When I told my friends we were going to holiday in Belgium the most frequent comments they made were: “Make sure you buy some lace/drink some beer/eat some chocolate.” I couldn’t ignore these instructions and needed no encouragement to indulge in all three.
Belgian lace is world renowned and has been made since the 15th century. In Bruges there are lace shops on every street, with window displays showcasing everything from simple bookmarks to elaborate tablecloths. The workmanship is beautiful.
The Volkskundemuseum, or Folklore Museum, in Baalstraat, Bruges has an exquisite antique lace collection and some of the pieces are more than 200 years old.
Climb the stairs to the exhibition room in the attic to see delicate collars, mantles and shawls displayed in glass cases at low light levels.
It’s not even necessary to imagine how these garments were worn as there are also paintings showing the wealthy citizens of Bruges dressed in all their finery.
The finest Belgian lace is still made by hand. Look carefully in the doorways as you walk through the streets of Bruges and you might just see the next beautiful piece being created.