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Saturday 2 March 2013

The Marmalade Awards 2013

These quirky awards were founded in 2006 by Jane Hasell-McCosh with the initial idea of preserving, growing and widening one of the most British of customs – making marmalade. They have gone on to generate a following far beyond Jane’s wildest expectations and allow many different varieties of marmalade to come together and allow the judges the great opportunity to taste them all!
Proceeds from amateur entry fees will be donated to charity. The 2013 beneficiaries are Hospice at Home and Action Medical Research.

The idea of entering and visiting the Marmalade Awards came out of some Twitter exchanges with Sue from A little bit of Heaven on a Plate and Karen from Lavender and Lovage.  It's not that far over the border for me to get to Dalemain Mansion near Penrith where the awards are held, so I was keen to attend.  I managed to source some Seville oranges and duly sent off my pot of Seville Orange Marmalade.

The Awards are centred on Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian stately home lived in by the same family for over 300 years, which also happens to hold a very rich archive of Marmalade recipes. The courtyard of Dalemain was set up with various stalls selling artisan foods and other related product.  I met up with Sue in the courtyard...NO that's not her, that's an Alpaca!!!  Sue likes to preserve a little mystery so there are no photos of her in this blog post.  Unfortunately, Karen wasn't able to join us, but we were able to meet up with Vivienne Lloyd, more of that later.

I bought some flour from Little Salkeld Watermill, which is located near Penrith,  I'll write a little more about their plans for a community buy out of the Watermill soon. 

I also bought a couple of fabulous looking and tasting loaves from More, Artisan Bakery.  I chose the  Lakeland Walnut and Treacle Loaf and Rye with Figs and Walnuts

As well as the stalls, there was a marquee with workshops and lectures and the location of sponsors Mackays of Dundee.

It was soon time to hear the prize winners announced by, celebrity baker and author, Dan Lepard at the front of Dalemain Mansion.
Here are the winners in the children's category

There was quite a crowd outside the mansion despite it being pretty cold standing there.

Paddington Bear was there with his marmalade sandwich.

The hostess of the Marmalade Festival and Awards was also in attendance.  
Jane, a self confessed marmalade bore, is passionate about the preserve. As a child she helped her mother make marmalade year-round, a tradition she has continued with her own three children.
Frustrated by an apparent growing decline in the popularity and standards of marmalade making, Jane decided six years ago to hold a small event with her friends, celebrating this most British of preserve and, at the same time, raising money for Hospice at Home. This became an annual event, growing in size every year, and is now the largest of its kind in the world.

 And then it was time to enter the house and find out how we had got on with our marmalade entries.  I did not have high hopes as I knew mine was over set and the peel was too thick (I'm not patient enough to spend two hours finely slicing peel!) what I didn't expect was that I would have two points deducted for using a 'commercial' jar!  There was no mention in the terms of entry of the type of jar to use and one of the the winning entries used the same type of jar.  What was really thrilling was how well Sue did with her entries, a gold and two silver stars!  Karen also managed to collect a silver, a bronze and a merit for her entries.  Huge congratulations to both!

Winning Merry Marmalade in same 'commercial' jar as my entry
The Awards  have inspired people from all over the world to get involved. In 2010, 800 jars of marmalade were sent in from countries far and wide including the Yukon - Canada, Japan, Australia, Spain and France.  I overheard one of the organisers say that there were nearly 1500 entries this year.

International Marmalade entries
Amazing Marmalade display in the dining room
The rooms were packed and everyone was very friendly, you can just see me (in the turquoise hat) chatting to some poor innocent bystander! 

 Oh, there I go again, chatting away to people I've never met before, and looking scarily like my mother from behind - eek! Thanks Sue!

In the middle of the 'madding crowds' sat a huddle of judges, tasting and judging marmalade from Britain and Australia for the Marmalashes Award.  That's Vivienne Lloyd, author of First Preserves and winner of the 2008 Marmalade Festival, with Dan Lepard to her right.

Pam 'the jam' Corbin was also judging along with representatives from Fortnum and Mason and Mackays, the last remaining producer of marmalade in Dundee, the home of marmalade.

I loved this replica of Dalemain Mansion with the jars of Artisan marmalade in the the 'windows'.

