HOTEL DUKE’S PALACE | Bruges

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Netherlands has gone into lockdown again. Non-essential businesses like restaurants are now closed to customers, which is sad if you’re in the mood to celebrate the season with dining out, but ultimately tragic for those who depend on this time of year not only to make up for the pandemic but really to survive and make it through somehow.
We’d already planned a few weeks ago to do a mini-break in Paris but given this new lockdown we gave in to the temptation of leaving a day early – and Bruges seemed the best option for an overnight stopover. Not three hours later we were parked and ready to check in at the Palace, to start our spur of the moment Belgian yuletide adventure.

With a slight drizzle now and then, the weather didn’t prove to be the best, but that didn’t stop us – nor multitudes of other people for that matter – from seeing the sights, and specifically in our case, to look for a place for dinner. A moderately satisfying meal at Au Petit Grand later, we walked it off by retracing our steps from past trips, including stopping at another Kathé Wohlfahrt store – an actual one this time, not a pop-up like all the ones we’ve seen so far – and seeing as much of the attractive, medieval center as we could.

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Mission accomplished. Once again Bruges did not disappoint and the Christmas feels, even with covid in the background, are still evident. We missed coming here last year for obvious reasons and I’m more than glad we could make it back this time around, like seeing an old friend long absent. As for the Palace, it’s beautiful inside and out, and how I wish we could have stayed longer. Since Bruges is always a pleasure at least I know there’s another option just in case, though I did find myself missing our bed in Elburg. Let’s just say the Duke’s linens may have been a tad below his grace’s standards.

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