MackIntosh at the Willow

Willow Tea Rooms

July 2 sees the opening of the immaculately restored Willow Tea Rooms building at 217 Sauchiehall Street, now operating as Mackintosh at the Willow. The £10 million facelift will include the impressive Salon de Luxe and a new visitor centre and exhibition on the life of designer/architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his patron, businesswoman and 19th century entrepreneur Catherine Cranston. Widely known as  Miss Cranston, she opened her first tearoom in 1878 and in 1903 commissioned Mackintosh to build the Willow Tea Rooms, where he had total control over the building and its interior decorative elements. Working with his wife Margaret Macdonald, an innovative and influential artist in her own right, his design even included the menus and waitress uniforms. The restoration will result in one of the finest examples in the world of a complete Art Nouveau scheme. Expert craftmakers have been involved in the restoration project with 420 pieces of furniture plus glassware, wrought iron work, textiles and carpeting commissioned as part of the project.