Tea at the Ritz is not usually associated with livestock auction rings and cattle pens.
However, this week’s show by Angus Federation of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute (SWRI) has brought the elegant concept to the Forfar Mart agricultural complex.
Women from 37 institutes throughout Angus have worked over the winter on handcrafts from spinning to book sculpture, quilting to quilling, and knitting and sewing.
They have also laid down and preserved jams and jellies, chutneys and cordials, and planted and tended bulbs.
The SWRI’s Angus Federation show at Strathmore Hall – which is part of Forfar Mart – will showcase “home skills, handcrafts, bulb growing, art, floral art and photography” and also includes an inter institute contest, based on representing the essential elements of afternoon tea at the Ritz.
Each institute will present an arrangement of cakes and sandwiches, alongside a summer blouse and an invitation card, with an additional ‘free choice’ in both the edible and craft categories.
Show convenor Frances Smith of Menmuir said: “We have over 1,500 entries booked.
“As a new team, we are working well together and I hope people will come and see the high standard of work on show.
“We have some new ideas this year, giving visitors a chance to participate.
“I hope they will enjoy themselves and realise there may be a place for them in our organisation.”
Encouraging and supporting the broad range of membership in the organisation, there are specific classes for teenagers and others for those aged over 65.
The main classes are open to all ages.
As well as admiring the exhibits, the public can look forward to enjoying the fruits of the SWRI’s home baking in the tea room, which will run throughout the event.
Federation chair Maureen MacLeod of Auchterhouse said: “Our annual show is the highlight of our year and is always well supported by members and the public, giving us an opportunity to showcase the fantastic talents of our members.
“We are looking forward to lots of visitors, some of whom we hope will be interested in what our organisation does and will consider joining their local institute.”
On Thursday, entries drawn from Airlie to Arbirlot and Tarfside to Tealing arrived at the venue, in strictly co-ordinated, scheduled time slots, for the scrutiny of the afternoon’s army of adjudicators.
Edible entries were judged as to taste, texture, appearance; bulbs for form and conformity; and crafts for imagination and technical skill.
Today and tomorrow the entries will be on display to the public along with the judgements.