27 Apr 2014

Breakfast with Charles

I made a trip to a conference in Glasgow this week, but being so far away it took out 3 days. Not only was it far away in miles, but also in culture – I’ve got used to the comparative isolation of the Highlands and the pace of life and being in a bustling city again felt very strange. En route to the station for my morning train home I made a small detour to the Glasgow School of Art and the fabulous Charles Rennie Mackintosh building. Last time I was here with Henry we had a tour of the building and were shown the development site opposite which was to become a new campus. The £30 million Reid Building, designed by Steven Holl Architects, is now complete and stands in stark contrast to the old building. I liked it, but not so sure about the “now sing” sculpture, a view perhaps shared by the students who had hung an extra “o” on the original building. I felt it was now time for the Mackintosh building to sing again – in a need of a good clean it looked very grubby alongside the new architecture opposite. Next stop, breakfast. I had sampled the Travelodge cooked breakfast the day before ( which wasn’t brilliant) so was heading for a McMuffin when I spotted The Willow Tea Rooms. I waited 5 minutes for it to open and had the place to myself – so, as I ate a most delicious scrambled egg on toast, it was as if I had breakfast with the man himself (and almost missed my train!).

A documentary about the Reid Building - Facing Up To Mackintosh - is on BBC2 at 9pm Tuesday 29 April (on opportunity to see what it looks like inside).

Room De Luxe, The Willow Tea Room, 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow


The Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art, Renfrew Street


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