Father’s Day – Sunday June 15th 2014
People used to look at my parents and think they were twins. Both dark haired, slight and fine boned, they could easily have been blood relatives, though they were actually born miles apart in Somerset and Scotland.
Personality wise, they couldn’t have been more different. My dad was quiet and reflective, really quite tidy (except when he cooked) and always immaculately dressed. Mum was a wild child who went to parties (in the 50s) wearing one of my dad’s shirts and a pair of stockings and heels, or, a bra with dyed net curtains sewn on to make a ‘ball gown’. She also insisted that father’s day didn’t exist. And my dad never contradicted that, though I suspect he might secretly have liked a father’s day present.
It’s a poignant moment when promotional material arrives headed ‘perfect for father’s day’. I don’t have anyone to buy a father’s day gift for this year. So, this is an imaginary list for you dad, of what you might have liked. I’ve quite enjoyed virtual shopping for you (and I’ve even wanted to keep a few of the gifts I’ve tried for myself)
I’ve been testing a great new coffee machine from Lavazza. It’s slim and tidy, very stylish AND it makes great coffee. Unlike some of the other machines I’ve tried it’s ultra simple to use – although you can’t make a cappuccino, you CAN make your coffee as strong or as weak as you like. There are no pre-sets and the machine has a tiny footprint so it will fit in a small house or flat. Perfect.
To go with his coffee, I might get him some of his favourite Turkish Delight. This stunning box landed through my letterbox a month or so ago from Lokum, a shop in Walton Street where you can buy a range of candles, Turkish silverware and boxes of Turkish delight that are far removed from the version which comes neatly wrapped in purple plastic. Open the box of magic and you’ll find sugar dusted squares of delicately flavoured jellies, flavoured with rose, fig and walnuts. I’m sure dad would love a square or two…
Afterwards, with perfect timing I think I’d treat him to a bottle of Balblair 2003 – All Scottish Dads I know love whisky – single malt scotch whisky of course and I’ve been tasting the Balblair so I know that this particular this particular Balblair 2003 Vintage is timed to provide a fragrant drink with notes of citrus, toffee, butterscotch and vanilla. I have a sneaky suspicion that there will be a single malt revival soon.
What if dad wanted something a little fresher? well, this bottle of Malcolm Miller’s Gin makes the perfect cocktail. I like the story behind this Gin, the first premium artisan product in London. Rumour has it that antique dealer Martin Miller couldn’t find a gin he liked, so set to work to create his own, distilling the gin with Icelandic water for purity and developing his own two stage distillation to separate out the earthy botanicals from the citrus flavourings. It worked. The gin is wonderful to drink in cocktails and nice enough to have as a shot!
Finally if I was looking for the absolute ultimate father’s day gift it would have to be this Vespa. The perfect way to navigate London’s crowded streets while staying sophisticated…while it might set me back around £7,500 – it would be worth every penny.
I’m dreaming of course. But, dad, if you are looking down on me, know that I am planning the ultimate father’s day for you. And that I still miss you.