The Willow Tea Room, Buchanan Street, Glasgow – Charles Rennie Mackintosh

An afternoon break while shopping in Glasgow City Centre

Whether it is a break from shopping or a destination tea, the Willow Tea Room in Buchanan Street is always delightful with excellent food.  I hadn’t been here since 1998 and was pleased to be able to come back after so many years to find it just as good as I remembered.

Lockerbie Scottish Mature Cheddar Cheese with Pickle.
Lockerbie Scottish Mature Cheddar Cheese with Pickle.

The service was excellent and the sandwiches delicious.  The small gift shop as you enter had plenty to look at while waiting a few minutes for a seat.  There were a lot of really nice items and all reasonably priced.  I had to have the Lockerbie Scottish Mature Cheddar Cheese sandwich with pickle.  It was delicious and the cheese was incredible.  I remember when asking for it my partner wanted “a pickle” with his sandwich too – so I had to explain what “pickle” in Scotland was.  It was a spread.

Scottish Brie & Grapes
Scottish Brie & Grapes

There were four of us on this rainy day in Glasgow and we prowled along Sauchiehall Street down to Buchanan Street, a route I’ve done many many times.  By the time we got down Buchanan Street we were hungry and, while there was no shortage of options of restaurants including a TGIFridays, we opted for the tea room.

Cullen Skink with the rustic roll.
Cullen Skink with the rustic roll.

We were with cousins from England, one of whom had never been to Scotland before, so it was fun and adventurous for them to read over the menu and decide what to order.  We kept eyeing plates passing us and the afternoon tea plates looked incredible but we decided to order soup and sandwiches.

The detailed back of the chairs in the Willow Tea Room, Buchanan Street, Glasgow, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The detailed back of the chairs in the Willow Tea Room, Buchanan Street, Glasgow, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

All in the service was quick, the sandwiches tasty and the atmosphere terrific.  I’m not sure if there is a lift or not but the tea room is on the first floor (US = 2nd floor) and there are stairs to climb.  It was rather difficult to pass by the gift shop without picking up a unique item and my cousin gave in to that temptation.

The people at the table next to us ordered the afternoon tea and it looked fabulous.
The people at the table next to us ordered the afternoon tea and it looked fabulous.

Strongly suggest if you have a bit of hunger to stop it.  If you’re starving to death, this probably isn’t the place, as the servings were just right for a bit of hunger and a rest.  Do yourself a favour and pop in.  There is one in Sauchiehall Street as well as the one in Buchanan Street that we visited here.

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Mayonnaise sandwich at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Room, Glasgow, Scotland.
Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Mayonnaise sandwich at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Room, Glasgow, Scotland.

The complete menu can be found here for the Willow Tea Room.  The home page is located here.  

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