In case you haven’t realised, today is Father’s Day. A day to celebrate, honour and remember the dads, father-figures and men in our lives. Or, a day polluted by companies looking to line their pockets through the sale of novelty socks, over-engineered tech and other ‘manly’ tat that we don’t need. You decide.
This is my second Father’s day as a dad and my 31st as a son. As I get older, I’m finding that the best gift is time. I don’t mean like a watch – although I’ve always liked the idea of being able to stop time with Bernard’s magical pocket watch – rather spending quality time together with your loved ones.
I’ve written previously that both sets of grandparents aren’t on the doorstep – Hay’s folks live four hours away, whilst mine are three hours away. As such, we don’t get to spend that much time together as an extended family, or indeed them get to spend anywhere near as much time as they’d want with their granddaughter. On average, we try to see our folks every 4-6 weeks, be it us going to them, them coming to us or, more recently, finding somewhere to meet up in the middle.
Thanks to the the generous guys and gals at Peugeot, I was able to meet up with my folks at the end of May for an early Father’s Day surprise. Not only did they offer to lend us one of their new hot hatches – the Peugeot Sport 308 GTi 270 – but they also treated us to a family outing and night away all in the name of Father’s Day. Sometimes blogging has some pretty awesome perks!
I’d worked with Peugeot last year after we got the chance to try out the 308 GT Line 1.2L Puretech as part of the then Baby L’s 1st birthday celebrations, so was really keen to try out the sportier version. With a 1.6-litre THP petrol turbo engine, 266bhp and 330Nm of torgue, the car certainly sounded impressive. Throw in the i-Cockpit layout, the ‘Sport’ button, a 9.7 inch touchscreen, 19 inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof, it was no surprise that the 308 GTi was a massive upgrade on our usual cars.
The car was very similar to the GT Line version we’d tried last year, however it had a few different features – particularly the impressive acceleration and really nice sunroof. The missus and I drove the car during the week, but the main point of having it was for the early Father’s Day meet up with my folks.
Peugeot had kindly sorted us – by which I mean my dad, Toddler L and I – out with tickets to the British Motor Museum near Gaydon. My dad is pretty obsessed with cars, so I thought that this would be a nice place to take him as part of our three-generation family outing.
As it was the Bank Holiday weekend, there were a few additional things on outside of the museum, including fire fighter demonstrations, a classic car meet-up and an array of army vehicles. My Grandad used to be in the army, so my dad lived in Germany as a young kid – he therefore enjoyed telling me various facts about the tanks that went straight over my head.
As you’d expect from a museum containing the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, there were A LOT of cars. My dad was like a child in a sweetshop. Or, I guess to be more accurate, he was like a car enthusiast in a motor museum.
There are a number of different displays inside the building. This included the ‘Time Road’ which shows how motoring has changed from 1896, ‘Design & Concepts’ which includes an array of prototype vehicles, ‘Sports Cars’ which celebrates British sports cars, ‘Film & TV Cars’ including vehicles from Thunderbirds, Skyfall and Tomb Raider, as well as Land Rover and Jaguar specific displays.
As we wandered around, we were surprised at the variety of stuff on show. As well as just looking at the cars, there were plenty of interactive elements, a large cafe and family-friendly facilities. My dad enjoyed wandering around telling me about stuff, but as I didn’t show that much interest, he soon switched his attention to imparting his knowledge on Toddler L. It’s not that it wasn’t good because it was, I’m just not that fussed about cars!
Just when I thought – aka hoped – we’d seen all of the cars, we went back outside and found the Collections Centre. This was a separate building which kind of felt like we’d entered a multi-story car park. Inside, there were around 250 additional cars, including the Jaguar collection and the restoration workshop where they do the vehicles up. There were also a couple of seats where I could rest my weary legs as my dad looked around.
After spending a few hours at the British Motor Museum and letting my dad have multiple geekgasms, we continued our journey on to the hotel. Peugeot had kindly arranged for us to stay at the impressive Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa – the 308 GTi looked right at home parked outside in the grand surroundings.
As much as I’d have liked to have treated my dad to a night in a luxurious hotel, matrimony was the winner and he was replaced by the missus. Hay and my mum had busied themselves during the afternoon as we had our three-generation Father’s Day outing, so they now joined our party. The missus, Toddler L and I checked into a pretty awesome suite in the 16th Century Grade II Listed hall, which is separate to the main hotel, then we headed out for some food.
We’d been provided with some vouchers for the nearby Harvester in Warwick so made the 20 minute journey to the restaurant. Despite having four adults and a toddler in the car, the 308 GTi comfortably coped with the excess baggage – not that I’m calling my folks ‘excess baggage’. There was plenty of space in the back, the car coped effortlessly with the extra weight and the panoramic sunroof stopped my usually car sick mum from feeling ill.
On arriving at Harvester, we found the waiting time was an hour, which was obviously disappointing but hardly surprising on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend. Instead, we went into Warwick town centre and had a nice family meal at Pizza Express.
After this, we headed back to the hotel, used our awesome travel hack of sticking Toddler L into the travel cot in the bathroom, watched a bit of TV, then headed to bed. Our suite was great – a big bathroom with shower and bath, a comfortable king size bed and a separate seating area.
The only negative was the loud music coming from a wedding reception directly outside our window – I have no problem with loud music, but they had the most shocking DJ and music choices I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear.
The next morning, we woke up and headed down to breakfast. There was a huge selection of hot and cold food on offer and it was genuinely one of the nicest hotel breakfasts I’ve had, which is saying something considering I basically lived in hotels back in my business consulting days.
A photo posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on
After breakfast, the missus, Toddler L and my mum had a wander around the beautiful hotel grounds, whilst my dad and I took the Peugeot 308 GTi for a spin. As a former mechanic and current driving instructor, I was keen to hear my dad’s thoughts on the car, particularly as he’s driven A LOT of cars.
The country roads surrounding the hotel were perfect for testing out the handling and acceleration of the car, particularly with the ‘Sport’ button pressed. The car was agile, cornered well and reached 62mph in just 6.0 seconds. My dad was also a big fan of the massage function on the front seats and had a little chuckle to himself when the ‘Sport’ button turned the dashboard red – simple things, eh?!
After letting my dad behind the wheel, we headed back to the hotel to meet the rest of the clan. We enjoyed a coffee in the hotel then decided to have an early lunch back at the Harvester in Warwick – this time, we booked in advance, which we didn’t know you could do with a Harvester! On the drive to the restaurant, the sprog decided to have a little nap after a busy morning of chasing ducks, blowing dandelions and pointing at trees.
We had a good meal at Harvester – the free salad bar and different flavours of fizzy drinks are always a winner in my eyes. We then said our goodbyes after a really nice 24 hours together as a family. The fact that we don’t get to see each other that often means that these little meet ups mean so much more, particularly as it allows my folks to spend quality time with Toddler L. Having a nice car to test out is just the cherry on the icing!
What do you usually do for Father’s Day? Have you any special plans this year? Have you tried out the Peugeot 308 GTi 270 before? Let me know below!
N.B. We were provided with a Peugeot 308 GTi 270, tickets to the British Motor Museum, accommodation at Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa and a voucher for Harvester in exchange for this Father’s Day post.[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_text=”Like what you’ve read? Want more? Pop in your email to get all of the latest posts.”]