Special Friends Only Event: Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Tea at Mackintosh at the Willow

Wednesday 10th October 2018 | 6-8pm | Mackintosh at the Willow, 217 Sauchiehall Street

As a special treat for our valued Friends of GCHT, we have organised a behind-the-scenes tour of the newly restored tea rooms, Mackintosh at the Willow.

The famous Tea Rooms first opened in 1903 and are of huge importance to Glasgow’s architectural and cultural heritage and are the only surviving Tea Rooms designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for local entrepreneur and patron Miss Kate Cranston.

Over the years and through various changes of ownership and use, the building had deteriorated until it was purchased in 2014 by The Willow Tea Rooms Trust in order to prevent the forced sale of the building, closure of the Tea Rooms and loss of its contents to collectors.

For the last 4 years it has been undergoing an extensive restoration in order to bring it back to its former glory, to reopen it to the public and create a sustainable future. Glasgow City Heritage Trust provided a Building Repair Grant of £200,000 to assist with external repairs to both the Tea Rooms and the neighbouring Victorian tenement which has become the visitor centre. The repairs included an overhaul of the roof and rebuilding of chimneys, stonework repairs including indenting of stone, renewal of the historic hard render, repair of the windows including the magnificent Salon de Luxe stained glass bow window and reinstatement of Mackintosh’s shopfront. Getting up close and personal with the building has been an illuminating experience for what it has revealed of the subtlety of Mackintosh’s idiosyncratic detailing with delicate use of colour and silvered highlights.

Mackintosh at the Willow now operates as a social enterprise creating training, learning, employment and other opportunities and support for young people and communities.

The event:

We will start with an hour-long behind-the-scenes tour of the building at 6pm covering 3 floors and a variety of beautiful spaces each with their own character and unique design, including the Front and Back Saloons on the ground floor, the Gallery, the Billiard Room and the famous Salon de Luxe.

Following the tour the group will take tea (or coffee) and a sweet treat on the mezzanine in the tea rooms and will have the chance to ask any questions of our guide.

We have negotiated a special price of £8 per person for our Friends, and we hope as many of you as possible will join us for this special Friends-only event.


Please note: Payment is taken via PayPal but you do not need to have a PayPal account to pay online. 

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