Today, 27 May 2018, at the Willow Tea Rooms at 97 Buchanan we are celebrating what would have been Kate Cranston’s 169th birthday. Join us for a cup of our Cranston blend tea with a scone or a meringue for £1.69…one day only!
Kate was Anne’s inspiration for opening the Tea Rooms and we love being able to celebrate her achievements whenever we can.
Kate was born in her father’s hotel in George Square in Glasgow. The family were very much involving in hospitality and catering. Kate’s brother Stuart was a tea merchant and his enthusiasm for his product led him to having a kettle on hand in his shop to provide samples for his customers.
He hit upon the idea of charging for this and set up some tables and chairs in the premises – he began selling cups of tea with the optional extra of cakes. Stuart gets the credit for opening the first tea room anywhere.
Taking inspiration from her brother, Kate decided to open her own tearooms business. Working with two young designers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and George Walton, Kate’s four tea rooms were very successful and well regarded – something we all still admire.
Kate success in her business was matched by a happy personal life. In July 1892, at aged 43, she married Major John Cochrane. In those days social conventions dictated that once married, a woman should give up paid employment and assume role of homemaker – Kate however did not and continued to visit every one of her tearooms daily.
We are delighted that we continue to be part of the Glasgow Tea Room legacy.