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One-of-a-kind gifts


Oh come on now. Judging by the usual Father’s Day fare in the press, there seems to be a bit of a misconception that men are somehow not as interesting to buy for as women — but I wholeheartedly disagree! Discovering or remembering the real niches of the father figure in your life can lead to some rather extraordinary finds I think, and furthermore, really showing them that they’re loved is probably long overdue. Let’s look to the nation’s innovative small businesses for inspiration. Here are some absolute treasures…

For the men who aren’t afraid to step up to the plate when it comes to the trickier sides of parenting, like explaining early coming home times to angry teenage girls or becoming the household’s unofficial full-time Dinner Maker. Every fantastic father needs a crown. This one doubles up as a Father’s Day card too (which is FSC rated and comes with an envelope made from a mix of recycled paper and citrus peels that would otherwise be headed to landfill). Almost as clever as he is.

Fantastic father hat

Fantastic father party hat, by Hadley Paper Goods

Or for the chap who fancies himself as my new friend Heston, how about making him smile every time he cooks with these cheery, wooden utensils? What a lovely way to make happy new memories together (and encourage him to rustle up that homemade bread you all love). 

Spoons with smiley faces on them

Happy spoons and spatula, by Thorsten van Elton

The jolliest and most flattering Father’s Day card I’ve seen for a long time is this one by the brilliant ARTHOUSE Unlimited. Yes, potentially as their patron I’m slightly biased but just look at how happy he is! I also love knowing that by buying this, I’m supporting artists living with complex neurodiverse and physical support needs. That’s the kind of thing that can provide a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ in houses other than just ours.

Superb man card, by ARTHOUSE Unlimited

To show the person in your life how incredibly loved they are and that you’ll always have their back, this t-shirt just makes my heart melt. Made by Young Double, there are even matching mini me versions available too. Think at 17, my Harry’s a little old but you never know…

Yellow jumper with the words 'you are loved' on it

Loved sweater in ‘Sunny’, by Young Double

How about this for a gift with a difference? What dad wouldn’t love a fish and chip dinner with a handcrafted reminder to go on the wall? Then all he’d need to do from here on in, is point at it when it’s been one of those days and that’s Papi happy and dinner sorted.

Wall hanging that says 'chippy tea' on it

Chippy tea wall hanging, by Bianco Perry

‘Popperty’, ‘Daddio’ or even ‘The Dadster’, whatever you call him, there’s a keyring to match, and few are lovelier than these handmade leather ones from Sally and Jay, the talented founders of Konoc (which incidentally, means ‘bird feather’ in Thai as Thailand is precisely where they met). How lovely to be reminded of how loved you are every time you open your front door…

Personalised keyrings for dads

Personalised leather keyrings, by Konoc

Now I know these would go down a treat in our house — handmade, personalised coupons that can be redeemed for all kinds of treats and things to look forward to from us. I draw the line at cooking but I don’t mind promising the odd cup of tea and a night enjoying his favourite foodie programmes together, and I’m sure Harry will feel much the same. What would yours contain?

Coupons for Dad

Coupons for Dad, by Little Bags of Delight

What I love about this gift is that it’s every bit as touching as it is funny. Don’t all parents love to share those fond memories of some of the classics their children came out with when they were little? It reminds you both that it’s all worthwhile. I just know this would make the most precious keepsake and something to look back on — or even pass on — to bring smiles for all the family in decades to come.

'Things my funny kids say' book

Funny things my kids say, by Write To Me

Know a superhero single dad? I can’t imagine a more thoughtful gift than letting him know he’s not alone. These raw and tender portraits of single-parent fathers by Vogue photographer Harry Borden are combined with moving testimonies about their love and loss, hopes and fears. Hoxton Press are the masters of literary curation and they’ve done it again with this beautiful book that sums up these unique and special relationships so meaningfully.

The Single Dad book

‘Single dad’ book, with photos by Harry Borden, from Hoxton Press

I mean, look! Would you ever have guessed this is made out of Belgian chocolate that’s been carefully crafted and then hand painted? Me neither. For the dad that’s a burger aficionado but also has a sweet tooth, this artistic creation is a sight to behold (and tastes pretty spectacular too). It even comes in its own burger box. You just might need to hide it from the minis. And me!

Chocolate burger

Chocolate burger gift, by Lindy Pop Chocs

There are certain people in your life who have gone to such extraordinary lengths to set you on the right path, that it’s pretty amazing to think you’re not related by blood (though you really might as well be). If that’s the case and the person you’re thinking of has been like a dad to you, LET THEM KNOW. Don’t just mean to do it then forget. Life is short. This will make their day. Do it.

You're like a dad to me - card set

‘You’re like a dad to me’ card, by Hunter Paper Co

For more gift ideas for the men in your life, take a peek at my collection for husbands, dads, sons or even the milkman.

Want better emails? Each week I send a carefully curated selection of what to do, buy, gift or try — all from the best small businesses. Are you in?

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