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Willow Tea Rooms

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs

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Willow Tea Rooms

The exterior of the Willow Tea Rooms above Henderson the Jewellers in Sauchiehall Street, c 1985. The tea rooms reopened there in 1983.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was commissioned by owner Kate Cranston to design the Willow Tea Rooms in 1903. He designed all the interior fittings and the exterior and internal layout of the building itself, which at one time extended to five levels. The highlight was the Room de Luxe, with its silver furniture and leaded glass work, where customers willingly paid a penny extra for a cup of tea.

The Willow name comes from Sauchiehall, the street where it is situated, which comes from the Scottish Gaelic meaning "alley of the willows," and the willows theme was sustained in the furnishings and decoration throughout the building. The tea rooms closed following the death of Cranston's husband in 1917, and the building was used for other purposes. The Room de Luxe was recreated by Anne Mulhearn in its original style for the reopening in 1983.

Reference: Bulletin photographs, Box 1, Architecture

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

architects, designers, Henderson the Jewellers, Room de Luxe, shops, tea rooms, Willow Tea Rooms, willows

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