Food Events at the Festival

The Festival is an opportunity to enjoy Orkney food and drink, at events ranging from Peedie Kirk lunches to Skaill House teas, or at home watching online.

At the Peedie Kirk lunches you can enjoy Orkney fare, meet up with friends, and make new acquaintances. There’s also the One O’Clock Toast to a notable Orcadian. The 17th-century Skaill House is the venue for a Sunday afternoon talk upstairs in the drawing room, and then a themed tea in the dining room downstairs.

And if at home, you can make your own Orkney lunch as well – we have full guidance in a special leaflet which you can download here.  You can choose between many Peedie Kirk lunch recipes from home-made soups to Orkney beremeal bread, bare bannocks and delicious pâtés and savouries.

You can also enjoy recipes for a virtual afternoon tea at Skaill House, downloadable here, with recipes for Orkney canapés and for baking hazelnut biscuits with cream crowdie.

A longstanding collaboration with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling provides speakers from the industry on a range of topics from the nature of yeast to the analysis of products from the stills.

Preparing your own Peedie Kirk lunch
A virtual afternoon tea at Skaill House

Afternoon tea at Skaill House

The 17th-century mansion close by Skara Brae is the venue for the late Sunday afternoon of the Festival. Built in the 1620s by Bishop George Graham, Skaill House has been cared for and enhanced by its owners over the centuries. Skaill House is the perfect setting for stories for stories of insights from history. We were able to commemorate there the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, who formulated ideas about the way in which mechanical computing machines could be able to work.

The daily lunches at the Peedie Kirk

Among the highlights of the Festival are the lunches in the Peedie Kirk Hall. It’s an opportunity to enjoy local food, look at works by local artists, and enjoy a chat with friends. Each day at 1 pm there is the One O’Clock Toast. This is a toast to a well-known person from Orkney, from recent times or the more distant past, given by someone who knows them well. There are insights from family members, descendants, and people with a deep knowledge of the life and times of someone who has made an impact on Orkney and beyond.

The Reel

The Reel on Broad Street is the venue for the Festival Club and it is really an atmospheric setting at any time of day. In fact, it is probably the nearest that Orkney gets to the atmosphere of a Viennese coffeehouse. There are interesting items around, with musical instruments and music books and CDs. There is the cosy atmosphere with traditional music in the background, so that you can go there and chat in a group or find a corner and catch up with your emails.

Judith Glue

Judith Glue’s Real Food Cafe in Broad Street, situated across from the Cathedral, is open in the evening as well as through the day throughout the Festival and provides a good option for somewhere to eat when you’ve just enjoyed a talk and want to take the opportunity of a meal before going to the next one.

Food at the Festival

For the Science Festival, Liz coordinates a wide range of food events. It starts off with the Opening Buffet, which showcases the products of many Orkney food companies, large and small. For the Friday evening trip to Hoy, she plans food for the Hoy Kirk and enlists helpers. For the Family Day on the Saturday of the Festival, she is at the King Street Halls with her team to provide porridge and pancakes, and then on Sunday afternoon there is Skaill House. She provides advice and assistance at various other parts of the programme.

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