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VisitWalesAlternative Father's Day

June 2017

A group riding vespas from Wye Valley Canoes, by Michael Sinclair
A group riding vespas from Wye Valley Canoes, by Michael Sinclair

No dad is a cookie cutter dad. Of course, some like fishing, some like gardening and some like loafing in front of the TV watching the footie. BUT if your dad is a quirky man about town or a lover of all things adventurous, trendy and hip, then check out these recommendations. Meat and beer may be involved but you’ll see some surprise additions too. And forget about those manly pats on the back, now – only proper ‘cwtches’ will do!

Foodie fathers

Gentleman's Afternoon Tea at Laguna Kitchen & Bar, Park Plaza Hotel by Park Plaza
Gentleman's Afternoon Tea at Laguna Kitchen & Bar,
Park Plaza Hotel by Park Plaza

For the more discerning palate, treat your dad to something extra special. How about a special ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’, offered by Cardiff’s Park Plaza Hotel

Cardiff-based carnivores are absolutely spoiled for choice with The Potted Pig and its sister restaurant The Meating Place, along with a meaty holy trinity consisting of Hangfire Smokehouse (a pop-up residing at Street Food Circus in May & June 2015), Got Beef and The Grazing Shed

Down West, dads can get hands on with a spot of cheese making or curing with the folks at Cwmcrwth Farms in Carmarthenshire or sit back and let Y Polyn in Capel Dewi or Sosban in Llanelli rustle up a superb Father’s Day treat. 

Visiting North Wales? Then it would be a crime against foodie fathers everywhere not to visit Bodnant Welsh Food – the jewel in the crown of North Walian foodie finds.  

Action dads

Some dads just want to show off that they’ve ‘still got it’. Challenge them to a bracing day out white water rafting or paddle boarding at Cardiff’s International White Water centre.

Dads with a sense of racing ‘va va voom’ can release their inner Jenson Button at race tracks in both North and South Wales.

If your Papa’s a bit of a poser or an ex-mod, you could hire one of these amazing Vespa’s via Wye Valley Canoes and spend the day whizzing through the Brecon Beacons in style. Hell, you can even stop for a cheeky sheep’s milk ice-cream in Hay on Wye.

For a wet and wild day jumping off cliffs into the ocean, coasteering will earn bragging rights for your dad for years to come! But you’ll really know your dad is up for anything if you manage to send him skywards. Wales has plenty of options for ballooning, gliding and helicopter flights...and some seriously good views from above, too. 

Wannabe Boy Scout dads

Firefox Bushcraft, Dolgellau  by Visit Wales
Firefox Bushcraft, Dolgellau by Visit Wales

Does your dad fancy himself as a bit of a Bear Grylls type? Does he love nothing more than stomping around a muddy forest bed, with a stick in one hand and a map in the other? Fungi ForaysParc le Breos and Llys Meddyg all offer variable packages for foragers looking for an outdoor food and plant-picking adventure.

For something a bit more hard-core, dads can experience everything from bushcraft days and weekends, castaway adventures and woodsman and wilderness courses, why not try Firefox Bushcraft if you're in North Wales to teach you some 'proper' man skills. You might even get to cook your dinner on an open fire. Marshmallows optional, of course, though it may ruin the image. 

Dapper dads

Hatts Vintage Emporium, Cardiff Market  by Hatts Vintage Emporium
Hatts Vintage Emporium, Cardiff Market by Hatts Vintage Emporium

For blokes who love their boutiques and classic tailoring, take your dad on a pit stop tour of some of Cardiff’s hot spots for high quality items – classic brogues at Brogue Trader, waistcoats, cravats and hats at Hatt’s Vintage Emporium in Cardiff Market, top of the range razors and gifts at Havana House (formerly The Bear Shop tobacconists) and Vom Fass for some weird and wonderful olive oil and liqueur selections.

Other notable independent menswear shops include Vaughan Davies in Mold, Aidan Sweeney in Brecon, Ragazzi in Wrexham and Chess Menswear in Llandeilo.  

Prancing papas

Pamper time at the Celtic Manor  by The Celtic Manor
Pamper time at the Celtic Manor by The Celtic Manor

Your dad is a bit of a looker and he knows it! He’s not vain; he’s just looking after himself (so he says!). Male grooming products are a boom industry and Wales has no shortage of places for your dad to be spoiled rotten.

From massages, to waxing, tanning and even mani-pedis, you’d be surprised how many blokes love their beauty products! The Celtic ManorThe Vale Resort and Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa are no strangers to the modern gents’ demands to keep themselves looking primped and preened. Put that mirror, away dad! 

Real retro dads

Rhys Llewellyn, Game fishing by Rhys Llewellyn
Rhys Llewellyn, Game fishing by Rhys Llewellyn

Dad’s a bit more ‘traditional’? We’ve no shortage of amazing fishing trips, walking paths to put the ‘wow’ in walking and superb pubs for a quiet pint in Wales. 

If he’s keen on a fine tipple, treat him for a sumptuous tasting session at Penderyn distillery – set near the atmospheric Brecon Beacons. For beer lovers, both Tomos Watkin and Llangollen breweries offers tour and tasting sessions, to see how their malty marvelousness is made. Maybe dad deserves a take-out souvenir, too? (Well it is his day after all...just make sure you are on driving duty!).

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