THE WILLOW TEA ROOMS
The Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street is a major attraction for both locals and overseas visitors. The only eatery where Rennie Mackintosh took full command over every aspect of its architectural design, interior and exterior. The Room De Luxe, has the original leaded glass doors, windows and mirrors on show today. Enjoy a fantastic selection of traditional food and drink while appreciating the jewel in the crown of one of Glasgow’s most famous architects.
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Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904, the world renowned Willow Tearooms in Glasgow’s Sauhiehall Street and Buchanan Street remain open today, serving an exquisite range of cakes, pastries and beverages to patrons who are keen to dine in Edwardian splendour. Visitors to the Willow Tea Rooms can take tea as they did in the same preserved rooms in 1904.
The Willow Tea Room in Sauchiehall Street was the only eatery where Rennie Mackintosh took full command over every aspect of its architectural design, interior and exterior. He even had impetus in the design of cutlery and waitresses' dresses. This fine establishment is named after the street where it is situated whereby the name Sauchiehall derives from the Scottish Gaelic, meaning alley of the willows. Willow wood finishing is featured throughout the building.
The Room de Luxe is by far the most lavish interior created by Mackintosh, featuring ornate silver furnishings and leaded glasswork. His designs and interior finishing were so exclusive that customers were willing to pay an extra penny for their pot of tea. The Gallery Room juxtaposes the Room de Luxe with completely different furnishings and a darker, more masculine interior.
The building at 217 Sauchiehall Street is being closed for a two year refurbishment and as a result The Willow Tea Rooms at this location will be closing on Wednesday, 22 June 2016. However, the Willow Tea Rooms are expanding and a new Tea Rooms will be opening on the 3rd Floor at Watt Brothers store at 119 Sauchiehall Street within the next few weeks.
Over on the other side of town, The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow's bustling Buchanan Street was opened in 1997 adjacent to the Cranston's original Buchanan Tea Rooms, visitors to Glasgow can further experience the beauty of Mackintosh's ingenious interior designs at the White Dining Room and Chinese Room which Mackintosh created for Cranston's Tea Rooms in nearby Ingram Street.
Since it opened in August 1997, the Willow Tea Rooms in Buchanan Street is a tranquil sanctuary for local shoppers and business people alike and has proved to be equally popular with Mackintosh aficionados. Similar to its older Sauchiehall Street sister, both rooms have contrasting designs representing masculinity and femininity.
Visitors are offered an extensive menu of pastries and cakes, fine teas from Ceylon and China as well as an exclusive selection of Scottish savoury and fish dishes to whet your appetite, The Buchanan Street Tea Room is licensed and the menu includes a selection of champagnes, wines and beers. So for that extra special treat try a Champagne Afternoon Tea.
Both tearooms are home to a gift shop where patrons can browse through the splendid range of gifts, jewellery, books and prints and household goods recreated to Mackintosh's original designs. Gift vouchers are also available. Gifts can be purchased online and can be delivered worldwide. Visit the mezzanine level and see the unique way Mackintosh used colour and design.