Back in 2005 Erica Moore decided that tea had an image problem and was due a makeover. She always had a love for a good cuppa but was beginning to discover the astonishing world of loose leaf tea out there. Now she has become Scotland's own tea specialist, Erica is sharing her expertise by playing a big part at Scotland’s Tea Festival. She is providing complimentary eteaket tea cocktails and eteaket Earl Grey gin and tonics at the night opening dinner in Laurencekirk's Dickson Hall (Friday - tickets £30). On Friday there is also a bus tour and heritage exhibition.

Throughout Saturday Erica and her helpers will also be at the Tea Experience Hall (Dickson Hall) where people can take part in her tea tastings, tea blendings and the fun of making tea cocktails and more.You can also find a scone, pancake, cake and/or biscuit to go with your cuppa there and at half a dozen other venues in the Mearns.

But Erica is only a small part of Scotland's tea festival - which seems to be taking over Laurencekirk this weekend. The East India Company’s very own Tea Master is Lalith Lenadora, who personally selects each and every one of their teas.  This Saturday Lalith will conduct a Specialist Ceylon Tea Tasting Experience starting at 11.45am and lasting one hour in The Venue, Laurencekirk. (Tickets £5).

Sir Tom Devine OBE is talking about Hercules Linton. There is a teddy bears picnic for the little ones. And a Farmers Market.  An art workshop. Tea leaf reading classes. And tempting tea tasting experiences all over the Mearns.  What a Saturday!

Sunday sees the James Taylor exhibition continuing in Auchenblae, and an afternoon cream tea and grand raffle draw in Laurencekirk.  So loads to choose from then too. See the website for times and venues.