Saturday 1st March marks the start of National Marmalade Week. It is also the start of a two day Marmalade Festival at Dalemain House near our Ullswater cottages. It takes place between 10am and 4pm on both days, costing £4.50 for adults (kids go free). Wellies or walking boots are recommended! Entry to the beautiful gardens is included in the fee.
This history of marmalade at Dalemain goes back hundreds of years to the 18th Century when fruit was purchased from the citrus market in Carlisle. There are a number of books in the house archive that date back to this period and contained several unique recipes. Dalemain House, near Pooley Bridge in Ullswater, has hosted the Marmalade festival since 2005 when there were only 50 jars entered for judging, a figure that has grown to over 1,500.
There is a varied programme of events to keep the whole family entertained from marmalade tasting and cookery demonstrations, to Marmalade Question Time and story telling with Paddington Bear. There is also a craft making tent, treasure hunt and Llama trek for children to enjoy. On Saturday morning there is a free children’s fun run and a new 10k trail race (advance online registration required for both).
Persons in possession of a jar of marmalade can sail for free on the 9.45am Ullswater Steamer service from Glenridding where there will be complimentary toast and marmalade served. You can walk to Dalemain from Pooley Bridge, a short walk of just under 2 miles.
On both days there will be over 200 competition marmalades to taste, served with freshly made toast from the local Girl Guides. Refreshments available over the weekend not only include marmalade on toast, but hot food, home-made soup and cakes too.
The presentations for the Marmalade Awards take place on the Saturday. There is also a Marmalade Ashes – a team of 11 Australian marmalades competing against an English team.
On Sunday there will be a special cookery demonstration from Dan Lepard (Great Australian Bake Off) costing £10 where you can learn the intricacies of baking bread and all the different flavours. You can also watch a demonstration from Lucy’s Cookery School based in Ambleside, preparing one sweet and one savoury dish.