Family-owned business ‘excited’ to open Edinburgh Willow Tea Rooms with in-house bakery and castle views

The Princes Street venue takes inspiration from a 20th century tearoom designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Edinburgh’s Princes Street will soon be home a tradition tea room boasting spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle when the doors open next week.

Princes Restaurant Group, a family-owned business who opened Salerno Pizza in the St James Quarter in 2021 have announced their famous Willow Tea Rooms will open for business on February 23. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The original Willow Tea Room, which opened in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street in the early 1900s, was designed by famed architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Glaswegian entrepreneur and tea room pioneer Catherine Cranston. Years later a second Willow Tea room was opened in Buchanan Street and Princes Restaurant Group later bought this business in 2019. The Sauchiehall Street location is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

The Willow Tea Rooms in Edinburgh will open on February 23The Willow Tea Rooms in Edinburgh will open on February 23
The Willow Tea Rooms in Edinburgh will open on February 23

Now the independent business want to continue the long-standing tea room legacy started by Mackintosh and Cranston, which was underpinned by an ethos of providing a high quality experience for a reasonable cost.

Speaking to the Evening News, director of Princes Restaurant Group, Danielle Fleming, said: “We’re really excited, it’s something we have wanted to do since we bought the tea rooms in Glasgow. We thought it would be great to be able to take this to Edinburgh - so we’ve been patiently waiting for the right time and it definitely seems right just now.”

“One of the main reasons we were interested in buying the tea room in 2019 was the fact the business worked with reputable Scottish suppliers, baking everything in house to create high quality Scottish produce at a reasonable price. We want to provide that to people in Edinburgh and surrounding areas and for tourists visiting the city. The Princes Street location has beautiful views of the castle, there are floor to ceiling windows across the entire space and all 110 covers will have an excellent view of the castle. It’s a beautiful location, I was actually taken aback by it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Similar to the Glasgow branch, The Willow Tea Rooms in Edinburgh will offer a full breakfast menu including cooked Scottish breakfast, morning rolls and scones. Visitors can also tuck into an impressive lunch menu which includes Cullen Skink, smoked haddock fishcakes, Scottish rarebit and classic Balmoral chicken. From 12pm every day, guests can also indulge in a lavish afternoon tea which includes a selection of sandwiches, home-baked scones and a choice of delicious cakes or baked savouries.

Danielle said: “We are known for our traditional, home baked cakes - especially our famous strawberry tarts. We have our own bakery in both the Glasgow and Edinburgh venue and all of our cakes and baking are produced there. In the afternoons you’ll be able to have lunch and afternoon tea. Most would agree that we are a reasonably priced venue and that is something that really harks back to the original purpose of the tea rooms - which in Catherine Cranston’s days was to provide tea rooms that everyone could come and visit and enjoy high quality food at a reasonable price.” 

Set across two floors, the venue at 120 Princes Street was formerly a Starbucks until it closed last year. The ground floor has been repurposed to serve as a Mackintosh gift shop where visitors can buy the company’s signature house teas, mugs tea towels, jewellery and stationery. The first floor will accommodate the tea room where guests can enjoy a wide range of high-quality food whilst taking in one of the best views in the capital.

For more information about The Willow Tea Rooms and to book a table you can visit the company website.