle of Chelsea Flower Gin of their choice. The winners will be announced at 3pm next Saturday on Instagram. Of course, you could always keep the gin and buy dad something else. Get mixing.

Looking for something a little left-field? How about a special one from Lego? Now I am aware that this is a London web-site, but the fact is that the capital and the south-east have many fans of Manchester United residing here. Indeed, opposition fans often make snide references to where the majority of United fans come from. Anyhow, you might want to buy your dad this kit version of Old Trafford. Price: A snip at around £250.

* Normally, my email box would be full of ideas for dad’s day, but not this year. I hope this is not the ‘new normal’.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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