Opening plans - introducing Mackintosh at the Willow

We know there's a lot of interest in when we're opening and when you'll be able to visit us. We're delighted with all the support and interest - thank you to everyone. We also appreciate your patience waiting for news and updates whilst the project team, site teams and all our contractors, partners, suppliers, experts, craftspeople, designers and everyone involved have been working hard to get ready to welcome you again. 

We will be marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh next week with a preview visit for a private group of guests including our funders on Thursday the 7th June whilst we continue to get ready to open to the public.

The beautiful original Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street, will open again to the public from 02 July 2018, following a £10 million pound restoration and thanks to the support of Heritage Lottery Fund and other funders. We will also be opening our new Visitor Centre next to the Tea Rooms, at 215 Sauchiehall Street. 

The Tea Rooms and our Visitor Centre will open under the new name of "Mackintosh at the Willow" and will include a 200 seat restaurant, open across 3 floors in this internationally recognised building.

Our new Visitor Centre will include a Retail Store, interactive exhibition area, conference facilities, roof terrace and dedicated learning and education facilities. We're also working with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society who will be running a tour and information desk on the ground floor of our Visitor Centre.

We will have a phased opening during the summer of 2018, with the official opening of "Mackintosh at the Willow" in September 2018.

Our Retail Store within the Visitor Centre will open to the public for preview visits from 2pm next Thursday 7th June 2018 and will fully open from early August. The Tea Rooms will cater for a small number of pre-booked groups throughout June, opening up to the public on 2nd July with a limited menu which will be expanded over the summer into our full menu. The interactive Exhibition area will open at the beginning of August and the Audio Visual Theatre complementing the Learning and Education suite will be available from August.

We'll continue to share information and updates on our plans for 02 July when we open. We'll also be launching our new website www.mackintoshatthewillow.com very soon where we'll share more information and updates including how you can book, sample menus and what you can expect when you visit us. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Mackintosh at the Willow later this summer.

Glasgow Traditional Building Skills apprenticeship event

At the end of April and early May we were delighted to take part in the @scottradbuild Glasgow Traditional Building Forums Annual Traditional Building Skills apprenticeship event. The event aims to demonstrate career opportunities for school leavers and job seekers in heritage construction and the wider construction industry. Working with local colleges, national heritage organisations and members of the heritage construction industry the forum runs a series of ‘Taster’ workshops which allow local school children to try a range of heritage building skills. The event ran as a pop up venue on Sauchiehall Street, outside the Tea Rooms.  We ran stenciling taster workshops, working with Glasgow based Stencilling artist, Elisabeth Viguié Culshaw.  100 pupils from 6 schools participated, a great result. It's a fantastic initiative, we were delighted to be asked to take part and great to see it recognised in @ScotParl Motion by @SandraWhiteSNP with thanks to all that made it possible.

 

 

 

Community engagement

 

During May we've also continued our education and community outreach activities. Most recently Sula, our Learning & Education Officer took part in the Glasgow Gurdwara Healthy Living Event, running stencilling workshops for the participants. We'll be further developing our work with local schools and communities throughout the year. Our heritage project and activities are supported by National Lottery Funding so as always big thanks to @heritagelotteryfund and of course all the support raised by #NationalLottery players!

 

Opportunities and partnerships

We're delighted to be working with @PrinceTrustSco and @Dumfries_House who've recruited and trained a group of young people over the last few weeks.  It's been great to see the @PrincesTrustSco trainees celebrate their achievements when they recently successfully completed their training. For the last few weeks they've been learning about Mackintosh, Mackintosh at the Willow and of course very importantly, they've been developing and honing their catering and customer service skills and having a taste of working in the hospitality industry as they begin their careers. Some of the young people will be joining the team at Mackintosh at the Willow and we'll share more news on that soon. Through the restoration project and our plans going forward we'll be creating various opportunities for young people to develop their skills, through employment, volunteer and work experience opportunities and through participation in our learning & education programmes. All thanks to support from @HLFScotland and #NationalLottery players. 

The Year of Young People - creating opportunities

2018 is officially Scotland's Year of Young People and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Dumfries House and Prince's Trust Scotland who are offering an exciting new 5 week hospitality training programme. 

If you or someone you know is age 18-30 and looking to kick start your career and get into hospitality then read on…

The training programme will include the chance to gain:

  • Experience working back and front of house
  • Barista training
  • Your bar licence

At the end of the training programme successful candidates will also have the chance of potential job opportunities at Mackintosh at the Willow, when we open our exciting new tourism and visitor attraction in the Glasgow’s city centre this June.

For details call The Prince’s Trust Scotland on Freephone 0800 842 842 or visit Prince's Trust Scotland

If you’re walking along Sauchiehall Street this weekend or next week take a look at the posters on display in the window at No. 199, just a few doors down from where Mackintosh at the Willow is currently under wraps during the completion of the restoration and will open at No. 217 Sauchiehall Street #YOYP2018 #future #opportunity #217thewillow

Inspirational women - international women's day

It's International Women's Day and we're celebrating some truly inspirational, innovative and forward thinking women. The first is the inspirational Miss Kate Cranston, a true entrepreneur, highly successful business woman, innovator and forward thinker, a major patron of Mackintosh & Margaret Macdonald and of course the original owner of the famous original Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street, then the place to see and be seen and soon to reopen it's doors! 