And here I am with a Marmalade coloured VW Beetle outside Dalemain, what a great day out!

The winners:
Amateurs: Best in Show - Yen-Chung Chong; Man Made dark and chunky - Adrian Young, Canberra, Australia; Man Made Seville -Tom Maier, Compton, West Sussex; Children's (sponsored by Paddington Bear) - Matthew Foster, Stanwick, Northamptonshire and William Preston, Silsden, West Yorkshire; Seville - Margaret Burke, Knutsford, Cheshire; Heritage (sponsored by Mackays) Mary & Nicholas Hart, Morden, Surrey; International (sponsored by Mackays) Tom Benford, Kyoto, Japan; Dark and Chunky Elizabeth Maclay, Andover, Hampshire; Merry - Yen-Chung Chong, Brighton; Novice - Jane Boylan, Penrith, Cumbria; Any Citrus - Jonathan Hamel Cooke, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire; Clergy - Rev James Milnes, Macclesfield; Tri-Services - Colonel Kieran O’Kelly, Andover, Hampshire.
Artisan & Commercial Producers: Double Gold - Nase Dobroty
Gold Nase Dobroty (Marmalade with Interesting Additions Bourbon and Vanilla), Hubble Preserves (Fine Seville Orange Marmalade), Bracken Hill Fine Foods (Savoury Marmalade Orange and Cider), Mary’s Marmalade (Medium Seville and Any Citrus Grapefruit), Radnor Preserves (Medium Seville, Any Citrus Blood Orange and Any Citrus Lime), Mrs Jampot’s Parlour (Savoury Marmalade Clove and Cinnamon), JR Jams (Any Citrus Marmalade Three Fruit), Jammy Bodger (Medium Seville), Jill’s Natural Preserves (Marmalade with Interesting Additions with Somerset Brandy), Love Jam Kitchen (Any Citrus Marmalade Pink Grapefruit), Wild & Fruitful (Savoury Marmalade Thai Lime), Beta 5 Chocolates (Any Citrus Marmalade Yuzu).

To find out more about the Marmalade Awards visit

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At 3 March 2013 at 01:28 , Blogger Cakeyboi said...

Looks like a great day - just wish I liked marmalade more!

At 3 March 2013 at 11:16 , Blogger Susan said...

Lovely day out Janice and great fun too. xxx

At 3 March 2013 at 11:19 , Blogger Unknown said...

well done ladies!... excellent blog post, sounds like it was a fun day had by all.. love the pic of you with the orange beetle... now i'm really intrigued as to what Sue really looks like... is she actually Joan Collin's?

At 3 March 2013 at 13:50 , Blogger Janice said...

Dom - she is MUCH more glamourous and VERY famous!

At 3 March 2013 at 14:22 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

A WONDERFUL post Janice and although I was VERY disappointed not to have made it, I can enjoy the day through your photos! Karen

At 3 March 2013 at 18:55 , Blogger Caroline said...

Looks like you had a fabulous day out! One of my mum's friends sent me an entry form for the competition but recognising the limits of my skills I decided not to embarrass myself! I bet your marmalade was delicious.

At 4 March 2013 at 06:57 , Anonymous Vivien Lloyd said...

Fabulous post Janice! Great to meet you at last x

At 4 March 2013 at 23:33 , Blogger Susan said...

Joan Collins!!!!!! *splutters* she's about 110 years old!!!!

At 5 March 2013 at 06:59 , Blogger Choclette said...

Sounds like a lovely day out and well done for entering your marmalade. I contemplated the idea for about one second.

I love that orange beetle.

At 5 March 2013 at 23:28 , Anonymous May said...

This looks like a lot of fun. Wish I made some marmalade this year too.

At 12 March 2013 at 14:26 , Blogger SteveInStanwick said...

Loved your pictures - the colours are fantastic. This year is our second year of competition entering and we have learnt to use jars with no logos and brand new lids. My son Matthew was one of the Children's Class winners and got a Gold Certificate with 20/20, my other children got Silver. Fantastic day out - got lots of tips about improving technique and will also be trying to make some sour dough bread after attending the bread making session

At 12 March 2013 at 18:46 , Blogger Janice said...

Congratulations to your children on their prizes and thank you for the kind comments on my photographs.


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