The Willow Tearooms In Glasgow: Charles Rennie Mackintosh

It was a school graphics project that first opened my eyes to the work of Glaswegian designer, artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I was transfixed by his unique and iconic style.

The flicker of creative inspiration I’d had as a 12-year-old pupil was brought back to me recently when I visited Glasgow to see my best friend.

We went for lunch at The Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street, which was designed by Mackintosh in the early 20th Century.


Seeing the distinctive lettering and rose design on the menu outside the tearooms was like a blast from the past. I fondly remembered having loads of fun creating leaflets and posters for a fictitious Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition. 

Mackintosh, who was born in Glasgow in 1858, was a leader in the UK’s Art Nouveau art scene. His work was said to have been influenced by simplistic Japanese design, along with the Industrial Revolution in his home city.

His artistic stamp could be seen all over the place in The Willow Tearooms. The furniture, the wall designs and even the serviettes adequately fitted in with the theme. 

But it wasn’t just the decor that made this place so great. Although the tearooms’ fame was certainly being milked in terms of pricing, the food and drink were delicious and the service was top notch.

It was a lovely treat. 

I got all Christmassy and had turkey and cranberry sandwiches. To drink, I opted for the hot milk with cinnamon and honey. 

As well as The Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street, there is another one located in Buchanan Street. 

Have you ever visited the tearooms in Glasgow? Are you a fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh?


  1. December 6, 2012 / 02:42

    This place looks wonderful. I would love to visit one day!

    • December 7, 2012 / 21:22

      I knew you’d like this ;-)

  2. December 6, 2012 / 06:44

    Beautiful place. I’d love to visit. And that sandwich looks delicious!
    Fernando Quintero recently posted..Arbitrage [2012]My Profile

    • December 7, 2012 / 21:21

      It was yummy, thanks Fernando!

  3. December 10, 2012 / 13:08

    I love Art Deco and Art Nouveau – so much so I’ve just used that font at the top for an invitation this week! Will have to add this to my ‘places to visit when I finally make it to Glasgow’ list.
    Lucy Dodsworth recently posted..Exploring Petra: Following the Siq to the TreasuryMy Profile

    • December 18, 2012 / 13:24

      That’s fab! It’s a great style, I really like the jewellery as well. In fact I might get a pair of Mackintosh earrings at some point.