Now in its 6th year the eatBute festival is a celebration of the best produce that Scotland's food & craft artisans have to offer, with a special emphasis on the products of Bute, Argyll and the surrounding region. Organised and promoted by Mount Stuart Trust, eatBute is a key event in both the Isle of Bute and the Scottish Festival Calendar. This year is set to be our best event yet. Take a look at our programme and start planning your weekend at this feast of a festival!
Download the 2013 Programme here - or read on!
eatBute Launch, Bute Produce (next to Rothesay Joint Campus), 3pm – 6pm
Join us for the launch of the eatBute 2013 weekend, at the Bute Produce Headquarters, Townhead, Rothesay. Our 'happy hen' mascot will be on hand with lots of plucky helpers, to give you up to date information about all of the activities taking place over eatBute weekend. Enjoy tasty food & drink samples provided by some of our event partners & sponsors, and be sure to take the time to explore the potting sheds, poly-tunnels and vegetable beds at the rapidly developing Bute Produce site. We will be joined by celebrity chefs Jeremy Lee (Great British Menu) and Rory O'Connell (Ballymaloe). Earlier on in the day the chefs will be joining the children of Rothesay Joint Campus for School Dinners then Rory will be delivering a Masterclass for the senior students while Jeremy and the junior students will be creating their own Great Bute Menu.
eatBute Official Opening, Front Lawn, 12noon
Following an official welcome from our guest chefs Rory O'Connell & Jeremy Lee, accompanied by the eatBute Happy Hen, the winner of the Great Bute Menu Schools Challenge will be announced. The weekends' events will then kick off in style with a little help from one of Scotland's most entertaining & energetic tribal drumming bands. Clan an Drumma. They promise to deliver a spectacular performance, guaranteed to get you into the festival spirit.
eatBute Food & Craft Market, Front Lawn, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm
Within the grounds of Mount Stuart, the market will attract food & craft producers from near and far. Our regional food & craft artisans will be standing side by side with some of the very best specialist food & craft retailers in Scotland. Fill your baskets full of freshly prepared, home grown and skilfully made products. From fruit & vegetables picked fresh that morning, smoked salmon from the historic local smokehouse, juicy meat from the farms of beautiful Bute plus many more delightful products, this is set to be our most exciting & diverse market to date. A real treat for the senses!
Animal Kingdom, Children's Corner, 12noon – 6pm
What do a Giant African Land Snail, a Bearded Dragon Lizard, a Corn Snake, and a Tarantula have in common? They all want to meet you at this year's festival.
Chain Saw Craft, Front Lawn, 12noon – 6pm
Prepare to be amazed as you witness "Chainsaw Man" transform huge tree trunks into wonderfully detailed wooden sculptures, using a high powered chainsaw. Extreme power and skill combine in what is truly a remarkable spectacle.
Live Music in Association with Transclyde, Music Tent, 12noon – 4pm
We are delighted to present, in association with Transclyde music, a programme of fantastic musical performances from a number of talented local artists. Enjoy the mellow sounds of the ever-popular Acousticrat, who will be joined by special guests John McMeekin, George MacDonald & Frank Hewitt.
Wild Food Walk with Celebrity Chefs, Children's Corner, 3pm – 4pm, £1
Join Rory & Jeremy as they take a walk on the wild side, exploring the gardens and grounds at Mount Stuart, foraging for food as they go. The chefs will explain how you can safely use wild ingredients in your cooking, and encourage you, literally, to - eatBute!
Falconry Displays, Front Lawn, 12noon – 6pm (Display times will be available on arrival at the event)
Throughout the day there will be a number of exhilarating flying demonstrations which are interactive, fun and educational. These magnificent birds of prey will enthral and captivate audience members of all ages.
Whisky & Chocolate Pairings, Old Victorian Kitchen, 5pm – 6pm, £5 (Over 18's only)
Join Julie Collier from Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier and your trained guide for the evening who will take you on a journey that will help you experience the incredible flavour profiling of the two products. Experience this wonderful combination without compromising the single origin cocoa from Sao Tomé and the delicate nosing of the whisky.
