Book yourself a Zesty Weekend in the Lake District.

Dalemain Marmalade Awards & Festival

The World’s original Marmalade Awards

March 17 & 18th 2018

In 2005, Jane Hasell-McCosh set up the worlds original  Marmalade Festival and Awards. Held annually near Penrith in the Lake District the event draws crowds well before the usual holiday season.  This March Jane has kindly offered me three demonstration sessions where I will be cooking recipes from  At Home in Cumbria.  Do come and join the fun. The Marmalade Awards have a life and a humour of their own, a happy event brightening, and adding zest to the month of March. The Festival weekend sees Penrith ‘go Orange’, the Town burgeons with market stalls, marmalade themed window dressings and even dancing in the streets. Visitor’s flocking to learn about, to taste and buy marmalade, from specialists and artisan producers, are serenaded by local school children belting out the Award’s specially commissioned Marmalade Song. Paddington, when not in a jam himself, is on hand to amuse. And he always leaves a trail of sticky marmalade foot prints to help guide you around the towns events. It is a fun and community building jamboree of a weekend.

Marmalade is a very personal thing – how do you like yours? Slivers of zest suspended in sweet translucent jelly, or chunky, dark and bitter? Maybe you prefer something in between, or have a family recipe using a citrus other than the ubiquitous Seville orange. Marmalade it seems can be almost anything you want it to be, each batch as unique as its ingredients and the person who prepared it. Jane understands, applauds and encourages this creativity that marmalade inspires. She wanted the business of the Awards to preserve, grow and widen the very British of custom of marmalade making, and this she has certainly achieved.  The idea has so inspired the Japanese that in 2016 the Japanese Ambassador attended the event. The Australians were bewitched enough to start, with Jane’s support, their very own Marmalade Award and today over 300 countries participate pots arriving from around the globe.

The Awards raise significant funds for charity and cultural heritage initiatives like the heritage gardeners in Spain conserving very ancient and sadly neglected Seville orange groves. The forgotten groves are being nurtured to health, and ancient varieties preserved.   The largest beneficiary is the global Hospice at Home movement, and her local Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. When you hear Jane’s philosophy of marmalade you understand why this charity holds so much importance for her.

For Jane, Marmalade is caring for people, like Hospice at Home is caring for people. She explains – each jar of marmalade entered for the Awards is on its own journey. It is lovingly made in someone’s home, carefully packaged, and sent from around the globe to Dalemain. Upon arrival, the journey continues as the pots are handled and observed. Each jar belongs to someone who cares about it, each has its own unique personality. The Awards volunteers understand this, handling every jar with gentle respect. The Marmalade, like the people and families supported by Hospice at Home, is lovingly cared for.

The Awards have developed far beyond Jane’s wildest expectations. Her favourite category is the new ‘Gardens’, category, which has quickened people’s imaginations to create marmalades made with a plethora of fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables.

Penrith and the locality are full of wonderful places to stay –  for further information visit:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Marmalade posts you might also enjoy:

Beat the Blues, Make Marmalade

Panetonne Marmalade Pudding

Cake for Breakfast: Clementine Breakfast loaf

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