Spicy time at Belmont Estate

The Caribbean island of Grenada is known as the `Spice Isle’, so it seems only reasonable that when visiting Grenada, you should get to know a little of the history of the island’s spice trade.

One place to do that is at the Belmont Estate at St Patrick, about an hour’s drive from the capital St George.

Here’s a place where you can take a leisurely stroll through the most picturesque tropical gardens on a 300 year old plantation, as you explore the island’s rich legacy.

Belmont Estate dates back to the late 1600s, during the colonial area, when plantations were first established under the system of land allocation under French rule.  Throughout its history, Belmont has played a major role in Grenada’s agricultural economy. In the late 1600s and early 1700s, it was one of the 81 plantations established on the island with coffee being its major produce. Sugarcane was introduced as the main crop later in the 1700s.  The ruins of the old water mill remain as testament to that part of its history. Grenada proved to have ideal conditions for agriculture and cotton, was also a major crop of the estate, being later replaced with cocoa, nutmegs in the 1800s and bananas coming later. Even today the estate is still a major producer of cocoa and nutmegs.

Being the world’s second largest producer of nutmegs, this precious spice naturally tops the list of fragrant spices produced at Belmont Estate. The exotic spice array you can see growing here includes cinnamon, pimento, cloves, bay leaves, turmeric, ginger, and mace. Nutmegs and mace are exported and are used extensively for culinary and pharmaceutical purposes.

Some of the ancient traditions centred around the produce are still adhered to today.  For instance, this is a world where men and women dance on cocoa beans to create the finest dark chocolate. It’s a world where you can relive the island’s history by viewing intriguing displays and a world where guests see an exciting collection of arts and crafts being made right before their eyes.    

If you’ve ever visited a spice plantation before, you’ll know that the sweet aroma that wafts from the drying spices just makes your mouth start watering with the urge to tuck into a spice-laden meal.

In the Belmont Estate restaurant allow them to take you on a culinary adventure with a colourful, mouth watering Creole buffet laid out in traditional coal pots.  Here is the chance for you to savour the burst of tropical flavours from signature dishes such as callaloo soup, papaya salad, goat cheese salad, and their own home-made ice cream featuring flavours such as coconut, bergamot and cinnamon.

Belmont Estate is located in Belmont in St. Patrick, nestled between the lush green mountains that surround the villages of Tivoli and Hermitage in Grenada’s historic north. Its main entrance is located on the major road between the Hermitage and Tivoli.

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