Another inspirational woman is Margaret Macdonald. Margaret was a wonderful, innovative and influential Scottish artist, one of The Glasgow Girls group of artists and one of the key figures of the ‘Glasgow Style’ design, a member of the ‘Glasgow Four” who were highly influential to international art nouveau and a key influence and source of inspiration to her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

At the start of the 20th Century a group of women, for the first time, were allowed to attend classes at the Glasgow School of Art. Margaret and Frances, along with Jessie Newbery, Ann Macbeth and Jessie M. King, became known as The Glasgow Girls and were instrumental to the evolution of decorative and interior design and what became known as the ‘Glasgow Style’. Margaret first collaborated with her sister Frances when they opened the MacDonald Sisters Studio at 128 Hope Street, Glasgow in the 1890s, creating varied, innovative and exciting work, inspired by Celtic imagery, symbolism, literature and folklore. She later married Charles Rennie Mackintosh who cited her as a key inspiration, influence and supporter of his work. They worked closely together on interior design, creating forward looking, futuristic designs ahead of the time that still feel modern today.

Their successful design collaboration included their work for entrepreneur and forward thinking successful business woman Miss Catherine Cranston, on her fashionable and popular Tea Rooms in late Victorian Glasgow – which were places where high society and the avant garde met and socialised. The design and décor they created was a key contributing factor to the success and interest of Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms. In the early 1900s, Margaret continued to work with her husband on a series of interiors including for their own home, for the House for an Art Lover, on exhibitions and competitions and for the iconic Salon de Luxe in the famous Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street where Margaret created the beautiful gesso panel. As an artist in her own right she contributed to over 40 exhibitions throughout Europe and America and was celebrated by many of her peers including Mackintosh who is quoted as having said that whilst he had talent he believed Margaret had true genius. She also received many prizes jointly with her husband but often there is little mention of her many achievements and contribution to the world of art and design in her own right and she has often been overshadowed by her more celebrated and talented husband. 

Miss Cranston’s fully restored Willow Tea Rooms Building at 217 Sauchiehall Street will reopen this June, showcasing the wonderful interior and exterior design as it was when it first opened in 1903. Visitors will be able to learn more about the story of the Tea Rooms and Glasgow at the time and about  the collaboration between Miss Cranston, Margaret Macdonald, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and their contribution, influence and significance in creating this wonderful and internationally significant building.

Not forgetting our modern day inspirational woman - Celia Sinclair, founder and Chairperson of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, successful business woman and entrepreneur and the driving force behind the restoration of Miss Cranston's Willow Tea Rooms Building and the new Visitor Centre - both soon to open to the public under the name 'Mackintosh at the Willow'. 

Historical photos courtesy Annan Photography.

Getting creative in 2018 - at The Mackintosh Church

A Happy New Year to everyone. We're looking forward to counting down the next few months until we open the doors of Mackintosh at the Willow in June - with the project team, site team and all our partners, associates and master crafts people busy making that happen. Our schools and community programme continues and our Stencilling Stations begin again from February. Our first creative workshop of 2018 has just completed and was a great success. We worked with The Lansdowne House of Stencils and our hosts the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society to run a gesso making workshop at the beautiful venue of The Mackintosh Church at Queen's Cross. Lots of great feedback and thanks to everyone involved for making it a great success. 

Christmas Wishes and looking forward to 2018

We're looking forward to an exciting New Year when we launch Mackintosh at the Willow and reopen the doors of the original Mackintosh Tea Rooms at No. 217 and the new integrated Visitor Centre at No. 215. We'll also be joining the celebrations for Mackintosh150 and the 2018 year long programme of events to celebrate Mackintosh and his legacy. We'll be sharing more news in January and throughout the year. Thanks to everyone for their support in 2017 and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team at The Willow Tea Rooms Trust.

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Mackintosh 150

It's very exciting to be part of the Mackintosh 150 year long programme of events for 2018, to celebrate his 150th anniversary. We’re working with other Mackintosh heritage partners across Glasgow and further afield, as we collectively celebrate Mackintosh throughout 2018 and beyond.

We and all the partners involved hope to share Mackintosh’s legacy and to inspire younger generations and their interest in art and design.

With Glasgow home to the world’s finest collection of Mackintosh design and buildings it’s fantastic to be able to share and encourage visitors to explore and enjoy the many wonderful buildings and learn and experience more about Mackintosh’s wonderfully creative genius and design legacy.

And of course we’re delighted to launch Mackintosh at the Willow when we reopen the fully restored original Mackintosh Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street in early June 2018 and the new Exhibition and Visitor Centre next door at 215 Sauchiehall Street.

Look out for more news on our website, Facebook and Twitter on the events and activities planned for Mackintosh at at the Willow and for the Mackintosh 150 programme as we'll be sharing more news from January as we count down count down to opening on 07 June.