Marmalade Festival 2020

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March!

Join us at Dalemain as we celebrate 15 years of the Marmalade Awards. We will be marking this occasion with more marmalade magic than ever before! It begins at 10am with the Awards Ceremony, when the official 2020 BEST IN SHOW will be revealed! 

We are delighted to be welcoming the festival back to its home, Dalemain Mansion. We have lots of exciting activities in store, with thousands of marmalades on display in the mansion, and thousands more to taste in the Artisan barn. There will be marmalade lectures and workshops, cookery lessons, marmalade games, films, music and children’s activities. We will be serving a delicious array of homemade refreshments with, of course, a special orange theme. The town of Penrith will once again be ‘Going Orange’ with an array of orange windows and special offers.


To celebrate 15 years of the Marmalade Awards, we are pleased to be championing a wide range of people who have used marmalade and citrus to create something extraordinary. Join us for a unique and inspirational series of talks and demonstrations including:

  • ‘New Ways for Old Skills’ – A conversation with Pam Corbin about her commitment and experience within the Preserves Industry, and how efficient small batch production can be.  Pam will also talk about her new book  – The Book of Preserves – which is full of useful info for ‘new ways for old skills’.  But of course to be at Dalemain without talking about Marmalade and the wonders of the  Seville orange would be an absolute crime, so there will be plenty of chat and talk about this unique Marmalade fruit and other ways to use it.
  • Ishkar’ – we are delighted to be welcoming Flore de Taisne, co-founder of Ishkar, who will be speaking about Abdullah Arsala, the master distiller who has reclaimed his family lands in Afghanistan. Much of the land had been turned into poppy fields, and he has re-planted them with Citrus Aurantium: the bitter orange tree. His aim? To create Afghanistan’s first essential oil distillery. Learn how Abdullah has turned tonnes of orange blossom, roses and mountain herbs into exceptional quality organic essential oils, convincing over 1200 farmers to switch from growing poppy to cultivating bitter orange in order to supply his distillery. An inspirational story that must be heard to be believed.
  • ‘Blanka’s Marmalade Expedition’ – in 2013 Blanka Milfait entered the Marmalade Award from the Czech Republic, and was awarded the Double Gold, making her marmalade officially the best in the world! Inspired by this success, Blanka took to the road in campervan on a ‘Europe Marmalade Expedition’ From 2013 – 14 Blanka travelled 100,000 km, and visiting over 40 countries including Gibralter, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. From these beginnings, Blanka’s marmalades have had extraordinary success, and we are delighted to welcome her back to Dalemain to discuss how she continues to make each jar of marmalade a heartfelt affair.
  • ‘Citrus In Japan’ – When the Marmalade Awards launched a sister Festival in Japan in 2019, few would have predicted that it would be such an extraordinary success. Yawatahama, home of the Japanese Awards, is also home to Miyuki Kokubu, an Award-winning marmalade maker who began making preserves when she realised that she needed to do something with the fruit left over from her citrus aromatherapy oils. We are delighted to welcome her to Dalemain to share her story, along with longstanding Awards patron Dan Lepard, who is a judge for the Japanese Marmalade Awards and a champion of Japanese citrus.
  • Yuzu Sake Tasting – Sake is a famous (and famously delicious) drink in Japan, and now Honami Matsumoto is giving it a special citrus twist! Visit her stand for tasters of classic sake, as well as her KEIGETSU yuzu sake, handmade in the mountains of the northern Kochi-prefecture. If you’ve never tasted sake before, this is the place to start.
  • The Commonwealth Competition – join us in the Music Room for live judging of the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Marmalade Competition! Each year we receive entries from countries from around the Commonwealth, and the finalists will be tasted live at the Festival, with expert judges including Dan Lepard and Walter Scott, retired MD of Wilkin & Sons. Join us to see what local flavours and ingredients have been incorporated into the top marmalades – and which country will triumph.
  • Marmalade Question Times – Our panel of marmalade experts is back, and doling out all the marmalade advice you could ever need. No question too small, no problem too sticky! We will be running multiple sessions, owing to popularity, so you will have ample opportunity to solve all of your marmalade making problems, as well as finding out answers to questions you never even knew you had.
  • Traditional Japanese Green Tea Tasting in the Music Room – Join Keiji Hayashi and see how he serves traditional Japanese teas, with lots of samples available.

To view the full programme of events, CLICK HERE.

To book tickets to the Marmalade Festival, talks & workshops, CLICK HERE.

Tickets are also available on the day – under 16s go free. 

On Sunday 15th March, start your day at the special Festival service at St Andrew’s Church, Dacre at 9.30am. Follow it with a leisurely brunch back at Dalemain and watch live marmalade judging with the famous ‘MarmalAshes’, before trying those artisan marmalades you didn’t get a chance to taste on Saturday. Gold Award-winning jars will be available to buy throughout the weekend.

Tasting lots of delicious marmalade in the Artisan Barn

The Marmalade Altar

Please note that as this is an outdoor Festival and the weather may be inclement – wellies are a must! We will be operating a park-and-ride scheme from PF&K, which is conveniently located a 5 minute drive from Dalemain. Shuttle buses will be running all day from 9am – 4pm between PF&K and Dalemain.

For more information about the exciting activities planned by Penrith Chamber of Trade & Commerce, including a Window Dressing Competition, Culinary Bake Off and Marmalade Trail, CLICK HERE.


Please check out our where to stay page or follow these links for recommendations for places to stay during the World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival.


The nearest train station is Penrith (4 miles from Dalemain) and there is always a taxi at the station.  Trains from London Euston to Penrith Station take approximately 3 to 3.5 hours on Virgin Rail and trains from Glasgow or Edinburgh take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours on Virgin Rail.


To date the Dalemain Marmalade Awards & Festival has raised almost £250,000 for charity. Please visit the Charity tab for full information on Hospice at Home Carlisle & the North Lakes.

We are grateful to our wonderful Festival supporters:

Fortnum & Mason