The Mansion may be closed for the winter season, but we are still a hive of activity here at Dalemain. The gardeners have been busy putting the gardens to bed, and the tearoom staff have been welcoming lots of hungry walkers! We have also been preparing for our delicious Christmas lunches, and making plans for the 15th World Marmalade Awards, which will take place on 14th March next year.

We have had a few frosty mornings, and the gardening team are preparing for more cold spells to come. They have had to make sure that all of our precious ferns are well wrapped up for the coming months! Despite this, the colour in the gardens has been extraordinary, with many flowers right into November. The China Blush Rose at the front of the house is a wonderful example of this – there are still buds to be seen, despite the recent frost! The Giant is sleeping in the low gardens and the Dragon is hibernating for winter. We look forward to seeing them again in spring, when they will awaken just in time for the Marmalade Festival!

The garden team have also been busy establishing a new garden on the top lawn. The turf is coming up, and we can’t wait to see the transformation!

We hope that visitors to the gardens this winter will enjoy seeing the gardens, and are grateful to everyone who has left wonderful feedback so far. With discounted entry, it is a great time to visit the Gardens, as they are at their most tranquil. It is fascinating to see the shapes of the features at Dalemain reveal themselves as the summer growth dies back. The sleeping giantess, topiary, spiral garden and Tudor Knott garden are all stunning in Winter, especially when carpeted with snow. The south-facing terrace has the first signs of Spring, with well-sheltered aconites beginning to bloom in December. Visitors are often taken with the ghostly shapes of the tree-ferns, wrapped up in their white fleeces.

The Mediaeval Hall Tearoom is open throughout November, and we have been delighted to welcome lots of visitors to the Tearoom. These have included people visiting the gardens, as well as those enjoying walking the Dalemain Loop, a beautiful Estate walk that was the first official extension to the Ullswater Way. With its roaring log fire and range of homemade cakes and scones, the tearoom is the perfect stop off point, whether you’re finishing a walk, or just about to begin one!

The staff in the tearoom have been busy planning for our Christmas lunches in the Mediaeval hall tearoom. Soon, visitors will see further evidence of the gardener’s hard work in the beautiful Christmas decorations! Holly and ivy from the garden will be used to decorate the hall in a wonderful old style. This makes the perfect backdrop to our Christmas lunches. We will be serving delicious, homemade traditional Christmas lunches every Sunday – Thursday from 2nd December. We’ve got all of the old favourites, with Christmas pudding, turkey and all the trimmings, and tasty homemade soup. However, we also have some new delicacies for those feeling adventurous, with a special vegan Christmas wreath, and marmalade bread & butter pudding to name but a few! Whatever you’re looking for this Christmas, we’re sure we’ve got something to tickle your tastebuds.

While the garden and tearoom gear up for Christmas, here at Dalemain we have of course also been making plans for the World’s Original Marmalade Awards! The 2020 competition will open on 2nd December, and marks the 15th year of the Awards & Festival. We hope that this will be our biggest and best year yet! We look forward to welcoming visitors (and their jars!) from all over the world to celebrate with us on 14th & 15th March 2020. For more information about the Awards & Festival, please CLICK HERE or email marmalade@dalemain.com.

The Tearoom and Gardens will close for the Christmas period on Tuesday 17th December, and will reopen in early February. So, whether it’s for a scone, a Christmas lunch, or a stroll through the Gardens, we do hope to see you in the next month. Otherwise, we look forward to welcoming you to Dalemain in 2020!