Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Worlds Marmalade Awards 2013 - the results are in!

I had a lovely day out at the Worlds Marmalade Awards at Dalemain in Penrith, Cumbria this weekend. The awards last over two days and this is the eight year of the awards; entries to the various categories come from all over the world and this year there were over 1,900 entries in total. The most ever!

Dalemain Mansion and gardens are near Ullswater, Penrith in Cumbria. This historic house and gardens contains a wealth of Tudor and Medieval rooms and buildings. There is a tea room and a small shop; the main mansion house has a courtyard and during the weekend of the awards stallholders have a small marketplace selling a fabulous selection of quality goods. Here you will find everything from jam jars to pottery to preserves to peruvian rigs. There is also a lot of marmalade on sale from various producers, including the Dalemain Mansion brand.

Jane Hasell-McCosh is the founder of the awards, she lives in Dalemain Mansion and had the brain child of running the awards to keep the marmalade preserving tradition alive and to support local charities too. During the awards weekend the mansion is adorned and bedecked with oranges  and a citrus theme runs throughout the house, outbuildings and courtyard too.

The awards in the homemade categories are judged by two ladies who are WI (Women's Institute) judges, the artisan categories are judged by others with a very keen food and/or preserve related interest. The 'marmalashes' are judged by representatives with an interest in food or those with preserving knowledge like Vivien Lloyd, Dan Lepard, Mackays the sponsors from Dundee are represented too.

I'm not sure how many entries there are in the homemade categories but there are clearly hundreds and hundreds, each room in the ground floor at Dalemain mansion is full with table after table of entries from all over the UK and some come from all over the world. The jars are in all shapes and sizes and the range of entries and some of the flavours is really interesting. I doubt I will ever see so much marmalade in one place again and how the two judges do such a difficult task is beyond me.
The artisan entires are set out in a barn, and you can taste these if you like, Janice and I both tried a few, some we liked and others we did not.

Of course I had another motive rather than just spending a very lovely day in Cumbria looking around a mansion house and meeting lovely fellow bloggers like Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen (pictured right) as well as looking at lots and lots and lots of jars of marmalade...and buying the most delicious fresh bread.

I had entered the awards myself, for the first time ever I had entered three jars of my homemade marmalade into this competition, and after much searching on Saturday and with Janice's eagle eyes I found my jars and my marks from the judges. It was time to get excited!

I had entered 3 the Novice category I entered a Seville orange...I entered a jar in the Seville orange category itself, and last of all I entered a jar of marmalade into the 'Merry' category (contains alcohol). Scores are given out of 20 in total in the homemade awards as follows...
Appearance, jar, label etc      2 points max
Colour                                 5 points max
Consistency                         6 points max
Flavour                                7 points max
Depending on the score entries are then awarded a gold (19.5-20pts) a silver (18-19.5pts), bronze (17-18pts) or a merit.

Here is how my marmalade scored...and yes I was delighted!

Seville 19pts  - SILVER        Novice 20pts - GOLD          Merry 19pts - SILVER
Its National Marmalade week from 2nd to 9th March and this week on this blog there will be more about marmalade...including my top tips, (get me!) and recipes too, so keep watching.

This post is dedicated to Vivien Lloyd who has taught me so much, through her books, her website, her videos and by sharing her knowledge about preserving with me and others; all this together enabled me to make marmalade to a good enough standard to enter a competition with...and win GOLD!


  1. Oh Sue well done, all that marmalade making paid off - terrific :)

    Lovely picture of Janice too.

    1. Thanks, Janice takes a great photo (unlike my good self!). xxx

  2. A great round up of our day at Dalemain. I like your picture mosaics, they capture the atmosphere of the different locations extremely well.

  3. Lovely post Sue and I am so sorry I couldn't make it. Karen

  4. congrats darling, well deserved and a great round-up of what must have been a great day xx

  5. Well done Sue, so impressed at you and Karen. Your photos and description of the day are marvelous.

  6. Congratulations Sue, that is amazing. So well done and I completely agree - Viv has been an amazing teacher. X

  7. Susan, how I wish I could have been there! My mother's family lived in that area for centuries, and I haven't been in more than 20 years. When I heard about the awards, I was so excited (posted my story and marmalade on my blog) and sent my entry by post from the US. Just got my mark card via email this morning. Judges thought my entry had "Good flavor. Rather a lot of peel which will not spread well."


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x