Australia victorious in the 2019 Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Marmalade Contest

The Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Competition was held for the second time as part of the famous World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion, Cumbria this March. The contest is a celebration of how marmalade has united people from around the world, and the winner for 2019 is Australian entrant Bill Knight, with his ‘Gibbs Creek Seville Orange, Lemon and Lime Marmalade, with Angostura Bitters’.

The Marmalade Awards receives thousands of entries annually from over 40 countries worldwide, and the Commonwealth competition proved no exception, with entries flying in from Canada, Australia, Kenya, the Bahamas, the UK and New Zealand. Entrants were keen to demonstrate the best of their countries’ produce, and ingredients included guava, New Zealand honey bourbon, gingered vanilla and Kenyan orange! Despite the quality of entries, the judges were unanimous in their choice of winner, with Bill’s marmalade receiving the perfect score.

Chocolatier and Waitrose consultant chef Will Torrent commented: “Having judged last year’s Commonwealth competition, I had high hopes for this year and the entries didn’t disappoint! Some fantastic flavours on show from around the Commonwealth, but Bill’s winning marmalade with Angostura Bitters was beautifully balanced and a texture to die for!”

Awards patron and marmalade expert Pam ‘the Jam’ Corbin agreed, describing Bill’s entry as “A wonderful marmalade – intensely fruity with peels and gel in delicious harmony. One of the greats!”

Donna Smith, director of Thursday Cottage, said: “We were delighted to see such a range of entries to the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Marmalade Awards this year with many interesting ingredients from all parts of the Commonwealth.  The winner, Bill Knight of Australia rose to the challenge by creating a delicious Seville Orange, Lemon and Lime Marmalade with Angostura Bitters.  The introduction of Angostura Bitters brought a touch of the exotic to the World Marmalade Awards, congratulations to Bill and all the marmalade makers.”

In close second behind Bill’s winning marmalade was Ingrid MacRitchie from Canada, whose Seville Orange Marmalade with Canadian Ice Wine was highly praised by the judges. Other runner ups included Reuben Kooperman, also from Australia, with his Tahitian Lime Marmalade, and Benjamin Tomkins of the UK, whose Dundee Maple marmalade was deemed ‘nice and tangy.’

This Award comes closely on the heels of another Australian victory – the annual ‘Marmal-Ashes’, a marmalade contest between the UK and Australia named for the famous cricket contest, saw the Aussies take the prize yet again, meaning they now have six victories to England’s two.

Organisers of the Marmalade Awards are delighted to see the international appeal of both the competition and the art of marmalade making spread around the world, and as well as launching a Japanese Marmalade Festival in May, and developing their now well-established Australian Marmalade Festival, plans are already well underway for the 2020 World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain. For more information about the Marmalade Awards visit


For further information contact:

Martin – Public Relations Consultant

Or Florence Lindeman: 017684 86450

Twitter – @MarmaladeAwards

Facebook – WorldMarmaladeAwards


Editor’s Notes: What are the Awards?

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards were founded in 2005 to help to preserve, grow and widen one of the most British of customs – marmalade making. From small beginnings they have grown into an internationally renowned and highly acclaimed event, with support from leading companies such as Fortnum & Mason, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and Paddington Bear.

The Awards have humour and a life of their own and have inspired people from all over the world to get involved. In 2018 almost 3,000 jars of marmalade were sent from countries as far away as South Korea, Botswana, Japan, Australia and the Philippines, while the Artisan Marmalade competition has helped to promote small producers around the world. Judged by a small panel of experts, Dalemain roundels denote marmalade of exemplary quality.

At the heart of the Awards & Festival is Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian stately home lived in by the same family for over 300 years and the holder of a rich archive of early marmalade recipes. At the Marmalade Festival on 16th March 2019 Dalemain Mansion displayed all the golden and glorious homemade marmalades entered in the competition, plus all the best artisan marmalades from around the world. A selection of the artisan marmalades was also available to taste and buy.

The Double Gold Homemade Winner will be commercially produced by Thursday Cottage and sold at Dalemain and Fortnum & Mason throughout the year, with a portion of jar sales given to Hospice at Home Carlisle & the North Lakeland.