Top ways to treat Dad this Father's Day
Father’s Day is the ideal opportunity to let your dad know how much you care about him, and the Isle of Wight is the perfect place to find him that ideal gift and to plan him a day to remember. Here we offer some ideas for Days Out For Dads, Family Days Out and great Gift Ideas for Dad.
Take a Tour and a Tipple
Drive into Rosemary Vineyard via the lane that leads though the immaculately pruned vines and you arrive at the pretty winery where you can take your dad on a tour – followed of course by a tasting of the wines they produce. Plus the award winning Island Distillery is now part of this set-up and you can see their gleaming stills and sample their Wight Mermaids Gin, HNS Victory Navy Strength Gin and their Rock Island Vodka. And there are a whole host of other tipples to tempt his taste buds and a pretty café overlooking the vineyard.
Adgestone Wine is on the gentle slopes of Brading Downs with views down to the Bay area. You can take an audio tour of the vineyard and then descend beneath the vinery to one of the oldest commercial wine cellars in England. Afterwards you could unwind in the café with a light lunch or sharing platter accompanied by several glasses of English wine (give him a day off of the driving – it’s Father’s Day after all.) You could even order him a personalised label for a special Father’s Day bottle of wine. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the summer they have live music and there’s a treasure hunt and free roaming chickens to amuse the kids.
If your dad loves old steam trains then take him to the ‘Workshops Open Day’ at IW Steam Railway on Father’s Day, (Sunday June 18th 2017). He can find out all about how their team of volunteers, both old hands and new apprentices, repair these lovely old engines and carriages from a bygone era.
Plus you can take the whole family and ride on their beautiful Victorian and Edwardian trains through the stunning East Wight countryside between Ashey, Wootton and Havenstreet. And back at the station there are activities for kids and Haven Falconry’s birds of prey to see performing with their falconers.
It’s a great opportunity to find out about the engineering works being undertaken on the IW Steam Railway’s rolling stock and their current restoration projects. Your dad can speak to the men and women who give so much of their time to be involved in this important part of Britain's Heritage. He could even find a new hobby by volunteering to help them in either the loco or carriage and wagon workshops.
Take your dad for a slap up meal at one of the Island’s character pubs or great restaurants. You can’t beat eating on the Lower or Top Deck of The Spyglass Inn, looking out across Ventnor Bay, whilst tucking into a yummy seafood dish or one of their huge curries. Or he might like traditional village pub such as the Red Lion in Freshwater where the food is fabulous and you can top it off with a walk along the causeway to Yarmouth. The Little Gloster on Gurnard seafront has far reaching views across to the mainland and is great for sunsets and Sunday lunches but make sure to book first. Or opt for the new Oyster Bar at North House in Cowes where you’ll be stepping in the shoes of stars - Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Michael Gambon stayed here in September 2016 whilst shooting major feature film Victoria and Abdul (to be released in September 2016). And if you really want to spoil him then treat him to a top notch meal at Robert Thomson’s restaurant, Thompson’s, in Newport, who is a true artist in the culinary arts.
Great Gift Ideas for Dad
Obviously, there are the Island wines and the Island Distillery gins and vodkas, and there are also Island-brewed beers such as Goddards’ Ale of Wight or their popular Fuggle Dee Dum. Yates’ have some interesting beers with an Isle of Wight theme such as Dark Side of the Wight and The Undercliff Experience. And Island Brewery has bottled beers such as Wight Knight and Wight Gold for sale in packs of 12 bottles.
If he’s a cheese lover then get him some of the famous Isle of Wight Blue soft cheese or their delicious hard Cheddar type of cheese called Gallybagger – an old Island name meaning scarecrow. Strawberries are in season so if he really loves them get over to Farmer Jacks to buy him a punnet of Ben Brown’s freshly picked ones.
Up at the Cow Co shop they have loads of Island-made produce and gift ideas and you could get him a slap up meal at the Cow Co restaurant. Take the kids and they could unwind in the adjacent Tapnell Farm Park, meeting the animals, bouncing on a tennis court sized bouncy cushion and sliding on the hay bales, whilst dad chills out with a beer and a burger looking across the rolling fields to the shimmering Solent.