My dad thinks Father’s Day is a Hallmark holiday. And my husband thinks it’s daft to eat out when everything will be rammed and pricey. (Although if I took to him to one of our favourite pubs with playgrounds (post to come) he wouldn’t complain).
So on Father’s Day, in a sense I’m off the hook. Except, well, not really. In our house it’s all about the only gift that really matters from the second you become a parent: the lie-in.
Aside from the lie-in, I do thoughtful-but-relatively-inexpensive gifts and cards. Usually homemade. But sometimes not.
So if you’re like me, and leave everything to the last minute, here’s my quick scour of Lewes High Street for gift ideas (after the click-through). These are all under £25.
NOTE: This is not in any way comprehensive. It’s what one on-deadline, harried mother could find in a spare (ha, what’s that?) 40 minutes post-nursery-drop-off.
FOR THE FLORAL FATHER
Woodruffs Yard, North Court, Cliffe, 01273 470 843
Sempervivums, from £1 per plant, or £1 to £25 potted in anything from metal teapots to vintage enamelware.
These little plants are a hit with children and look fantastic planted in groups. Woodruffs Yard (not strictly on Lewes High Street…) sells them either ready-potted or to-be-potted.
For the kids, you can make a project of potting some for that handmade feel. Or give a few to dad, and they can scour Lewes’s flea markets and antiques centres together for a receptacle.
The best thing about sempervivums is they thrive on neglect. Leave them in a sunny spot and refuse to give them water. They’ll adore you for it. A bit like dads then…
…Obviously joking. (About the dads, not about the sempervivums).
FOR THE FOODIE (OR DRINKIE) FATHER
Steamer Trading Cookshop, 20-21 High Street, 01273 487 230
LSA BAR handmade beer tankard, 500ml, £14.99; Craft Beer World, by Mark Dredge, £16.99.
OK, OK, bought together I am blowing the budget by £6.98. But I liked both and my fella would love either. Take your pick!
Polish company LSA makes beautiful, contemporary glassware. Their BAR range is handmade and mouth-blown. The tankard is nicely weighted and a classic shape.
The best thing about it? It’s deceptive. It’s looks like a half-pint glass, but holds a whopping 500ml – that would be two-thirds of a bottle of wine!
The book – again, to him indoors. He’s telling me (a lot) that craft beers are the drinking world’s biggest trend! He is ALL OVER this!
So we’re calling getting lagered an artisanal brewing situation? It’s fine. It’s his day, so we’ll go with it.
FOR THE FASHIONABLE FATHER
Wickle, 24 High Street, 01273 487 969
Ubang Babblechat socks, £11.95; Selected Homme leather belts, £25 each.
Two options here, because there should always be socks in a shopping list for dads.
And socks are no longer boring. The ones in the picture are by a Danish brand with a bonkers name. They look suitably bonkers. They’re pre-washed and ‘have a hand-linked toe for comfort’. I have no idea what any of that means, but I’m guessing sock aficionados would rate this.
The belts are in a suedey, buttery leather. Simple, simple, simple, with just a coloured buckle and stud for decoration. I want one for me. They’re also by a Danish brand, Selected.
FOR THE FLUFFY FATHER
Kings Framers, 57 High Street, 01273 481 020
Beautiful boxes, £1.95 to £25+ for the largest.
I’m trying to keep with the alliteration here. What I mean by the ‘fluffy’ father, is the father who is sentimental. Which most modern fathers are, aren’t they?
These beautiful boxes are perfect for keepsakes.
Made of thick-as-anything cardboard, they come in different prints – from classically masculine in white and deep blue, to retro-geometric. Inside they are plain and smooth.
They fasten with a button on the front. They look and feel special.
The boxes come in different sizes and shapes – flat, square, rectangular, tall, some with windows at the front. Piled up together on a shelf, they’d look amazing. All the prints and colours mix perfectly.
There are tiny ones ideal for cufflinks. But I like the big ones and would love to stuff one with first shoes, hospital bracelets, locks of hair, drawings, photos, tickets from adventures… Keepsakes.
FOR THE FRAGRANT FATHER
Paul Clark, 70 High Street, 01273 477 160
Geo. F. Trumper Sandalwood Grooming Products, prices clockwise from top: Trio of Soaps, £19.50; Skin Food, £14.50; Hair and Body Wash, £13.30; Shaving Cream Tub, £15.50; Shaving Cream Tube, £8.70.
It doesn’t matter what kind of man yours is, heritage grooming is cool. Whether he’s an old fart or hipster, he’ll like Geo. F. Trumper. It’s a shaving brand that’s as classic as it comes.
Paul Clark is THE Lewes shop for proper old-fashioned-style service and extremely high quality men’s items. Paul knows all his products and pieces inside-out and is an excellent advisor.
If the budget were bigger, I’d go scented candle. They come in thick olive green glass jars, their labels booming man-friendly aromas like ROSEMARY in big letters.
But my beloved would know I was giving a gift to myself through him.
And he’d be right. Not a wise move for the points system.
FINALLY (Aside From the ‘Five’)
What will we be giving for Father’s Day? The same as every year – the gift FOR THE FORTUNATE FATHER (which is every father, because they have kids to spoil them on this day).
Hand- (or foot-) painted crockery. I know pretty much every mother has done this for special occasions, so I’ll be brief.
We go to FireWorks Ceramic and Craft Studio* (31 Western Road, 01273 483 007) each year. Always at the last minute. Eileen always A) smiles through our tomfoolery, and B) fires until the Friday of Father’s Day week.
This year I can’t say what we have made as himself might be reading this (unlikely).
The year before last it was a mug. Last year my younger one was four weeks old. We did the plate of both boys’ feet. I was in the eye of the storm and barely remember it.
So secretly, this is a present that’s gifted to my husband. But really, it’s for me.
Have a lovely Father’s Day!
* I’m going to do an ‘In Town’ about FireWorks. For somewhere that is wall-to-wall breakables, the shop is astonishingly family-friendly.