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What a dad really wants for Father’s Day, by one who knows

Former British Esquire editor and dad-of-six Peter Howarth shares his most coveted Father’s Day gifts from Sloane Street and Chelsea

1 June 2022

As a father of six boys – three sons, three step sons, aged between 21 and 26, in case you’re interested – I am something of an expert on Father’s Day gifts. Or rather, that should be, the lack of them. After years of waiting in hope, only to be confirmed in my opinion that my boys are blissfully unaware of this annual event, or, more likely, just too busy getting on with their own lives to celebrate mine, I’ve decided it’s time for some proactive prompting.

So, I shall be sending an email shortly to my five-a-side football team (with one sub on the bench), with some helpful hints of what might make me very happy on Sunday June 19. 

And, as someone who has a lifelong relationship with Sloane Street (I grew up just across the river in Battersea, and when I was a similar age to my sons would spend my Saturdays in the environs of Sloane Square), I’ve tried to make it simple for the kids by keeping everything local. 

Frankly, I don’t hold out much hope of success, but here’s my list in case you’re looking for any ideas yourselves. Or you meet any one of my brood, in which case, please remind them that it’s all here in black and white.

A KXU personal training session

KXU is a boutique gym on Pavilion Road (the kind that looks like a nightclub inside) and is a very stylish place to work out in Chelsea. It also has a “Medi-Spa” (cryotherapy chamber and other fitness recovery therapies) and a salad and smoothie bar, so when it says that it’s more than just a gym, it’s not exaggerating. The programme is divided into three sections: stretch, sweat and strength, but personal training sessions can be tailored to individual fitness goals. A great way to rejuvenate your old dad. 1-hour personal training session, £120

KXU, 241 Pavilion Rd, SW1X 0BP

Omakase experience at The Fuji Grill, Beaverbrook Town House

Omakase is a Japanese phrase meaning “I’ll leave it up to you”. At The Fuji Grill, Head Sushi Chef Jan Horak interprets this by tailoring a menu of 12 to 20 Japanese dishes according to your tastes and wishes. The restaurant describes itself as providing a “journey of flavour”, which uses authentic Japanese cooking techniques to create contemporary dishes. Just the thing for a memorable gastronomic experience. 12 courses for £95 per guest, or 20 courses for £195 per guest

The Fuji Grill at Beaverbrook Town House, 115-116 Sloane St, SW1X 9PJ

Pavilion Grooming Experience at Pavilion Barbers

Pavilion Barbers (on the very picturesque Pavilion Road with its local neighbourhood vibe) is a Victorian-styled barbershop that uses only British-made products from Truefitt & Hill, which is a Royal Warrant holder. Pierce Brosnan is a customer, and let’s face it, if it’s good enough for a former 007, not to mention Thomas Crown, then it’ll be just fine and dandy for me. Pavilion Barbers offers all the classic barbershop treatments, but the full works is the Pavilion Grooming Experience, which sounds like a new theme park ride, and probably by the end makes you feel like you’ve been on one; it includes haircut, a traditional hot towel shave (head shave, choice of beard trim with hot towel and razor), ear and nose waxing, eyebrow threading, all followed by facial and deep cleansing treatments. Pavilion Grooming Experience, £170

Pavilion Barbers, 166a Pavilion Rd, SW1X 0AW

Armani/Casa “Olivia” desk

OK, this one may be a bit of a stretch on the finances of my 20-somethings, but hey, if you don’t ask… This is the luxury gift for a working dad. Now that like most of the nation I’m adapting to the idea of long-term hybrid labour, I could do with a new desk, and where better to get one than Armani/Casa? The “Olivia” desk is a classic, simple shape, but a curve in the top gives it a distinctive character. It comes in wood or other deluxe materials and has a single central drawer and a hole for cables. The design is minimal, but the finishes on offer, which include lacquer and satin light brass, give the whole piece a pleasingly glamorous look that would make my Father’s Day feel very luxurious. Price on request.

Armani/Casa, 37-38 Sloane Street, SW1X 9LP

Tom Ford silk pyjama trousers

If I’m going to be spending more time at home, then these slinky made-in-Italy pyjama trousers might be the just the thing to make the experience not just comfy, but stylish too. Made from silk with a Tom Ford-logo waistband, these are perfect for lounging around in, catching up on the latest streaming craze and reading the paper. And even working from home. Silk pyjama trousers, £580

Tom Ford, 201-202 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QX

Anya Hindmarch golf balls in a leather case

Anya Hindmarch has long been the queen of quirky accessories and gifts. This is a leather zipped case packed with 15 yellow golf balls, all printed with smiley faces. The front of the case can be personalised with text and motifs. The case is called a “Wow Box” and once you’ve lost all the balls in the rough makes a handy container for precious keepsakes. Golf Ball Wow Box XL, £445

Anya Hindmarch, 157-158 Sloane Street, SW1X 9AB

Brunello Cucinelli denim shirt

Brunello Cucinelli is celebrated for his contemporary Italian style, all softly tailored jackets, cashmere and cotton joggers and shawl-collared cardigans. But he also makes a mean Western-style shirt, either in dark Japanese denim or a lighter-coloured, lighter-weight denim. It has snap buttons, flap pockets and contrast stitching that highlights the yoke. I’d like one – and kids, if you’re reading this, I’d be happy with either material – to wear with a tailored blue jacket or grey suit, or some off-white linen trousers. Denim leisure fit Western shirt, £680

Brunello Cucinelli, 159 Sloane Street, SW1X 9BT

Peter Howarth has been Editor of Arena, British Esquire and Man About Town, and is the men’s style specialist for The Times Luxx magazine

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