THIS year’s World Marmalade Festival spread joy to the masses as thousands of jars of marmalade added extra zest to proceedings at Dalemain Mansion in Penrith.

This year’s Marmalade Festival competition received 3,000 entries from all over the world.

The winner of the Best in Show is considered by all who are there to have created the best marmalade internationally. 

This year’ the honour went to Mike Ranson, creator of the delightfully decadent Seville Orange and Cider Marmalade with Calvados.

His entry was the most sampled of all the jars – obviously – and was indeed a marmalade worthy of the crown.

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The judging ceremony was preceded by a bagpipe performance as punters walked into the judging tent, squeezing into the seats to bear witness to the finest marmalade makers in the world.

Whitehaven News: Entries at the annual show Entries at the annual show

After this, there was a plethora of marmalade-related celebrations, with tastings, stalls, lectures, and children’s activities. Guests also had the opportunity to play croquet on the lawn and ring the Borders Mini Bells.

The event raises money for charity every year and this year funds were raised for the Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, and there were many opportunities throughout the day for people to support the charity, which is celebrating 25 years of operating this year.

In attendance was MP Dr Neil Hudson, who represents Penrith and The Border.

It was his first time at the festival, of which he said: “With the pandemic a lot of these events have not been going on so I’m delighted to be here today to come and meet a lot of the winners and congratulate them. “I’m a marmalade lover myself and it’s just brilliant to be here.

“I think it’s really wonderful – local produce made across the UK and here in Cumbria is brilliant to celebrate. “British food is some of the best in the world.”

As is traditional, the marmalade crowned ‘best in show’ will be produced and sold in the Dalemain shop and in Fortnum & Masons, and a donation from every jar that is bought will go to a nominated charity of the winner’s choosing.

Festival organiser Janes Hasell-McCosh  said “We are indebted to our main sponsors for their continued support. Fortnum & Mason are our long standing sponsors and sell an enormous range of marmalade at their Piccadilly store in London. 

"By their support they enable some of the best marmalades in the world to be sold and raise money for charity and their jar exchange, (where people can drop off their entries at the store, and receive a jar of their marmalade) has been more popular than ever."

“The Homemade entries are up 10% across all categories but the biggest growth has been in the ‘First Timers’ category which was created by Rathbones, the investment and wealth management company who joined us as a headline sponsor last year.

"This category saw 50% growth and we were delighted to see some of Rathbones staff making marmalade for the first time too."

“Rathbones are continuing their support and inspired by the success of the First Timer category, are also sponsors of the new ‘Next Generation’ category in which we have seen so many lovely stories coming through about generations and family connections."


  • Homemade Best in Show - Mike Ranson’s Seville Orange Marmalade with Cider and Calvados
  • Marmalade with Alcohol - Seville Orange Marmalade with Greengage Liqueur Gin
  • Marmalade to be Eaten with Savoury Food - Orange Marmalade with Rose
  • Traditional Marmalade - Lemon and Norfolk Lavender Marmalade
  • International Category with a Red Lemon Marmalade made with Reduced Sugar

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