A marmalade made by a Northumberland couple to sell and serve in their coffee shop has won a coveted award.
Lady Waterford’s Marmalade with Chips – named after the Victorian aristocratic Pre-Raphaelite watercolourist and philanthropist who lived for much of her life in north Northumberland – is made by Lynne and Keith Allan who run the Restoration Coffee Shop at Ford.
And at the recent World’s Original Marmalade Competition held in Cumbria every year, it walked off with an internationally recognised silver award.
Lynne and Keith beat off stiff competition from accredited marmalade makers from across the UK as well as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to take the accolade in the Seville orange medium cut category of the artisan section.
Lynne says: “I can’t tell you how delighted we are to take the silver award at this amazing marmalade festival. The artisan section is a hard fought and highly prized section of the competition with the likes of the Ludlow Food Centre taking part and goodness knows how many other excellent marmalades makers.”
The Allans started making their own jams and marmalades last year to sell and serve from their Restoration Coffee Shop at The Old Dairy that dates back to when Lady Waterford came to Ford Castle in 1859.
Keith says: “Lady Waterford was a remarkable woman. Over a period of 30 years she did so much for the village of Ford and the people who lived around her.
“She knew Ruskin and Gladstone; Landseer painted her portrait and her sister was Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria and so we thought it rather fitting that we should name our preserves after her as a sort of dedication to the special legacy she has left us in Ford.”
The World’s Original Marmalade Competition takes place at Dalemain near Penrith in Cumbria. It attracts entries from top marmalade producers keen to have their conserves judged by such well-known figures as Lady Claire MacDonald, food writer and hotelier from the Isle of Skye, baking guru Dan Lepard and Jonathan Miller, new product development buyer at Fortnum & Mason.
The marmalades are judged for taste, aroma, set, looks and style and the two-day festival draws thousands of people interested in the hugely popular world of making preserves.
The festival is in its seventh year and was started by Jane Hassell-McCosh, whose family has lived at Dalemain for an incredible 11 generations.
Meanwhile the Allans – who run a country store of architectural antiques and vintage interiors alongside their coffee shop – have now got the marmalade bit between their teeth and are already making plans to enter next year’s competition where they’ll be hoping for gold.
Read more about Northumberland food.