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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the places category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

The Trees Restaurant

The sign over the door of the Trees Restaurant

The Trees Restaurant might well be the best place in Glasgow. Not the best restaurant, mind, the best place. I go there quite often, always on my own. It’s hidden away somewhere in the city centre, accessible via an anonymous doorway on the street, which leads to three flights of steep stairs. It’s only when you get to the top that you see the sign for the restaurant. During the day, the menu offers one thing: a cooked breakfast. For £1, you can get sausage, egg and a potato scone. And a cup of tea thrown in, if the waitress likes the cut of your jib. All the other customers are pensioners and the waitresses know them all by name. I look forward to the day, sometime in 2030 I suppose, when the waitresses will call me Mr. Mottram. At the moment they all just call me ‘son.’

The sign over the door of the Trees Restaurant

Anyway, when I first happened upon the Trees Restaurant, in 1997 or thereabouts, there was an old lady sitting sternly at the till by the door, next to a black-framed photograph of her late husband. She never said anything except the price owed by a departing customer, but I rather got the impression that she was a kind old lady, if a little intimidating.

When I went in this morning, the old lady and her photograph were gone, but her daughter was manning the till.

Posted at 2pm on 03/11/03 by Jack Mottram to the places category.
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  1. Sounds interesting enough. Where can we find this restaurant in the city centre?

    Posted by GaryF at 10am on 04.11.03

  2. It’s on Union Street. I was vaguely attempting to keep it a mystery, but then noticed that the address is on the sign reproduced above.

    If I walk in there the next time to see a load of young folk tapping away at their Powerbooks, I shall be forced to kill myself.

    Posted by Jack Mottram at 12pm on 05.11.03

  3. Union street? It must be pretty well camouflaged. I’m on Union Street daily and I’ve never seen it. Must pop in soon.

    Posted by Gary F at 1pm on 05.11.03

  4. my cousin Vicky managed Trees for years , until recently in fact ..i worked there for a while in 94/95 n never have i seen acrew so fussy about the food , service n standards .. i used to watch the boss then Sergio , check every bit of fish for bones , so it well earns it’s rep …it’s agood wee place for those in the know …so enjoy xx

    Posted by elizabeth harte at 8pm on 12.02.07

  5. I passed today &remembered i used to get dragged along with my ma, back in the fifties, Q. when did this fab wee place first open?

    Posted by Dan Gibson at 12am on 01.12.07

  6. Do they still do a breakfast for £1 and how did the restaurant get its name, the trees,

    Posted by Dave at 6pm on 13.01.08

  7. I remember my gran taking me there when I was just a wee “Yankee” spending the summer with her in Scotland, back in 1973. We spent the day together, taking a city bus tour, going out to the Green and Kelvingrove, then finally back to Union Street to get the train to Hamilton, then by bus to High Blantyre. But first, we had oor tea at The Trees.

    Gran worked as a matron at the Central Hotel for many, many years, and sometimes she and the lassies frae the Central would have their tea at The Trees. She though it was special to bring me there.

    The meal was “Braised Beef” with mash and peas. I still remember that afternoon well. Thanks for reminding me.

    Posted by Steve McGuire at 2pm on 23.01.08

  8. I have known about this little gem for years. My gran takes me. My grans mother went as well. Good old fashioned food. Mmmm.

    Posted by Darryl Stuart at 9pm on 05.03.08

  9. Go to the third floor on that building.
    For a family restaurant it makes me sick to think that there’s a brothel above it.

    We told the police….

    Posted by Anonymous at 11am on 03.05.09

  10. i would like to think that the best restaurants would serve very delicious and healthy foods -.’

    Posted by Health Medicine at 11pm on 24.11.10

  11. Tommorow (everything going to plan) the trees should have a new owner. My first memory of Trees is sitting in a high chair beside my Grandfather in the 1970s. It was a busy place with no less than three waitresses at any one time. I remember the then proprietor (Angelo) who would sit at the cash desk and sometimes we bought home made tablet. I would never have thought all those years ago that I would one day run this renowned Glasgow landmark. Most of the clientele are regulars nowadays and i have even seen a few “old regulars” who emigrated and have come home to visit. I have found some interesting photos of former staff and there are also menus from the 40’s and 70’s when 65 pence would buy you a three course lunch.
    nobody panic, it won’t become an internet cafe or coffee shop! But my wife and I intend to make gradual improvements as we want another generation to remember either lunch, high tea or afternoon tea at the trees. We look forward to welcoming customers old and new at the Trees.

    Posted by Robert Mackenzie at 10pm on 14.06.11

  12. When I was growing up in the 70’s we would go to Glasgow once a month and the thing I remember most was our visits to The Trees, I have very fond memories of my times there.

    My Gran used to go there when she was a girl and in turn My Aunt and then me, I now live in England but return home every year with my son and the first thing we do when we get to Glasgow is to visit The Trees, I so glad it’s still there It’s a link to the past I would be very sad to loose…..hopefully my son will be able to take his kids there in the years to come.

    Posted by Charles Auchterlonie at 3pm on 29.06.11

  13. Has this restaurant closed for business ? I’ve used it often in the past few years but recently when I’ve been in town it appears to be in darkness.

    Posted by William Greenshields at 12pm on 06.03.12

  14. It would be very sad if it was closed down. I was often taken there by my parents in the late 50s/early 60s for Saturday high tea. I now live in Spain and go back every time I’m in Glasgow. I’ll check it out next month when I’m home. PLEASE don’t let it be closed!!!

    Posted by Jenny at 11am on 08.07.12

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