Here at the Strategist UK, we take pleasure in finding the best gifts for every sort of dad, and this Father’s Day is no different. We’ve found great gifts for under £20, as well as surprisingly inexpensive gifts from luxury brands, and we’ve also gone through our directory of Black-owned and ESEA-owned businesses, too.
But year after year, finding that special sort of gift can be hard. A good Father’s Day gift should be surprising, delightful, but also something useful — you won’t find any trace of whisky stones here. Since we spend a lot of time learning about the personal shopping habits of those with excellent taste, we decided to call some of them up and ask for their recommendations. We asked actors, producers, chefs, and other tasteful folks to share some of their suggestions. Their picks range from the comfortable (like an exceptionally soft pair of socks for the cosy dad) to the absurd (such as a cocktail smoker for the dad who is upping his Negroni game).
Your dad is no doubt expecting something whisky-adjacent, and you could always put a smile on his face with a bottle of Nc’nean. But personally, I’d keep him guessing with something left field like this toy-for-grown-ups cocktail smoker. You simply turn it on and fire it with wood chips, then you can give your old-fashioned or whiskey sour a smoky flavour and a mixologist-worthy billow of smoke so satisfying that you’ll want to use it on every drink. It works for adding some Masterchef flair to food, too.
This year I discovered Saint Ogun: They’re a London-based distillery with roots in Nigeria and the Caribbean. Their rum is just head and shoulders above many other rums out there — super-smooth but with a lot of character. It’s a good-looking bottle, too. I drink it neat, over ice with a wedge of fresh lime. We’re at a really exciting point now, where small distilleries are breaking through and making some exceptional drinks, and I’d definitely recommend this one.
Club C’s are the comfiest trainer around and miles cheaper than Nikes. I basically buy one pair every nine months and wear them until they’re absolutely battered and have to be thrown away. Plus they look great, even when they’ve been worn a lot (okay, maybe only for the first six of those nine months).
Soul Jazz Records puts out consistently amazing compilations of “lost” classics on vinyl. This is my recent favourite, featuring 70s roots reggae you probably won’t know, but there are so many great compilations covering a million genres and left-field artists on their store (an online spin off of the Soho shop Sounds of the Universe).
Avoid gimmicky gardening gifts and opt for something useful, like this. There is nothing new about the homi — it’s a multipurpose short-handled tool that has been in use by Korean farmers since, well, forever. What is new is its “discovery” by European and North American garden enthusiasts, who have turned an item steeped in centuries of tradition into the must-have hand tool du jour. The homi is comfortable to use, looks legit and, most importantly, is a genuine all-rounder — it can be used for weeding, digging, soil preparation, and a bunch of other everyday garden tasks.
Waking up to incredible bagels and house-made schmears would be the perfect breakfast for Dad, with enough for everyone else to dig in. If you can’t afford to take Dad to New York this year, a mouthful of these bagels will help you both imagine you’re there together. This is the small bundle, which includes six bagels, two schmears, a packed of smoked salmon, and a side of Papo’s tuna salad.
I was given this by my partner a few years ago and I’m obsessed with it. It smells amazing and has bergamot, geranium, rose otto, frangipani, vetiver and sandalwood in it. Czech and Speake is an independent and family-run business, and No. 88 was their original scent from founder Frank Sawkins, who wanted to move away from the English scent tradition with a more sensuous, exotic fragrance.
I’d recommend Carl Friedrik leather accessories for any dad. But I particularly like the key organiser. The brand was founded by two Swedish brothers, and they make simple, stylish accessories for anyone who needs to keep their things in order. We also love good craftsmanship!
Strategist associate editor
For practical dads with a taste (that they’d never admit) for the finer things, I can’t think of a better gift than CDLP’s ultrasoft, dressy bamboo socks. They never droop, don’t have that annoying seam in the toe that some socks do, and the bamboo weave makes them incredibly breathable and odor-free, so much that I sometimes wear mine on back-to-back days. Get the white ones for the sneaker dad, the navy ones for loafer dad, or the black ones for business dad — and don’t worry about any further gift wrapping, because the sunny-yellow presentation box they come in is completely delightful.
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