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Surprise your old man (or the father figure in your life) by treating him to a day out with a difference this Father’s Day on Sunday, June 17.  Our roving reporter Sonya Barber has picked 11 of the best days out in town.

1. Drink whisky out of a tree


Tucked away in a backstreet near Old Street station you’ll find inconspicuous basement whisky bar, Blackrock. But don’t let its unassuming exterior fool you; this is the holy grail for whisky fans. There’s a library of over 250 bottles of international whiskies and in the middle of the room, you’ll find a table made from half the trunk of a 185 year old oak tree filled with two rivers of the dark spirit. Book a spot for you and pops and let the whisky odyssey begin.

2. East London Beer Hop


A new experience on The Indytute.  Discover together your favourite craft ales and visit off the beaten track bars and microbreweries of east London.  Whether you are fans of hoppy, fruity, hazy, sour, crisp or just plain weird there will be a brew with your name on it in the hipster enclave that is Hackney. Book now.

3. Explore the Churchill War Rooms


Dad partial to a bit of history? Take him on a trip to this fascinating and often-overlooked underground bunker beneath Westminster where you can explore the labyrinth of hidden rooms that Churchill worked from and learn all the secrets they hold about Britain’s fight against the Nazis during World War II. Visit website.

4. Craft your own Chopsticks


You could whittle a spoon, but if you want a bit of one upmanship (and really who doesn’t) the way forward is to carve your own chopsticks. Run by luxury product designer, Charl Haynike.  This experience is the perfect antidote for the stressed out dad as they'll spend three hours working with wood and being creative.

5. Challenge him to a game at Swingers


If your dad is the sporting type, challenge him to a game of crazy golf at Swingers. Book in to the new 1920’s seaside-themed venue just off Oxford Street, fill up on street food, grab some cocktails and then hit the green. Just watch out for the ‘Big Wheel’ hole as there could be tears before bedtime. Remember, it’s only a game!

6. Treat him to a trim at Huckle the Barbers


Spoil your old man by buying him to a luxurious wet shave, facial or just a well-deserved cut at this retro-inspired barber shop. There are experienced barbers, hot towels, classic barber chairs, impeccable service, beverages and good tunes. Lucky dad.

7. Beer tasting at Camden Town Brewery

A trip to the pub is such a cop out. If your dad likes a pint or two, book on to a tour at Camden Town Brewery under the arches in Camden where you’ll learn all there is to know about making beer, get to try fresh brews straight out of the tank and then figure out your faves in the tasting room. Cheers!

8. Make doughnuts at Bread Ahead


Bread Ahead doughnuts are the stuff of legends – and you can learn all the secrets of how they’re made at the half day doughnut making course they’re running on June 17. If your dad doesn’t have a sweet tooth, they also teach plenty of other carb-tastic courses including pizza, sourdough, pretzels and flatbreads.

9. Have a meltdown at the Southbank


Robert Smith from The Cure is curating this year’s Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre which happens to coincide with Father’s Day. Take any music-loving dads to the Sunday Surprise sessions where they’ll be music from emerging bands chosen by Smith on the terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall.

10. Learn to chop, smash and destroy at Bounce


Bounce is the home of ping pong and the home to the most brilliant table tennis masterclasses with The Indytute. With just a little bit of instruction, you can become a dazzling Wiff Waff duo and beat any poor unsuspecting contender.

11. Chuck some axes

Got some unresolved daddy issues? Take your old man to Whistle Punk’s urban axe throwing to blow off some steam. No, you don’t chuck them at each other –  you’ll compete against each other to try and hit as many bullseyes as possible by flinging axes at a target. Not as dangerous as it sounds and extremely good fun.

12. Learn the Blues Guitar with ex. Stranglers, John Ellis.


Haven’t seen dad play in a while? Ignite his hobby and learn the blues guitar from John Ellis, The Indytute’s blues legend. In this four hour masterclass, he’ll learn techniques from hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, whams and turnarounds, palm muting and chugging and that’s just for starters.

Written by Sonya Barber, author of 'East London: an Opinionated Guide' by Hoxton Mini Press, former News & Events editor at Time Out London and general woman about town.

See all our brilliantly inspired Father's Day gift experiences. Handpicked by The Indytute.

  • Hoxton Hotel
  • Selfridges
  • Soho House
  • Stella Magazine
  • Stylist
  • Time Out
  • The Times
  • Press