POPULAR preserve makers in the Lake District have struck gold with some of their latest products launched only last month.

Hawkshead Relish bagged three Gold Star Awards from the Guild of Fine Food at this year's Great Taste ceremony.

Two of the products to impress the judges were launched last month.

Ripping Raspberry Curd took a 2 Star Gold with the Hot Onion and Red Pepper Relish taking a 1 Star Gold.

And their best-selling traditional Westmorland Chutney - an old favourite and one of the first culinary creations - was awarded a 1 Star Gold.

Maria Whitehead, director and co-owner with her husband Mark, said: "Every year we eagerly await the announcement of the Great Taste awards and this year we are thrilled that we have been accredited with three, amazingly two for our newly launched products.

"I am especially delighted that our Westmorland Chutney has been recognised as this really is a favourite here as well as having heritage in the area."

These latest Great Taste awards brings the total accumulated by Hawkshead Relish to a whopping 54, making it one of the most accredited speciality producers in the UK.

Judges look for products that surpass excellence in quality, taste and innovation.

Before gold is awarded, a minimum of eight experts, often 16 taste and discuss samples.

And for two or three-stars, up to 20 judges must unanimously agree an entry has achieved absolute perfection.

This year more than 8,000 products were judged during an intense two-month period.

Hawkshead Relish was founded following the foot and mouth epidemic when Mark and Maria found their cafe devoid of customers and their livelihood threatened.

For more information about the business and their products visit www.hawksheadrelish.com