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    February 2023
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    The Willow Tearoom, 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

    If it is pouring with rain, as is often the case in Scotland, and if you are not lost in the midst of nowhere in a most desolate and remote place of the Scottish countryside with only a thermos of black coffee to cheer you up, it would be unthinkable not to be able to find a castle, a museum, a pub or a tearoom to shelter in and spend your time in a most agreeable way. Beware of the closing time, however, for many places close as soon as five in the afternoon. We’ve been had several times!

    That day, in Glasgow, “il pleuvait des hallebardes” or, as we would also say in France “il tombait des cordes” which means in English, that  “it was raining cats and dogs”, a favourite expression of mine which I had no problem to remember at school! I wonder what is its origin. We could ask Iain and Margaret. I’d be much surprised if our dear Scottish friends would not have a very interesting and learned answer to that funny question…

    Glasgow Scotiana modified Google map

    We had been walking for a while under the rain in the very busy shopping thoroughfare of Glasgow which is composed of Argyll Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street …

    Sauchiehall Street The Willow Tearoom Mackintosh Sign © 2007 Scotiana

    …when we fell upon the very colourful and stylish Mackintosh sign standing in front of a bright and luxury window. On the ground floor there was a jewellery, Henderson’s it read, and on the first floor a tearoom. Guess what! We had arrived at 217 Sauchiehall Street, a number which has become as famous in Glasgow, though more tangible, as 221 b Baker Street in London.

    Sauchiehall Street The Willow Tearoom © 2007 Scotiana

    We immediately felt like going into this very inviting secular temple to share a hot cup of tea and taste some of the specialities offered there  but drenched as we were, with our dripping parkas and dirty walking shoes,  we hardly dared to enter this  mythical place.

    Tea and scones source : wikipedia

    In the very welcoming Scottish B&Bs, hotels and restaurants, tearooms, pubs and other places, we had very often been given the opportunity to taste and appreciate the delicious and inimitable local pastries, in the form of scones, pancakes and various other delicacies generally served with an abundance of butter, jam or cream and we are always quite eager to renew the experience each time a new occasion occurs, especially when it’s wintry and rainy outside. Soon, indeed, we’ll open a page on Scotiana in which we intend to introduce Scottish specialities and even try to give recipes… tested recipes…

    Menu card design for Miss Cranston's Cafes at the 1911 Glasgow International exhibition Source Wikipedia

    We finally entered Sauchiehall Willow Tearoom but so limited was our time that day and so long was the queue of people waiting to be served that we finally decided to come back another day. We didn’t, but no need to say how the three of us are eager to sit down at one of the little tables in the very relaxing atmosphere of this marvellously decorated tearoom.

    Sauchiehall Street The Willow Tearoom © 2007 Scotiana

    But The Willow Tearooms of Glasgow, for there are several ones, have an old story to tell. Its main characters happen to be a lady and a whole team of genial Glaswegian artists… but I will tell you more about all that in my next post …
    In the meantime enjoy our photos to try and get the sense of this unique place in Glasgow which has repeatedly won awards of excellence.

    Sauchiehall Street Willow Tearoom Award © 2007 Scotiana

    A bientôt. Mairiuna.

    Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh frieze

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    1 comment to The Willow Tearoom, 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

    • I don’t want to be pedantic but the frieze shown is The Wassail by CRM. MMM did the companion piece The May Queen.
      The question that has to be asked is, how did CRM-MMM manipulate these six panels around their 120 Mains Street flat?

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