Charles Rennie Mackintosh I Willow Tearooms.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 – 10 December 1928) was born in Glasgow, a Scottish Architect and Designer in the Arts and Crafts movement, Mackintosh was the main representative of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom. Charles Rennie Mackintosh had considerable influence on European design. Mackintosh was not only a talented architect creating the renowned Glasgow School of Art, House of Art Lover and Queen’s Cross Church, Mackintosh also designed the famous Willow Tea Rrooms.
The story of the Willow Tea Rooms and owner Anne Mulhern’s inspiration began a long ago. Kate Cranston, the famous Glasgow Tea Room Entrepreneur, and one of Mackintosh’s biggest supporters, was born in her father’s hotel in George Square, Glasgow in 1849. The Cranston family were avid supporters of the temperance movement and Kate’s brother Stuart was the first to open the first Tea Room. Stuart was a tea merchant and his enthusiasm for his product led him to having a kettle on hand in his shop to provide samples for his customers. Eventually, Stuart hit upon the idea of charging for this and set up some tables and chairs in the premises. He began selling cups of tea with the optional extra cakes. The idea proved lucrative and soon Tea Rooms were sprouting up all over the city.
Taking inspiration from her brother, Kate decided to open her own Tea Rooms business. She had a total of four in Glasgow, Argyle Street, Ingram Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchie hall Street. The Tea Rooms were an immediate success, partly due to Kate’s own distinctive character. A compassionate employer, Kate visited the homes of the girls who worked for her, ran a compulsory insurance scheme and made sure they all had three meals a day, a great perk given that many of the staff came from large poor families. Although a touch old fashion and eccentric in her dress sense, Kate was the opposite in her business decisions. She used two relatively unknown designers at that time, George Walton and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, both ensured that the Tea Rooms would be designed unique. Soon after, the Willow Tearooms became critically acclaimed in the newspapers and art magazines of the day.
Inspired by the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Willow Tea Rooms at 97 Buchanan Street is the place to go when your out and about in the city center. The Tea Rooms was modeled on Kate Cranston Street Tea Rooms from the early 1900's, recreating the fabulous interiors of the White Dining Room and the Chinese Blue Room. The extensive use of contrasting colors within the rooms adds to the atmosphere and experience.
The White Dining Room is a light bright room with elegant high-backed chairs and leaded glass. Upstairs, visitors can enjoy the the Chinese Room vibrancy of brilliant blue tones, the replica domino chairs and the great window views of one of Glasgow’s most famous streets.
Reflected in the traditional menu, is locally sourced and homemade. The Willow Tearoom, Miss Cranston menu, offers a wide range of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. If you fancy afternoon tea and available all day are unique select blend of Ceylon & Assam Teas.