A FORMER lodging house, which featured in a high-profile historic murder case, has opened as a tea room.
The Tea Room at the Botanics is based in what was once the curator's house in the Botanic Gardens.
In 1857, it was mentioned in the trial of 21-year-old beauty Madeline Smith, the daughter of a well-known Glasgow architect who socialised in high circles.
She was charged with administering arsenic to her lover Pierre L'Angelier, a seed merchant from the Channel Islands.
He was a lodger at what is now The Tea Room at the Botanics and where – according to historic documents – he was found doubled up in agony. Despite constant medical attention by a doctor he died the following day.
Madeline Smith was brought to trial but the jury took only 30 minutes to return a not proven verdict.
Yesterday the B-listed building shook off its grizzly past when it opened its doors as a tea room.
It will open seven days a week from 10am until 6pm during the summer and until 4.15pm in winter.
It will also be available for private functions in the evening and will operate extended opening hours during the West End Festival and the Bard in the Botanics season.
The venue, which features views of the Botanic Gardens' stunning Kibble Palace, includes al fresco dining thanks to a new expansive patio area.
Encore, the catering element of city council arm's length company Cordia, will be responsible for running what will be a welcome addition to the popular visitor attraction.
Cordia managing director David Melvin said: "The team at Encore Hospitality Services has worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year to ensure The Tea Room at the Botanics was ready to entertain those who visit these wonderful gardens every day."
The venue will showcase artwork by Glasgow-based artists on a monthly basis with the inaugural exhibition featuring the works of self-taught Allan Richardson who works for the council.
Many of his works, including his depiction of the University Cafe on Byres Road, are West End based and inspired.
The tea room also has a poetry post box which will be used to collect poems from children which will be displayed throughout the building.
Visitors can get breakfast between 10am-11.30am and a lunch menu is available from noon-6pm.
Jim Coleman, the city council's executive spokesman for land and environmental services, said: "The Tea Room at the Botanics is a fantastic addition to one of Scotland's best loved parks.
"I am confident it will quickly become one of the city's most popular venues given the stunning surroundings it enjoys."