Mini Highland Games & Tug-o-War, Old Bowling Green, 4pm – 6pm
From 4pm – 6pm there will be fun for the whole family, with the eatBute mini Highland Games. Try the welly boot fling, toss the haggis and enter as a team for the farmers barrow obstacle race! With much fun and hilarity guaranteed, the mini highland games will end in a Tug-o-War competition, with eager competitors being assigned to join our Celebrity Chef's as they go head to head. Who will be victorious - TEAM RORY or TEAM JEREMY?
Owl Magic, Front Lawn, 12noon – 4pm
The team from Owl Magic will be on site allowing you to handle a selection of magnificent owls and discuss with them their passion for these amazing birds of prey. Children and adults alike cannot help but be captivated by the beauty and diversity of colours, shapes and sizes of these owls, from all over the world.
The Barrow Band Front Lawn, 12noon – 3.30pm
Exceptionally fun and entertaining, the Barrow Band will be here all day, providing music and entertainment for all ages. Sing-a-long fun and audience participation are sure to feature. To give yourself a head start on learning the lyrics, check out the Barrow Band here – www.thebarrowbandlive.co.uk
Margaret Ann Spiers School of Dance, Music Tent, 1pm
Celebrations and high spirits continue on Sunday with a performance from the exceptionally talented local dancers from Margaret Ann Speirs School of Dance. From the Highland Fling to the traditional Sword Dance, the dancers are certain to put on a fantastic show!
Rothesay Joint Campus Swing Band, Music Tent, 2.30pm & 3.45pm
This amazing swing band will be playing two sets, showcasing the incredible wealth of talented swing musicians on the Isle of Bute. You will not be able to help yourself from singing, clapping and perhaps even dancing on the Front Lawn.
Baroque Oboe Music, Music Tent, 3.15pm
Injecting a touch of class into the weekend, visitors will be treated to a short set of classical Baroque Oboe Music. Drift back in time as the beautiful tones of the Baroque Music wash over you.
Archery, Old Bowling Green, 12noon – 4pm, £3
Are you BRAVE enough to follow in the footsteps of our beautiful Scottish cartoon heroine, Merida? Do you have skills that would make the Prince of Thieves blush? Try your hand at archery – with the help of our qualified instructors, you could be well on the way to scoring a perfect triple bullseye! And with Merida joining us for the weekend the bar is sure to be set very high indeed.
Fruitful Fun, Children's Corner, 12noon – 4pm
Join John Hancox of the Commonwealth Orchard for fun juicing sessions! Using a traditional apple press, you will help to make apple juice which is simply delicious!
Afternoon Tea, 1pm – 3pm, The Purple Sitting Room, £20 per person (places limited)
Hosted by our guest chefs Rory O'Connell & Jeremy Lee, the afternoon tea will give visitors the opportunity to slip back in time – relaxing in the grandeur of this stately mansion, while enjoying a sumptuous champagne afternoon tea. The Island's vey own Tea Dance Master, John Denman, will add the finishing touch to this very special occasion.
Fancy Dress Parade, Children's Corner, 3.30pm
Do you know someone who has what it takes to become the eatBute mascot? Whether you fancy yourself as a cheerful cherry, a busy bee or an awesome apple, create your own food, drink or animal themed costume and come along and join the eatBute parade at 3.30pm on Sunday. We will be selecting our eatBute mascot who will join the eatBute team and be involved with the promotional activities for eatBute 2014.
Cheese Tutorial, 5.30pm – 7pm, Mount Stuart Visitor Centre Restaurant, £15 per person
Explore the fascinating and diverse world of cheese from hard to soft and gooey, from cow's milk to goat's milk with our passionate Cheese expert, Tanny Gill. This tasting will concentrate on 5 handpicked, Scottish artisan cheeses that will be expertly paired with wine, and for an equally explosive taste sensation there will be some hand cured charcuterie added to the tasting plate.
