Ten of the Best Father’s Day Gifts
by Natalie French (June 2013)
Step away from the socks. Yes, dads can be a nightmare to buy for, but why not up the ante this Father’s Day and spoil yours with a day to remember? From clay pigeon shooting in the Hampshire countryside; to honing his swirl, sniff and slurp technique under London Bridge - here are ten gifts that blow monogrammed hankies out of the water.
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Lime Wood, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst
Kitchen Table at Lime Wood Hotel: The new restaurant at Lime Wood Hotel, Hartnett Holder & Co, has already established a rep as the place to dine in 2013. Now you can feast in the heart of the buzzing kitchen, whilst all the culinary magic unfolds around you. Take dad, and up to nine other family members, for a slap up private meal around the antique wooden kitchen table – allowing you to soak up the frenetic atmosphere whilst chatting to the chefs and learning a few tricks in the process.
Rectory Road, Oakley, Basingstoke
Clay pigeon shooting at Oakley Hall, Hampshire: Let your dad lord it up this father’s day on 315 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside. The winding drive alone, snaking up to the elegant Georgian manor, screams: “pass me my shotgun and wax jacket!” And now your dad can don both and test out his hand/eye co-ordination whilst attempting to obliterate pigeons of the clay variety! After working up an appetite in the West Woods of the estate, he’ll then retreat to Oakley Hall for a spot of supper, and to weigh up his new country-gent status.
A round of golf at Glen Eagles: His handicap may not be good enough for the 2014 Ryder Cup, but there’s no reason your dad can’t play on a championship golf course. The PGA Centenary Course at Glen Eagles was designed by acclaimed golf architect, Jack Nicklaus, and is the longest inland course in Scotland. Not only will your dad enjoy the huge undulating greens, he can also marvel at breathtaking views over the Grampians and the Trossachs as he lines up his next shot.
Pamper at Lucknam Park: Discerning gentleman love a good man-pamper! So, if your dad is of the ‘cleanse-tone-and-moisturise’ variety, pack him off to Lucknam Park Spa for the day. After checking out the thermal cabins and taking a dip in the outdoor salt water plunge pool, he can head to one of the state-of-the-art treatment rooms for a ‘Made-to Measure Grooming Facial’ - offering an hour of tailored indulgence using Anne Semonin essential oils.
Silverstone Circuit, Towcester
If your dad’s the type who’s happiest throwing himself out of planes, or hurtling up sheer rock faces, then he’ll love The Hypersonic at Silverstone. Riding tandem with a pro driver, he’ll be strapped into a two-seater, custom build machine, whose 3.7 litre V6 Ford Cyclone engine can reach speeds of up to 150mph. Watch from the sidelines as your dad’s cheeks stick to his ears whilst The Hypersonic rocks 0-60mph in just three seconds.
No 1 Bank End, London
Not all vineyards are in the countryside. City dwellers can find the UK’s best known ‘urban vineyard’ located in the Victorian railway arches beneath London Bridge. The stunning venue alone has over 100 wines to sample, plus five bars and restaurants. A wine tasting tour could be the perfect present, offering your dad a leisurely, and possibly quite squiffy, afternoon on the Southbank.
If your dad likes a little flutter on the horses, treat him to a day at Royal Ascot on 18th – 22nd June. Situated in beautiful wooded countryside, next to Windsor Great Park, the event attracts the world’s finest racehorses, alongside the most outrageous hats. With a staggering £5 million in the prize money kitty, over eighteen ‘Group’ races, the five day event promises edge-of-your-seat adrenaline and he might even pick a winner!
Mawnan Smith, Falmouth
Nature lovers will be in their element at the sub-tropical paradise of Trebah Garden in Cornwall. This exotic ravine garden wouldn’t look out of place with dinosaurs roaming the 25 acres. Wander with your dad beneath canopies of exotic blooms, taking in the waterfalls and giant gunnera and you’ll see why Trebah is rated among the 80 finest gardens in the world. With over four miles of footpaths, a colourful array of 100-year-old rhododendrons and a private beach – this will be a father’s day to remember!
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