I just joined my TV crew and our local guide, Colin Mairs, for our Scotland shoot. We’ll be here 18 days, filming three new shows for public television. Our first episode features Glasgow. And for architects, a big draw here is the Art Nouveau work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Here’s a look at a tea house he designed that makes for some tasty sightseeing. To give it context, here’s the “on camera” we filmed for our show:
These tearooms, opened in 1903, are an Art Nouveau masterpiece by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow’s famous hometown architect gave this a spritely modern feel. Tearooms like the Mackintosh at the Willow were hugely popular during the industrial boom of the late 19th century.
During this age of Victorian morals, the temperance movement was trying to discourage the consumption of alcohol. Tearooms like this were designed with an agenda: to be an appealing alternative to eating in pubs.
In addition to giving office workers an alternative to pubs, these tearooms provided a place where women could gather while unescorted — in a time when being out alone could give a woman a less-than-desirable reputation.