If your dad is anything like mine, with limited hobbies and a tendency to impulsively buy every book or object that he fancies, it’s a perennial struggle to come up with presents that he hasn’t already bought himself. Just when I think of a brilliant idea – the Blue Planet book, a box set – he’s already bought it, which means getting a little more creative.
But forget socks and ties. Whether it’s a staple (slippers or a bottle of booze), or something more unusual (a set of craft hot sauces or an artisan coffee subscription), we’ve selected a range of classic, stylish and downright delicious items from independent producers and high street shops that will suit dads of all ages.
David Gandy for Autograph Pure Cotton Printed Dressing Gown with Belt: £39.50, Marks & Spencer
Why spend a fortune on a dressing gown when this number designed by David Gandy, who’s been modelling and designing for M&S since 2014, is so chic? Made from cotton, in a fine navy and white geometric print, it feels silky and soft, and looks much more expensive than it is. It’s ideal for stylish slouching on Sunday mornings and has a luxurious feel to it. Available in sizes S to XXL.
Sauce Shop Gift Selection: £11.99, Not On The High Street
I try not to take it personally when the men in my life douse the meals I cook in chilli oil or other spicy condiments. Apparently, everything tastes better with some heat and added flavour. This set allows you to pick three craft sauces from Brit brand Sauce Shop, who is dedicated to creating hot sauces with all-natural ingredients. Favourites include the everyday chilli sauce, the buffalo hot sauce, and a Great Taste Award-winning really hot sauce.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless Over-ear Headphones: £299.95, Argos
For those with bigger budgets, these new headphones from Dr Dre Beats are noise-cancelling, making them the ideal pair for commutes – and for blocking out noisy children. There’s impressive clarity in the sound, they’re butter-soft comfortable and wireless (connected by Bluetooth). The on-ear controls for calls, music control and Siri are easy to operate, while there’s a range of strong colours to pick from, too - we love this stylish, limited-edition grey pair with gold detail. The battery lasts 22 hours with noise cancelling, 40 without.
Django Coffee Co. Three Month Fortnightly Coffee Subscription: £34, Subscribary
Subscription marketplace Subscribary has a raft of dad-friendly, original gifts. But our favourite is this selection of fortnightly coffee from this UK-based small batch roaster providing quality single origin beans, ranging from lighter, fruitier flavours such as the Popayan or the Nyungwe, to the richer tasting La Esperanza and Asoprooaaa. That’s six delicious coffees per bag, and six bags delivered over three months. The inspiration for this socially and environmentally conscious brand was taken from Melbourne’s booming coffee scene (and it’s named after the owner’s cat Django). It’s hand-roasted and posted the same day for ultimate freshness, with dates printed on the packaging. One sniff and we were hooked.
Benromach 10 Years Old Whisky, 43%: £34.99 for 70cl, The Whisky Exchange
You can’t go wrong with a bottle of single malt whisky. And making it completely by hand is a rare craft these days, but the family-owned Benromach distillery uses only traditional methods. Its 10 Years Old was matured in a mixture of first fill bourbon barrels and first fill sherry casks, and is the ideal malt for those who enjoy the sweet notes of a traditional Speyside whisky. It also won gold in the Scottish Single Malt category in the World Whiskies Awards 2017.
Ted Baker Moriss2 Suede Moccasin Slippers: £60, Ted Baker
You can’t beat an old-fashioned moccasin that appeals to all ages. In sumptuous, deep-blue suede, and with a velvety, furry lining, these slippers are truly decadent and, crucially, comfy. There’s nice detailing, too, with the pink stitching and understated Ted Baker tag. They also come in dark green tartan or brown.
Brindisa The Artisan Selection Box: £65, Brindisa
Brindisa is the place to find artisan produce sourced straight from Spain. And with the very best of the brand’s savoury, salty treats to try, this charcuterie box will be much appreciated. It includes chorizo and expertly hand-carved iberico bellota jamon, as well as moreish cheeses such as manchego and, our favourite, the more unusual mild, creamy ewe’s milk canarejal cremoso. Plus there are tins of anchovies, sardines and tuna, and a little bottle of sherry to wash it all down with, too.
Fortnum & Mason Fortnum’s Chocolossus Biscuits Tin, 600g: £17.50, Fortnum & Mason
This might seem extortionate for a tin of biscuits, but we’re talking 600g of giant, dark chocolate-smothered, macadamia nut biscuits. Super-sized and delicious, and very satisfying, they also come in a long tin that makes for a nice keepsake.
Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment by Yanis Varoufakis: £20, Bodley Head
One of the best reads of the year is this fearlessly revealing political memoir from the Greek economist and former minister of finance who ignited a controversial battle when he attempted to re-negotiate Greece’s relationship with the EU. This personal account exposes what goes on behind the closed doors of power.
The Cheese Works Christmas Box: £45.95, The Cheese Works
There are delicious, strong flavours in this smart, good-value box that’s full of treats from the family-run shop in Cheltenham. A generous 300g wedge of tangy Isle of Mull cheddar, a creamy Cotswold brie and - the tastiest - a waxed Cropwell Bishop stilton, which is perfect paired with the box of ale crackers and jar of spicy Christmas chutney included. There’s also a festive handmade milk chocolate bar and a half bottle of fruity Fonseca Bin 27 reserve port.
The Verdict: Gifts for dads
A dressing gown is an affectionate, thoughtful gift and David Gandy’s design for Marks & Spencer’s is excellent value for money. For something more imaginative, we love Django’s exceptional hand-roasted coffee, and it means he has something to look forward to beyond Christmas. If you’re blowing the budget, there’s no doubt that the newly-released Studio 3 Wireless headphones from Beats will be a hit.