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World Tea Master Comes to The Langham


World Tea Master Comes to The Langham for Exclusive Afternoon Tea

(Auckland – 3 March 2008)


The Langham is giving tea lovers the opportunity to meet the founder of Dilmah Tea, Mr Merrill J Fernando, over an exclusive traditional Langham afternoon tea.

The afternoon tea is to take place at The Langham’s Partingtons restaurant at 3pm on Friday 14 March 2008.  Tickets to the afternoon are available at $60 per person and will be limited to the first 60 people.

Mr Merrill J Fernando will be joined by his son Dilhan (whose name forms the first half of the Dilmah brand name) for an afternoon matching the world’s finest boutique Ceylon teas to The Langham’s traditional English afternoon tea fare.

Merrill J Fernando and Dilhan will also speak on how they challenged the global tea conglomerates to achieve the largest most integrated family tea business in the world.  Guest’s will also be given the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Merrill and Dilhan.

To reserve a ticket to the afternoon tea contact The Langham on 09 300 2809 or email

About afternoon tea at The Langham

Since the Langham emerged as Europe’s first grand hotel in London in 1865, daily afternoon tea at the hotel has been an ongoing tradition.  The Langham Auckland continues this tradition with a daily afternoon tea of petite scones, sandwiches, cakes and delicacies served with 19 hand picked boutique Dilmah t-series teas.

Background on Merrill J Fernando

Merrill J. Fernando was born in May 1930, in Negombo, a fishing town on the coast of Sri Lanka. His father was a local trader and his family was of very modest means. Merrill J Fernando became one of the first Sri Lankan’s to receive training as a Tea Taster in London. After working for UK tea companies Merrill J Fernando went on to establish his own business Merrill J. Fernando & Co Ltd supplying bulk tea to most of the world’s major tea brands.  It wasn’t until 1988 his vision became reality with the launch of Dilmah tea (the name is formed from the names of his sons Dilhan and Malik).  Challenging the multinational control of the global tea industry, Dilmah, for the first time in history, began supplying consumers direct from origin.  This has allowed for the improvement of medical and educational facilities for over 30,000 workers and their families on MJF Group plantations, and the approximately 1,500 staff and workers in its trading and production activities.

- Ends -




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