Forget socks or golf paraphernalia — it's bacon and eggs that your old man really wants on Father's Day.
A beautiful breakfast box
The proliferation of what for the want of a better term we’ll call posh food boxes began way before the pandemic. Yet there is no doubt that the suspension of ‘normal’ life for two years prompted more and more people to order things for delivery which before they would unquestionably have bought in person. Pre-Covid trailblazers like the Rhug Estate and The Black Farmer were joined by everything from restaurants selling make-it-at-home kits to crofters in the Highlands selling their lamb direct to the public.
One of the best of the bunch is Made in Oldstead, set up by Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks and his family; his parents run the Oldstead farm. And in addition to their normal fare, for Father’s Day they’ve begun selling a breakfast box of really superb quality which is as delicious a spread as you could hope for, consisting of (deep breath): sausages, bacon, black pudding, duck fat hash browns, Paris brown mushrooms and Burford eggs… all accompanied by apple & lemon Verbena juice, a sourdough loaf with sour butter, yoghurt with rhubarb and granola, and blackcurrant & sweet cicely jam. Bacon and sausages come from the rare breeds pigs (Saddlebacks, Oxford Sandys and Black pigs) which have been raised on the farm for half a century; both were so good that you’ll be ruined for lesser bangers and bacon for weeks afterwards. Cheap, it is not; but it’s beautifully boxed and delivered, refrigerated, in sustainable packaging, making it the sort of treat that puts a smile on your face for days.
Made in Oldstead breakfast box — £45 (including delivery, serves two)
He’ll need something to dip those sausages in
If you’re doing a fry up for Dad on Sunday, remember that no sausage is complete without at least three different strangely-coloured, oddly-named and mouthwateringly tasty splodges of sauce to dip them in. And Tracklements condiments are superb — you just can’t go wrong.
£18.25 from Tracklements
Not such a rum deal
Hot, sultry days seem to be with us at last, and if you’re father is a gin-and-tonic man then we’d hope our recent summery gins round-up gave you a few ideas for tipples beyond the usual standards. But a gin is best for sunny afternoon mixed drinks, or pre-dinner cocktails; for something to sit up late sipping while you swap stories about the good old days, a rum is ideal. Berry Bros have a range of options from across the Caribbean, including Guyana, Jamaica, Belize and Nicaragua. The latter is distilled by the old family firm behind Flor de Cana, and is a powerful yet light-coloured drink with a hefty dose of wood spice and vanilla, with a faint coffee coming through in the aftertaste.
Berry Bros Nicaraguan Rum — £35
Roll out the barrel
How can we put this delicately? You’ll have to factor in the age of your beloved, whisky-loving dad before taking the plunge on buying him a share (or two) in a cask of whisky. It’s a fun idea: rather than just buying a bottle of something nice, you buy him a share of a still-maturing cask so that he can wait patiently and anticipate just how good the final product will be. Some casks — like a forthcoming Bruichladdich — will be bottled in the next year or so, but others will continue to mature for many years yet before he’ll be able to taste what comes forth. An Isle of Raasay, to name one example, won’t actually come out of the barrel until 2031. We know that sometimes the anticipation is better than the thing itself, but that might be pushing it a little…
Whisky cask shares from £49
Perfect draft for perfect dad?
Comparing the home brow beer of the 1980s to the latest generation of proper-beer-at-home machines is like… well, comparing a rust-prone 1980s hatchback to the sleek and smooth cars that even a modest motoring budget seems to get you these days. ‘Perfect Draft’ machines don’t make it that easy, though: there’s still fair bit of practice and technique needed to get things right, and a friend’s first brew seemed to churn out nothing but foam for the first few glasses. Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s great fun — and while pricey, considering that you no longer seem to get change from a fiver when buying a pint in the pub, it’ll probably pay for itself in no time.
PerfectDraft starter bundle — £249 from Beer Hawk