Hilma's Windsor Castle
Airport Rd, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Photo by Cathryn Walter
Unforgettable Home Cooking from an Unforgettable WomanThere's no way to accurately describe the feeling of the warm acceptance, and open armed welcome you receive when you arrive at Hilma's Windsor Castle. Hilma, originally from Dominica, greets you with an infectious smile and a genuine interest in who you are and why you've come to St. Martin. The quiet little trailer can be easily missed as you drive along the busy Airport Road, but once you find it, it's like reaching the end of the rainbow. Hilma's is an institution on the island, where you can saddle up alongside all sorts of characters, from local business people out for a breakfast of salt cod johnny cakes, to the ex-pat Brit boat runner in for a beer after a long night delivering baccarat tables over-water to St. Bart's. The jerk chicken and ox tail are divine; the pig's tail soup makes me black out in a fit of pleasure, in the way that only the combination of herbs, Caribbean curry and melting slow-roasted meat can. Those in the know also remember to ask Hilma what she's cooking off-menu today; almost like a secret password, it opens the door for a flavour exploration the likes of which most of us only dream of.
Like the love of your favorite grandmother, Hilma will engage you in conversation that will make you feel like you're the only person that matters, and that all your stresses are either gone, or not so big a deal.
An hour with Hilma over food and beer in the Caribbean sun is the best soul therapy you can find.