One of Scotland’s most famous tearooms reopened this month after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Mackintosh at the Willow, located on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow reopened its doors on 16 September.

A successful crowdfunding campaign, which saw the business raise almost two thousand over its target of £20,000 has allowed the social enterprise to reopen its doors safely in accordance with government guidelines.

The 200 seat restaurant is housed over three floors that showcase examples of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work in the beautiful rooms – the Front and Back Saloons, the Gallery, Billiard room and Salon de Luxe.

The tearooms are open from 12-5pm for two sittings per day – one at 12 and one at 3pm – and will be following strict cleaning and social distancing guidelines.

Visitors can look forward to breakfast, light lunch, afternoon and high teas as well as just tea or coffee and cake in the historic surroundings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Miss Kate Cranston.

For anyone wishing to find out more about the tearooms and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the space is also home to a small museum in which tours are conducted.

This tour, which lasts 45 minutes, covers most of the main spaces within the building, highlighting the work undertaken by the restoration team, the important interiors within, and how the building relates to other Mackintosh works.

A spokesperson for the tearooms said: “Over the past month we have been working hard alongside our friends at Edinburgh Boarders Roofing who have been helping us make sure our beautiful heritage building is looking its best for our long-anticipated reopening.

“The floors have been refinished, the building exterior has had a fresh coat of paint and the Salon de Luxe is looking as new as the day it first opened its stained-glass doors in 1903.

“We are preparing an online retail store so you can purchase your favourite items from the comfort of your own home. The team have been undergoing training to ensure the safety of everyone joining us at the tearooms, exhibition, and tours.

“We are so excited to reopen our doors on the 16th September and we have updated our website with our Covid-19 guidelines to make your visit as safe as possible.”

Posting at the start of the crowdfunding, the team said: “Like many not-for-profit organisations working in the tourism and hospitality sectors, we have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus lockdown and, having only recently re opened after a painstaking restoration required to save this historical landmark, we are now facing the doors being closed for good once again.

“We are asking for your help to raise enough money in order for us to continue our work in safeguarding the last surviving example of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Tea Room designs.”

The current total is £21,955, and for more information and to book (which is essential) please visit the Mackintosh at the Willow website.

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About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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