We asked busy garden writer Amily Grossman, to give us some of her ideas for gifts for Fathers’ Day. With a little help from friends and relatives, here is her list.
Dads can sometimes feel a little left out in the early days with mum and baby sharing so much one on one time together. Water Babies, is a leading baby swimming school with classes all over the country. Water Babies lessons are a great way to get Dad involved as little ones are able to take lessons from birth, giving Dad and baby a fantastic opportunity to bond. Our favourite Father’s Day gift!
The weight of garden tools can become an issue if you frequently dig, hoe and rake. So your dad might welcome on of the new Light Gardening Tools from Fiskars. The lawn rake looks especially useful, it efficiently clears grass with much less effort than usual. The patio knife on a long handle would save a lot of back ache. Having just broken a wooden handled spade we’re now seriously considering the Light spade for our own gardening activities.
My dad really likes doorstep size slices of bread, toasted muffins, toasted crumpets and fast toast. The Magimix Vision Toaster comes top in all these requirements – the chance to watch the toast cooking a plus feature.
This toaster is great for the man who is of the opinion there is no point in heating up the grill in the cooker for a couple of slices of toast – a total waste of electricity. The side by side design means it fits on the work surface neatly, although we would have it on the table for easy access. Just so you know, this toaster is a Which Best Buy and although pricey at £145 it has good user reviews.
OK, so a toaster is not appropriate for your dad. What about a book?
How about the Penguin series devoted to Simenon’s books – he may well enjoy the first Inspector Maigret novel Pietr the Latvian, if only for nostalgic reasons! Penguin are publishing the entire series of the Maigret novels, so this could cover your gifts for several years!
Confessions of The World’s Best Father – a tongue in cheek series of web entries that started an internet phenomenon. His bewilderment as to how to best raise a child makes Dave Engledow’s book an amusing read. The photographs are pretty good too!
If you’d prefer to give a more sober present, you could go for The Death of Money. James Rickards shows how we could avoid financial collapse.
James Lovelock’s A Rough Ride to the Future confirms his belief that the survival of the human race is one of the most important steps in the evolution of our planet.
With Flowers Shows happening all over the country why not get tickets?
- For instance the Blenheim flower show 20-22 June. http://blenheimflowershow.co.uk/
- Hampton Court Flower Show is on from 8 to 13 July. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s big, a great time to talk to like minded gardeners, many exhibitors are readily accessible and it’s generally good weather! Link
- Harrogate Flower Show is 12-14 September. http://www.flowershow.org.uk/
If your dad is a keen veggie grower he might just like a copy of the Suttons Vegetable Garden Planner <email@example.com> An absolutely winner for us – it takes out all the guesswork and is an easy to refer to record throughout the year.
Backdoor shoes – if your dad is constantly in and out of the garden, he might well like a pair of lightweight Backdoor Shoes to slip on and off. Might keep mum happy too with less mud to clear up. We love ‘em, ours has taken 4 years of hard wear and need replacing now. Which design to choose will be a challenge!
Does this portable USB iShaver razor appeal? Designed to easily slip in a pocket or washbag significant features include:
- Recharge via USB
- Stylishly sleek compact design
- Ultra-thin net foil with floating blades
- Cleaning brush included
- Easy on/off switch
- Comes in a high gloss case and ultra-thin net foil with floating blades for a close, comfortable shave
Finally, some alcohol? Yes, it is a bit of a get out clause, here are some suggestions
You could sign him up for Naked Wines. The company was started up by two former employees of Virgin Wines, with the added ethos of supporting the wine producers, all small scale but dedicated growers. You might like to make your dad a wine angel! Sounds fun? Here’s a link.
Taylor’s 10 year old Tawny Port is rather tasty, we keep some for special occasions and in the winter when we feel the need for something to keep us warm. http://taylor.pt/en/port-wine-ratings-awards/press-comments/
Lastly, for the dad with a dog. The Forestry Commission England has created a one-stop-shop for owners and their dogs looking to take a break in and around forests and woodlands. The Ruff Guide to the Forest showcases 34 Forestry Commission locations across England, highlighting each site’s trails and facilities suitable for dogs, along with dog-friendly places to stay nearby.
Phew, will have to take a break now and go for a spot of weeding! The sun’s out and I’ll don my Backdoor Shoes, pick up the handy trowel with its graduated scale for planting seedlings, put on my Ethel gloves and make sure the waterproof jacket is by the backdoor in case of an unexpected show.
Amily Grossman, gardening expert and occasional contributor to In Balance Magazine
With two weeks to go why not choose food? There’s time enough to order and receive a pie or two from Adams & Harlow.
An interesting variety of pies with unusual ingredients to choose from we rather liked the sound of the pie with seasoned pork and a layer of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese through the middle, topped with sweet roasted baby onions. It looks very tasty. We were rather taken with the named pies with pastry lettering.
You might even be interested in the hamper entitled The Way To A Man’s Heart… £35.00, consisting of the following;
- 2 x 1lb Traditional Pork Pies (Serves 2-3) The most extraordinary of all pork pies.
- 1 x 1lb Huntsman Pork Pie (Serves 2-3) A jellyless pie, layered seasoned pork meat and tender chicken breast topped with a classic sage & onion stuffing.
- 1 x 1lb Poachers Pork Pie Seasoned pork with a layer of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese through the middle, topped with sweet roasted baby onions.
- Sloe Gin Chutney (220g)
- 2008 Berrys’ Good Ordinary Claret (75cl)
Another suggestion: Take your dad to a Fyne’s restaurant for some super fish dishes. We’ve eaten twice here and both times loved the menu offering interesting and tasty dishes. The presentation is always excellent.
Their menu is seasonal and for Father’s Day a Specials Menu has been carefully put together. Could be brunch, lunch or dinner. Dining after 6? Then you will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco or a bottle of Old Golden Hen beer.
The specials on offer include the Fisherman’s Plate starter, a feasty combination of potted and peppered Scottish mackerel, classic Loch Fyne smoked salmon with capers, Brandan Rost fillet, Kinglas fillet sashimi style, rollmop and Madeira-marinated North Sea herrings with crusty brown bread.
Mains include a half lobster tail with chargrilled octopus and clams and, for those unable to decide between the delicious meat and fish dishes, there is a Father’s Day Surf & Turf option, tender sirloin steak with a half Canadian lobster tail served with bernaise sauce and french fries.
There are some mouthwatering desserts, or a luxurious cheese choice served with a dram of Glenfiddich whisky.
If your dad isn’t a fish lover there is an a la carte menu that includes a large selection of meat, poultry and vegetarian dishes.
To find out more information or to make your reservation visit:http://www.lochfyne-restaurants.com/
However if pies and restaurants are not your thing, why not make him a really luscious strawberry dessert.
Sweet Eve is a new variety promising a sweet full flavoured berry. This impressive Strawberry Victoria Sponge is easy to make, so great for kids to prepare ahead for Father’s Day, with a little help from Mum. Serve Dad up a mighty, manly slice.
There are more recipes to choose from, have a look at http://www.sweetevestrawberry.co.uk/recipes/serving-ideas.html We were impressed!
Whatever you choose for your dad I’ll bet he’ll love it! It’s good for you both to make him feel special.
Lucy Trengar Guest Food writer