Theatre fundraiser raises curtain on MP's garden treat

TWEEDDALE MP David Mundell has long been a supporter of the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre in Peebles.

But his enthusiasm for the centre also raised the curtain for him on a fascinating local visitor attraction and a successful catering business.

Mr Mundell was delighted when his 'silent auction' bid for a tour of the Dawyck Botanic Garden followed by Afternoon Tea at the visitor centre cafe proved successful at a recent Eastgate fundraising event.

The woodland estate, cared for by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, impressed the Scottish Secretary as did the traditional spread of tasty savouries, sandwiches cakes and tea which he shared with two guests from his constituency.

Mr Mundell said: "I've been aware of the great work going on at Dawyck since I became MP but had never managed to fit in a visit until now.

"It is a wonderful environment with trees from around the world looking particularly vivid at this time of year. The knowledge and enthusiasm of garden supervisor Thomas Gifford, who acted as our guide, added to the experience."

Mr Mundell added: "The afternoon tea prepared by Gaynor Gordon and her team from Penny Bun Baking, who have held the Dawyck cafe franchise for more than a decade, was a real treat."

The improvement programme at the Eastgate Centre is set to begin next year.