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Mackintosh style signs outside Willow Tea Rooms

Mackintosh style signs outside Willow Tea Rooms


Entrance to Willow Tea Rooms

Entrance to Willow Tea Rooms


Leaded windows at fašade of Willow Tea Rooms

Leaded windows at fašade of Willow Tea Rooms


Internal view of windows at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Internal view of windows at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


External view of windows at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

External view of windows at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


Furniture at at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Furniture at at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


View from 1905 showing original chairs at Willow Tea Rooms, now replicated

View from 1905 showing original chairs at Willow Tea Rooms, now replicated


Teapots aligned on shelf of Willow Tea Rooms

Teapots aligned on shelf of Willow Tea Rooms


Mackintosh designed cutlery c.1903

Mackintosh designed cutlery c.1903


Decorated panel at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Decorated panel at Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


Mackintosh's design drawings for chairs at the Room De luxe, Willow Tea Rooms Mackintosh's design drawings for chairs at the Room De luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Mackintosh's design drawings for chairs at the Room De luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


Mackintosh style light fittings at Willow Tea Rooms

Mackintosh style light fittings at Willow Tea Rooms


Corner view of Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Corner view of Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


Door leading into Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms

Door leading into Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms


Hanging flower basket at Ground Floor of Willow Tea Rooms

Hanging flower basket at Ground Floor of Willow Tea Rooms


Night view of block in Sauchiehall Street at Willow Tea Rooms

Night view of block in Sauchiehall Street at Willow Tea Rooms


Fašade of Willow Tea Rooms from the journal 'Dekorative Kunst', 1905

Fašade of Willow Tea Rooms from the journal 'Dekorative Kunst', 1905


The modernistic fašade of Willow Tea Rooms was created in front of an existing four-storey conventional building in Sauchiehall Street. The timber formwork to create the unusual geometric shape of the lower levels can be glimpsed behind the scaffolding in the 1903 photograph below.

Timber scaffolding and formwork for the fašade of Willow Tea Rooms

Timber scaffolding and formwork for the fašade of Willow Tea Rooms, 1903

The signs on the barrier at the works are written in typical Mackintosh script and read "Miss Cranston's new tea and lunch rooms will be opened early in October"


The Willow Tea Rooms closed for business after Kate Cranston was widowed in 1917. It was known as the 'Kensington Restaurant' when the photograph below was taken in the 1920's. The signs either side of the famous fašade read "Teas and Luncheons" and "Smith, Glasgow".

Willow Tea Rooms, known as 'Kensington Restaurant' in 1920's

Willow Tea Rooms, known as 'Kensington Restaurant' in 1920's

The building was used for a variety of purposes before the reincarnation of the Willow Tea Rooms in 1983, thanks to the efforts of Anne Mulhearn - a latter day successor to Miss Cranston.


In 2014 the ground floor unit previously occupied by Hendersons the Jewellers became a gift shop, ancillary to the tea rooms on the upper levels. The tea gallery overlooks the renovated space which contains some very interesting Mackintosh artifacts.

View of timber balcony of tea gallery at Willow Tea Rooms

View of timber balcony of the tea gallery at Willow Tea Rooms


Ground floor entrance to gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms </U>

Ground floor entrance to gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms


Original cashier's chair on display at gift shop of the Willow Tea Rooms </U>

Original cashier's chair on display at gift shop of the Willow Tea Rooms


Fireplace in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms

Fireplace in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms

Detail of fireplace in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms showing Mackintosh's preferred square motifs

Detail of fireplace in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms showing Mackintosh's preferred square motifs


Reproductions of Mackintosh designed chairs on display in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms

Reproductions of Mackintosh designed chairs on display in gift shop at Willow Tea Rooms


Ornate plasterwork at gift shop of the Willow Tea Rooms

Ornate plasterwork at gift shop of the Willow Tea Rooms


Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, created the unique interior decoration schemes of various Miss Cranson's tea rooms in Glasgow city centre.
Margaret's gesso panels of 'The May Queen' and 'The Wassail' were displayed at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1901.

'The Wassail'and 'The May Queen'

'The May Queen and 'The Wassail' at the RGIFA exhibition in 1901


'The Wassail' originally featured at Ingram Street tearooms

'The Wassail' once a feature of Ingram Street Tea Rooms, now at Kelvingrove Museum


'The May Queen' was displayed at at Miss Cranston's Ingram Street Tea Rooms

'The May Queen' also featured at Miss Cranston's Ingram Street Tea Rooms


Mackintosh exhibited an exaggerated emphasis of the vertical dimension in both his wall panels and high backed chairs.
The drawing below was created by him in 1896 for a proposed frieze for Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms in Buchanan Street. It creates an interesting comparison with Margaret's ladies and roses shown above.

Mackintosh's drawing of frieze for Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms, Buchanan Street, 1896

Mackintosh's drawing of proposed frieze for Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms, Buchanan Street, 1896


'The May Queen' displayed at the Vienna Secession Exhibition, 1900

'The May Queen' displayed at the Vienna Secession Exhibition, 1900


Chair from the photograph of Vienna Secession Exhibition on display at the Lighthouse

Chair from the photograph of Vienna Secession Exhibition on display at the Lighthouse


Mackintosh's design drawings of ladderback chairs for Willow Tea Rooms

Mackintosh's design drawings of ladderback chairs for Willow Tea Rooms


Mackintosh's design drawings of cashier's desks for Ingram Street Tea Rooms, 1909

Mackintosh's design drawings of cashier's desks for Ingram Street Tea Rooms, 1909


Mackintosh's design drawings of chairs for Ingram Street Tea Rooms

Mackintosh's design drawings of chairs for Ingram Street Tea Rooms


'The Dew'- metal panel by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh for Ingram Street Tea Rooms

'The Dew'- metal panel by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh for Ingram Street Tea Rooms


Full height wall decoration at Miss Cranston's Tearooms, Buchanan Street, 1898

Mackintosh's full height wall decoration at Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms, Buchanan Street, 1898


Poster for  Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms, Buchanan Street, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Poster for Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms, Buchanan Street, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh


'Peacock' wall decoration for Miss Cranston's Tearooms

'Peacock' wall decoration for Miss Cranston's Tearooms


Perspective drawing of Miss Cranston's Tearooms, Buchanan Street by architect George Washington Browne, 1896

Perspective drawing of Miss Cranston's Tearooms, Buchanan Street, exhibited by architect George Washington Browne, 1896



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