Paddington’s Favourite Festival

It’s the time of year when Seville oranges begin to appear in our stores. The fruit is traditionally used for making marmalade, something that we take very seriously in this part of the world.

Cumbria is home to The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and festival, founded by Jane Hasell-McCosh at her family’s home, Dalemain House, near Penrith.

Every year, thousands of marmalade-makers from around the world send in jars to compete in numerous categories. Over a weekend in March (March 16 and 17 this year) Dalemain is transformed into marmalade HQ, so that competitors and visitors can view the entries and find out how well they’ve scored with the judges.

Since Jane founded the event in 2005, it’s raised nearly £250,000 for charities focused on palliative care and has spawned spin-off festivals in Japan and Australia.

It’s fun to enter and worth a visit. From Joiner’s Mews it’s an easy 45-minute drive up the M6 to Dalemain.