Orkney International Science Festival

Festival happening throughout Orkney in early September

Among the seven days of talks, exhibitions, outings and hands-on activities that the Festival provides in early September are frequent opportunities to enjoy the best of Orkney food and drink.

Daily lunches of Orkney fare at the Peedie Kirk Hall in Kirkwall include a five-minute One O’Clock Toast to a renowned Orkney person. It’s a welcoming and atmospheric venue, ideal for meeting old friends and making new ones, and for buffet lunches with Orkney fish, meat, cheese, soup, home bakes, and a varied daily menu.

The afternoon breaks between talks in the King Street Halls are another good time to gather, with tea, coffee, and baking provided by members of Orkney Fair Trade Group.

Another highlight is the themed afternoon tea in the dining room of Skaill House on the Sunday of the Festival.

The Institute of Brewing and Distilling provides each year talks and activities which include a mini whisky school in the Eunson Room of Highland Park distillery, and an opportunity to go by bus on a tour of both distilleries and to see Highland Park’s traditional malting floor and Scapa’s Lomond still. Industry experts are on hand throughout the various events in what has become a longstanding Festival tradition.

The Festival usually opens with a lunch of Orkney produce, and it closes with a traditional ceilidh, with a light supper of local fare amongst the refreshments and dancing – “for would-be and why-not dancers of all ages”, it says, with everyone encouraged to join in.

This year’s Festival, the dates for which are 6-12 September 2018, has young people to the fore in varied ways as part of the year of Young People in Scotland, in a programme of over 70 events, which range from traditional boatbuilding to becoming an astronaut, the physics of mountain rescue to the mathematics of Bach, the origins of life on earth to the future of the permafrost. There are speakers from Canada and Australia, Slovenia and Uzbekistan, and musicians from Scotland and Ireland, and there are fuller details on the Festival’s website and in its online magazine.

Keen supporters of the Food & Drink sector in Orkney.

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