Last Friday, after stuffing our bellies with scrumptious Greek food and meandering through shops we decided we’d stop somewhere for a well-needed cup of tea. So we decided to stop at the Sheelin Tearooms in Bellanaleck, Enniskillen. It wasn’t until we were ready to leave when my husband suggested we drop into the Lace Shop and Museum next door, to which I eagerly agreed. Till this day I had always thought it was some bridal boutique having driven past it a few times but when I peered in through the front windows to take a closer look at the displays I knew straight away that I had to go in! We rung the bell and the lovely Rosemary (owner of the shop) let us in. As soon as I stepped foot into this place, I was simply blown away by what felt like stepping into an Aladdin’s Cave full of vintage treasure. It was not what I had expected at all! Every inch of the shop was covered and draped with beautiful lace work, dresses, jewellery, pearls, shoes…and much much more all dating from the 1900s to 1920s! The way in which everything was displayed in the shop was truly remarkable and breathtaking too! That in itself was art! I was in lace HEAVEN! I asked Rosemary if it was okay to take some photos (albeit through my iPhone!) as I was mad to have this shared on the blog….and she was more than happy for me to do so! Rosemary has been in the business for 16 odd years collecting all the antique pieces from all over the country and the UK which you find here in the shop. So if you’re ever in Enniskillen then this is a place you MUST visit!! Here’s a nosey at a few of the things that stood out to me!
I totally fell in love with this utterly gorgeous 1920s vintage dress you see below. It simply exudes glamour and femininity but with an air of confidence! I’m now kicking myself for not plucking up the courage to ask if I could try it!! I can so picture myself in it, letting my imagination run away with me into that decadent Great Gatsby-esque era! *sigh* Must go back there again, just to drool all over it again. If I could do my wedding all over again I would, without any hesitation whatsoever, do the 1920s theme and wear this dress!! But for now I shall just dream!
I had the opportunity to nosey around through the Museum part of the shop too that was tucked away right at the back. Once again, the collection of antique lace work came in the form of dresses, parasols, shoes, scarfs, fans….you name it – it was there! The exhibits are pieces date from 1850s to1900 and is one of the largest collection of Antique Irish Lace in the whole world! For the historians and antique enthusiasts, the museum showcases beautiful examples of Youghal Needlelace, Inishmacsaint Needlelace, Crochet, Limerick and Carrickmacross lacework. However, enthusiast or not, I highly recommend everyone (local folk too!) to go visit just to appreciate the sheer level of craftsmanship of that time! Nothing today compares to it and while hand craft is coming back it’s a real shame that we’re not all brought up to learn these skills anymore like our forefathers did! So there you have it folks! My photos simply don’t do these pieces any justice so you will HAVE to go visit this place to see for yourself! I could have happily stayed there till closing time rooting through and admiring all the lace loveliness there – that being said I wasn’t that far off!! Oh and do stop and have a chat with Rosemary too who will tell you more about the collections she has in store. She does have a blog where you can view more of these stunning items online or simply drop her a line with any queries you may have. My sincere gratitude goes out to Rosemary who was kind enough to let me take photos, give me access to the museum and allow me to feature this on the blog! I will be back soon! :) x