Ann quoted "THEY were the epitome of luxury and style, a haven for ladies who lunched, and the vision of one of Scotland’s earliest female entrepreneurs. Now the old Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and run by Kate Cranston, are being faithfully restored by another pioneering woman, whose plans encompass much more than tea and tiffin."
Mackintosh at the Willow will involve restoring the tea rooms, including the impressive Salon de Luxe, to their former glory; creating a visitor centre, education hub and exhibition; and involving apprentices in the building of more than 400 pieces of furniture.
More than 200,000 people are expected to visit in 2018 and the education centre will play host to 2500 children. It’s estimated it will bring in £1m to the local economy, as tourists flock to the first ever, dedicated Mackintosh ‘museum’.
The aim is not just to preserve one of Mackintosh’s finest buildings, and pay tribute to the original tearooms owner Kate Cranston, but also to encourage the next generation of artists, architects and entrepreneurs who follow in their footsteps.