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Buchanan Street, with nearby Sauchiehall and Argyle Streets are sometimes nicknamed the “Golden Z”, as it is here that you will find most High Street names and it is here that Glasgow’s reputation as the UK’s second largest retail centre comes from. In Buchanan Street itself, visitors will find the Buchanan Galleries, the Prices Square Shopping Centre, the first House of Fraser and the only Apple Store in Scotland. The Royal Concert Hall is also in Buchanan Street, within the Buchanan Galleries building. After extensive refurbishment in 2000, the street is today paved in granite and entirely pedestrian. There are a number of transport links to the street, with Buchanan Bus Station at the top, the Queen Street train station as well as a metro station further down. Architecturally, the street is characterised by a mixture of Victorian architecture and modern design, with red sandstone the dominant building material. In 2008, Buchanan Street won the Academy of Urbanism 'Great Street Award'.
Willow Tea Room
The Willow Tea Room in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, was designed by one of the UK’s foremost designers Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was part of the Arts and Crafts Movement and worked around the turn of the 20th century. It was called “willow” to reflect “saugh” in the name of the street from the Scots word for willow. The Willow Tea Room commission in 1904 came from Kate Cranston, a doyenne of the newly fashionable idea of a tea room, for whom he did a number of designs. Mackintosh designed every aspect, the exterior, interior, menus, waitresses’ dresses, crockery and cutlery. The highlight is the Room de Luxe with its bay window, silver-coloured furniture, leaded glass decoration, and his trademark high-back chairs. Primarily intended as a ladies’ tea room it was in contrast to the darker wood-panelled Gallery with billiards and a smoking area for men. The exterior is asymmetric with curves and recesses reflecting the ideas of Art Nouveau. Today after many changes of ownership the Tea Room has been restored to its original function and in Mackintosh’s style. It is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4.15pm Sunday, and is also available for private hire.