Everything will stop for tea in the Mearns

Scotland’s first tea festival will be putting on the kettle in Auchenblae and Laurencekirk next weekend where a host of events have been lined up.

Monday, 18th August 2014, 8:00 am

Last month, we reported on the launch of the Tea Festival in the Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, which will celebrate all things tea as well as one local ‘father of tea.’

The festival, taking place from August 22-24, will feature an exhibition on James Taylor who is known as ‘the father of tea’ in Sri Lanka.

The young man from the Howe o’ the Mearns helped pioneer tea-growing in Ceylon which helped saved the nation’s economy.

Albert Donald, chair of the Dickson Hall Management Committee, said: “The official opening is taking place in Auchenblae Public Hall on Friday, August 22, at 11.45 am.

“We anticipated many invited guests will attend to see the opening ceremony carried out by Professor Angela McCarthy, Dunedin University, New Zealand, who has been researching Taylor.

“Following the opening ceremony, a plaque will be unveiled at Taylor’s childhood home, just outside Auchenblae.”

The festival has been funded through awards and grants from Homecoming Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Community Food Funds, Awards for All and other Mearns groups and individuals.

Here is a rundown of everything appearing on the menu: over the three days:

Friday, August 22:

James Taylor Exhibition, Auchenblae Hall, 3-5pm, free entry;

James Taylor Tour, Auchenblae Hall, 3.30pm (bus leaves Laurencekirk 3pm at Mearns Court;

Tea Festival opening dinner, Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, 7 for 7.30pm, £30.

Saturday, August 23:

James Taylor Exhibition, Auchenblae Hall, 10am-4pm, free entry, (10am talk on James Taylor by Professor Angela McCarthy;

James Taylor Tour, Auchenblae Hall, 3pm (bus leaves from Laurencekirk’s Mearns Court at 2.30pm);

Tea experience Hall, Dickson Hall, 10am-4pm;

High tea and tea film documentary, Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, 6.30pm;

Tea and food retail Hall, St Laurence Hall, Laurencekirk, 10am-4pm;

Kids art workshops, Mearns Community Centre, Laurencekirk, 10am-4pm;

Teddy bears tea Picnic, Laurencekirk Primary School Garden, 2-4pm

Sunday, August 24:

Afternoon Cream Tea, Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, 2.30pm-4.30pm with Grand Raffle Draw £5;

Connections between Churches of Sir Lanka and Scotland, Laurencekirk Church of Scotland.

For further details visit www.scotlandteafest.co.uk