Deirdre O’Connell, of Lena’s Tea Room, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim is celebrating this week as her Pink Grapefruit and Cranberry marmalade won the Bronze Award for “Marmalade for Savoury Food” at the prestigious World Marmalade Awards. The ceremony took place over the weekend at Dalemain Mansion, a stately Georgian home on the outskirts of Penrith, in Cumbria, England. Founded in 2005 by Jane Hasell-McCosh, the World Marmalade Awards seek to preserve and expand the tradition of making marmalade. The Artisan Awards promote small scale marmalade makers using the open-pan method and the winners were decided by an esteemed panel, which included Pam Corbin (River Cottage) and Dan Lepard (The Guardian). Deirdre was one of two Irish winners of the Artisan section of the awards.
Lena’s Tea Room is a vintage inspired tea room in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Every Christmas, Deirdre prepares a limited quantity of festive chutneys, preserves and dressings that are sold exclusively in Lena’s Tea Room. For Christmas 2018, Deirdre decided to prepare a Pink Grapefruit and Cranberry Marmalade, following an interesting recipe she discovered. This is only the second time Deirdre has tried her hand at making marmalade.
“I thought The Pink Grapefruit & fresh Cranberry marmalade was a quirky recipe and that it could be lovely for breakfast or could go well with dark meats such as duck or pheasant”, said Deirdre. “As a small business, we can make only small batches and this marmalade is no exception. Before it sold out completely, I reserved two jars to enter into The World Marmalade Awards. And It was a spur of the moment decision! To win an award is absolutely amazing and a huge honour. This is especially more so as in two weeks myself and my 8 team members – who are the best people to work with – will celebrate 8 years since we first opened the doors at Lena’s Tea Room”, explained Deirdre.
Lena’s Tea Room is a vintage inspired tea room, where all goods are made and baked on a daily basis. Over the years, Lena’s Tea Room has accumulated numerous accolades, among which Goodall’s Best Scone in Ireland Runner Up – 2015 and Today FM ‘Best Café in Ireland’ – Overall winner – 2014. The Pink Grapefruit & Cranberry Marmalade is available to purchase in Lena’s Tea Room.