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What dads actually want for Father’s Day: The edit

June 15th 2016 / Anna Hunter

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We asked, dads answered. Surprisingly socks aren’t on the list.

We’re done with the guessing games and the untouched cologne. It’s time to take the mystery out of man shopping, and get our pops, stepdads or even partners (babies mean well but...probably not their main focus in life right now) something that makes them feel warm, fuzzy and special. Such gifts can be material goods, deep and meaningful gestures or thoughtful experiences: anything goes really, as the following wish list proves. Just not socks.

“Purple Rain on vinyl”, possibly priceless

Honour both the late, great Prince and your papa in the most old skool manner possible. Good luck on your search.

“Dinner cooked, please”, from £4.50

Taking dinner to dad is always a winner, but even better if you’ve made it yourself. Treat him to more than one supper by picking recipes you think he might like from the slick list at The Mindful Chef, arrange for delivery either direct to dad or to your place, then cook up a (simple) storm. Sustainably sourced, organic produce and healthy, balanced meals make it a far more satisfying and wholesome choice than your local gastropub, not to mention the fact that his meals will be cooked with love and come in at around £4.50. You don’t need to tell him the last bit, or indeed the healthy part.

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“Cheese”, you’re into double figures (£) for the good stuff

A classic choice, a selection of fromage to hoe into is heaven on a plate for some. Stop by Pong and consider the very accurately named Best Dad in the World Gift Box, £35. UK and Ireland sourced and packing very few punches (stilton, strong cheddar and goats cheese wrapped in leaves are all in here), one of the selection is even produced by way of beer. Spot on if stinky yet moreish gifts tend to go down well.

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“Engraved barbecue tongs”, from £32

There’s a clear food theme emerging here. A bit niche, a bit caveman, and very fun come rain or shine (real dads barbecue in all weather), you can’t go wrong with personalised fire implements apparently. Hit Not On The Highstreet for personalised branding irons for steak (macho much?) and monogrammed tongs, spatulas, forks and basting brushes. Flintstones fathers will be delighted.

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“Something for my face that works”, from £10 probably

Vague, but achievable. If they’re the beardy type, beard balms are apparently now a thing. A step on from the humble oil, a balm will add an extra element of TLC to long, tangly, bushy beards, not to mention tone down wild tendencies effectively. Fit For Vikings Beard Balm, £20, is packed with nourishing natural butters and gives off a pleasant woody, lemony scent.

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If your dad is more the clean shaven type, a razor subscription is less violent than it sounds. The razor subscription market has exploded somewhat over the past few years (hint of a hipster beard backlash?); look out for Cornerstone and Bearded Colonel in particular. Both offer regular and one-off deliveries of top notch, meticulously crafted blades and high quality shaving accessories.

“A deep tissue massage. My back’s killing me”, from £25 upwards

It’s not pampering, it’s functional. Clearly many men agree, given that 25% of salon clientele in the UK in 2015 was male according to Salon Services. This shoots up to 40% in the case of ELEMIS, whose presence on British Airways and in travel spas at Heathrow and JFK is thought to be a big driver for both grooming purchases and treatment bookings. If your dad isn’t jetting off anytime soon, an ELEMIS treatment is unlikely to go amiss. A tailored treatment menu for men takes into account the ravages of shaving and the fact that men’s skin is 25% thicker than women’s (testosterone is the culprit). If a classic wet shave is more up his street, it doesn’t get more classy than The Refinery Shaving Experience, £60. A facial, wet shave and grooming consultation in one, it’s both luxurious and practical.

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“A stiff drink”, £10 upwards for something quaffable

From The Pogue’s Whiskey (yes, the band) to a nice bottle of red, we had a lot of requests for alcoholic donations. Your local wine seller will be able to sort you out, but if you’re after something that keeps on giving, a coffee subscription with keep your dad’s cup full day in day out. Café Direct is one of the best services out there, with both Discovery and Destination plans to either surprise or give him a taste of what you know he loves. You can subscribe him for anything between three months and a year, with packages starting at £24, plus three delivery. If dad’s wired, don’t blame us; this the crème de la crème of caffeinated gifts.

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“A text before 5pm”, literally nothing

Better make that a card.

“A cool gadget”, this could get pricey...

If you’re feeling flash, give him a means by which to play that Prince vinyl. The Flexson VinylPlay, £249, is a record player and cutting-edge speaker system in one, plus it has a USB port to play music of the digital variety. If a three figure price tag wasn’t what you had in mind, grant him the gift of never losing his keys/ wallet/ mind again with The Tile, a small white..tile...that you can attach or stick onto anything you want to keep track of, allowing you to ‘ring your things’ via Bluetooth. A GPS tracker will allow him to precisely retrace his steps, The Tile’s batteries last a year and it’s waterproof, should his precious valuables take a dip. As tech goes, this one will prove its worth at the most crucial moments, but you’ll have to think ahead as at the minute it’s only shipping from the US.

“A hug”, free, and so easy

There’s a lot to be said for the soft touch.

What health and beauty industry Dads are after…

James Galvin, hair stylist and company director of Daniel Galvin Salons

“I was invited to a party in Ibiza over the weekend of Father's Day but decided to blow it out because spending the day with my girls Lilliana (16) and Leni-Mae (12) is far more important.”

“These girls are my whole world and bring me all the joy, love and happiness a father could possibly wish for. They go to such a great effort to make sure I am spoiled and make me feel very, very loved. Even if it's just for one day. Just joking on that one.”

“I honestly believe I am the luckiest dad in the world to have been blessed with two very sweet, beautiful, happy, funny and intelligent girls. I must have done something very good in a past life to have been given this blessing.”

“Obviously a classic 65 Ford Mustang would be very much appreciated as a gift from them, but I won't hold my breath…”

Dalton Wong, performance coach and founder of Twenty Two Training

“As I travel a great deal for my work I really appreciate my time with my family. For Father's Day all I want is to wake up next to my wife, enjoy a lovely cup of coffee, play football with my son, give my daughter a big bear hug and then all head out for Dim Sum.”

Errol Douglas MBE, hair stylist and founder of Errol Douglas salon

“The thing I would like most of all is a spa day. And by day I mean month! Ideally somewhere hot and far away like the Maldives and I would book myself in for lots of treatments, from reflexology and a massage to a manicure and pedicure; anything and everything they have going. But, being realistic, I’d settle for a day at a lovely spa somewhere in England. I’ve left plenty of hints around the house so fingers crossed Yolanda, Ruben and Stella pick up on them…”

James Duigan, fitness trainer and founder of Clean and Lean and Bodyism

An exception to the sock rule?

“To be honest all I want for Father's Day is socks, or I would love a Millennium Falcon toy as mine was given away as a kid! But really I just want to spend the day in the garden with my wife and kids…”

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