17 Jun 2022

How to celebrate Father's Day

Father’s Day, which was first celebrated in Washington state, USA, in June 1910, is an American import, which reached the UK in the early years of the 20th century. It became enduringly popular after World War II when it was promoted as a day to remember men who were away from home on the field of battle.

Like Mother’s Day, the primary emphasis of Father’s Day is on the benefits of families spending time together, enjoying a special treat, and celebrating all-important family ties. In some families, fathers will enjoy gifts such as books, alcohol and gourmet treats.

Taking place near midsummer, the main emphasis is on being out and about as a family and indulging fathers, either with well-chosen outings or their favourite food and drink. Here are a few suggestions:

Enjoy a Cricket Match with your Father

The slow unfolding of a world class test match, with its well-informed commentators, enthusiastic spectators, historical precedents, arcane statistics and anxious weather-watching is a quintessentially British pastime. Cricket has come to define the essence of good sportsmanship. When Lord Harris wrote his book, A Few Short Runs, in 1921, he discussed the phrase “That is not cricket”, which has come to define “something as not being fair, not honourable, not noble. What a tribute for a game to have won, but what a responsibility for those who play and manage it!”

From the perfect sight of a cricket match played on a village green in late afternoon sunlight to the grandeur and excitement of an England test match at Lords, cricket offers so much to the spectator. This is going to be a busy summer for the English team, who are hosting test series against New Zealand and South Africa, as well as T20 (one-day) series against India and South Africa. If you can’t make it to one of the national matches, remember there is a plethora of county cricket on offer, with 19 county cricket clubs to choose from.

Take Your Father to to a Country House Opera

The summertime world of country house operas is a wonderful treat for music-lovers, and if your father falls into that category he will appreciate your thoughtfulness. It will certainly feel like a special occasion and many patrons will enjoy dressing up.

Performances take place outside, often with spectacular architectural backdrops, in some of England’s most beautiful private gardens. You arrive early, generally around 5pm for pre-opera drinks. Long intervals of around 100 minutes are a chance to enjoy supper in the summer twilight; you can choose to book a restaurant on-site, or you can bring your own stylish picnic – pack fold-up chairs and table, glasses and cutlery and a cool box to ensure that chilled white wine is readily available. Classic English summer treats such as asparagus, smoked salmon and strawberries can be delicately nibbled with minimal mess.

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