With summer’s arrival and the prospect of spending time outdoors with friends, it’s only natural that a board game will come out. Some of my fondest memories involve backgammon, one of the oldest board games dating back 5,000 years or more. I played backgammon growing up with my dad, and love how it brings people of all ages together for good quality, device-free time. With Father’s Day around the corner (Sunday, June 19th) and to celebrate all the men in our lives, I’ve put together some of my favorite gifts, including an heirloom backgammon set that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Backgammon is one of the oldest games in existence. And while the exact origin is unknown, the game is believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq. Some of the first players of backgammon were tribal priests who rolled the bones of animals to predict an outcome. It was later played by leaders in civilizations in Greece, Rome, Persia and the Far East. Romans loved it so much, it became known as the sport of the emperors.
In the 1920’s backgammon experienced a revival with the use of the “doubling cube” – which is a little larger than a regular die and keeps track of the current stakes of the game. In the 60’s and 70’s backgammon was the game of choice for jet setters and to this day is infused with the smokey glamour of hotels, bars and clubs. And while it takes only a bit to learn how to play, it takes a lifetime to master the skill.
For the dads who enjoy a drink or two, these handmade bottle stoppers are great for a variety of bottles, from wine to liquor. Crafted locally, artist Peter Horjus takes discarded architectural elements and turns them into works of art. Available in small and large, pair a stopper or two with his favorite bottle of booze.
Whether dad cooks or enjoys healthy, flavorful meals, Everyone's Table delivers. This cookbook features 200 mouthwatering recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, legumes and grains from Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet. He was inspired by global ingredients and techniques from his Haitian upbringing to create savory stews, easy ferments and vegetable-forward sides.
To go with any meal, the Soft Machine Corkscrew will open his favorite bottles in a single movement, thanks to a unique rack system. Made with ease and style in mind, this treasured tool will be used for years to come.
Raise a glass to all the dads with this Crystal Whiskey Glass. The rounded, sturdy bottom will fit perfectly in his hand and the handmade crystal design is synonymous with classic elegance.
If he prefers to do things the "old-fashioned way," he'll love the book, How To Do Things. This 100th anniversary volume of the 1919 first edition includes everything from how to milk a cow, to how to mend a fence post. And a new deck of playing cards for the dad who loves a good card game - the Voyager and Navigators sets are a new take on a vintage design.
For the garden-loving pops, a set of quality tools that he can use to dig, prune and trim will win his heart. The Hori Hori is a multipurpose tool designed after the Japanese garden knife. Use it to measure plant depth, hammer in tent stakes, saw a branch or even whittle kindling – the options are endless. Made of durable steel construction, the Pruner with Sheath has a vintage-inspired design that is meant to last.
Whether he's harvesting, pruning or foraging, this Harvesting and Gathering Bag is just what he needs. It features convertible straps for chest or back carrying and the drop-out bottom makes for easy emptying of the harvest. I also love how it's made from weather and water resistant paraffin too. And these multi-purpose Gardening Scissors are essential trimming leafy greens and so much more.
Keep him protected from the sun in style with our bestselling Lifeguard Hat. Loved by many for its unisex style and durable design, this hat is made from handwoven palm and is perfect for the beach, garden, pool or any outdoor activity.
For the wine connoisseur, he'll love these beautiful handcrafted gifts. The Mini Collector Sommelier Gift Box includes a chromed metal corkscrew, a cork opener for champagne and sparking wine bottles and a wine stopper that universally fits any cork. And the Oeno Motion Trésor is a fine corkscrew made in France and housed in a red wooden box, evoking the aesthetic of old trunks.
For the game-loving dad, this Wood Grain Lacquer Backgammon Set is perfect for veteran players and novices alike. It features matching game set pieces that include dice, checkers and leather cups. Made for gatherings with friends and family and suitable for all ages.
Channel his inner musician by gifting him one of these beautiful coffee table books. David Bowie: Icon features an evolution of the artist through the years using hundreds of images from renowned photographers. Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman captures life on stage, back stage and on the road with rare and unseen images of the band in From The Inside.
There's nothing like a good game of backgammon, a cocktail, a good book and a day in the garden to spoil the dads and men in our lives. No matter what he likes to do, we have that little something that will make him feel appreciated. With two weeks to go, there's plenty of time to let us help you!