Admission: Free for a look, but obviously you have to pay for your tea & cake!
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10.30am-5pm (Sauchiehall St) & 11am-5pm (Buchanan St)
Designed by the internationally renowned artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904, Glasgow’s Willow Tea Rooms allow you to step inside Art Deco beauty over afternoon tea.
For a spot of light refreshment head to the Willow Tearooms, where the elegance and splendour of Art Deco beauty await you. With delicious sandwiches, scrumptious cakes and tea in ornate china cups, the tearooms are the ideal way to relax away from the hustle and bustle of shoppers in the city centre.
Visitors can choose from a range of Scottish savoury dishes, and a wide selection of meals, snacks, teas and coffees. For that special occasion, afternoon tea is a favourite choice with a delicious selection of homemade sandwiches, scones with strawberry jam and cream, homemade buttered shortbread, and a choice of cake from the cake trolley, all served with tea or coffee from their extensive menu.
Both Tea Rooms also stock a wide range of quality gifts, many based on traditional Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs.
In 1903, Kate Cranston, a Glasgow entrepreneur, asked Charles Rennie Mackintosh to design and create the Tea Room at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Although Mackintosh worked in partnership with Kate Cranston on all her Tea Rooms, this was the only project in which he had complete control over every aspect of the design, including the teaspoons and waitresses’ dresses.
The exclusive Room De Luxe with its silver furniture and leaded glass work was the jewel in the crown of the partnership between Mackintosh and Kate Cranston. The room remains very much one of the main Mackintosh features in Glasgow, attracting visitors from all over the world, with the room today still having in situ the original doors, windows and mirrors.
The Willow name comes from Sauchiehall, which in Scottish Gaelic means alley of the willows and the theme of willows features throughout the building.
The ceiling on the Gallery level on the mezzanine floor overlooking the back salon allows natural light to flow through, highlighting the black trellis pattern with the distinctive Mackintosh stylised roses.
The Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street is one of the few buildings designed by Mackintosh still being used today for its original purpose.
The Willow Tea Rooms at Buchanan Street have been recreated in the style of the White Dining Room and Chinese Room, originally designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Kate Cranston’s Ingram Street Tea Rooms.
The rooms reflect the Mackintosh contrast between masculine and feminine. The White Dining Room is filled with elegant high backed chairs, leaded glass and a bright interior. The Chinese Room is darker and atmospheric. This is very similar to the interiors at Sauchiehall Street, with the feminine Room De Luxe contrasting with the more masculine features on the Gallery level.
The Tea Room in Buchanan Street is licensed, selling champagne, wines, whiskies and beers.