Bouncy Castles, Children's Corner, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm, £2
Are you brave enough to take on the inflatable assault course? Kids and adults alike will have fun taking on this challenge! Little tots can also have fun in the traditional bouncy castle which is surely fit for a king!
Bungee Trampolines, Children's Corner, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm, £2.50
For the adventurous among you, try your hand at bungee trampolining! Flying through the air like a gymnast, as you grow in confidence you can even try a forward or backwards flip!
Healthy & Happy Smoothie Bike, Children's Corner 12noon – 4pm
Pedal your way to a delicious and healthy snack, by hopping onto the "Healthy & Happy" Smoothie Bike.
Woodland Exploration, Children's Corner, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm, £ small charge will apply
The team from Achievement Bute will be leading adventures through the woodlands at Mount Stuart. You will take part in a mystical quest, discovering the dens hidden deep in the forest and uncovering the secrets therein.
Slow Food Taste Adventure, Children's Corner, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm
Truly a feast for the senses – Do you have a good 'nose'? Will tasty treats tantalise your taste buds? Explore all five senses by taking part in the Slow Food Taste Adventure. Suitable for children and adults of all ages! Click here to find out more (PDF, 319kb)
Face painting & Children's' Activities, Children's Corner, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm, £ small charge will apply
The Apple Tree Nursery will be offering face-painting – transforming lucky boys and girls into their favourite animals and characters. As well as fun family games, the team at Apple Tree will be bringing along their very good friend Peppa Pig, who will be signing autographs and available for photo opportunities all day.
Vintage Tractor Display, Mount Stuart West Forecourt, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm
A display of some of the Isle of Bute Vintage Tractor Club's most spectacular models will be in place in front of the Rock Garden. Children & adults alike can enjoy viewing the tractors, and if you ask their owners nicely, you might even be allowed to have your picture taken "on board".
Tractor Rides, Visitor Centre–Kitchen Garden–Mount Stuart House, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm
Hop aboard our quirky tractor & trailer and enjoy being transported around the Mount Stuart Estate. Stop off at the Kitchen Garden and see where our food comes from. Every year we grow and abundance of delightful produce, which is used in dishes freshly prepared at the Visitor Centre. Fruit and Vegetables from the Kitchen Garden can be purchased from the Mount Stuart Farm Shop throughout our Visitor Season. You can also stop off and visit our 150 Happy Hens at Hens HQ!
Artisan Gourmet Chocolate Tasting, Old Victorian Kitchen, Saturday & Sunday, 12noon – 4pm
Julie Collier from the Award winning Iain Burnett's Highland Chocolatier invites you to join her on a sensational learning journey through the ancient world of chocolate. You will learn where cocoa is grown, discover the steps taken to turn it into a fine chocolate and marvel at which chocolate suits your palate and why.
Children's Tea Party, Front Lawn, Saturday 12noon – 6pm & Sunday 12noon – 4pm, £3 per child
Calling all children, come & join our express, fun, quirky, food themed Tea Party hosted by Elaine McIntyre from the Baking Barn. Operating throughout the day in 15 minute intervals from 12noon onwards.
Other activities, Saturday & Sunday
We are also pleased to announce that Celebrity Chefs Rory O'Connell and Jeremy Lee will be around all weekend, join them at Chef HQ for regular 'Ask the Chef' sessions. Rory will also be signing copies of his new book, MASTER IT.
If all of the above sounds like too much, then enjoy the peace and quiet of the Pamper Tent, where local beauticians Kathleen Reid and Isobel McCormick will be providing treatments throughout the weekend.
Or just drink, eat and by merry. Whatever you do, we hope that you enjoy your time at Mount Stuart's 2013 eatBute Festival.
On Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th May:
Mount Stuart Gardens will be open to the General Public from 11am – 6pm Guided Tours of Mount Stuart House will operate at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm