61 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Foodies, Art, Live entertainment, Nightlife, Romance
Expert review of Gee's
Mr Gee’s flower and vegetable business was one of the most distinctive structures on the Banbury Road, occupying a Victorian conservatory just south of North Parade. The elegant glass and iron structure was built in 1898 and is now Grade II Listed. In 1991, Jeremy Mogford, owner of the Old Parsonage, bought the structure and turned it into a restaurant with minimal alteration to the structure. He named the restaurant after its original owner and added it to his circuit of weekend jazz. Friday night's Mogford jazz is at the Parsonage and at Gee’s and Quod on Sundays.
I find it very difficult on a dark evening to pass the warm lights and hubbub of Gee’s, and not want to go inside and be part of the party.
The restaurant describes its menu as classic with a strong British influence. Head chef Ben Aslin offers quails’ eggs with celery salt, pheasant and ham terrine, confit of pigs’ cheeks and seared scallops with Jerusalem artichoke puree. I liked the game pie and the shank of lamb with flageolet beans. The Gee’s hamburger with chips (£14.95) is a deserved favourite.
As with all Mogford properties, there’s plenty of art on show. At Gee’s the walls display the proprietor’s collection of paintings by British artist Gary Hume, whose work has been seen in solo shows at the Venice Biennale, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Art and jazz are the background themes. The unusual setting of dining in a greenhouse lends cachet; Gee’s feels important.
The restaurant claims that its personable young staff “double as artists, poets and philosophers”. This can be a mixed blessing, as service is pleasant but can be slow.
In Banbury Road just south of North Parade, which itself is south of South Parade. This topsy-turvy neighbourhood is very affluent. Anyone who remembers the old Avengers with John Steed and Emma Peel will recognise South Parade as their kind of 1960s trendy mews territory.
Monday to Saturday there’s a two-course a la carte menu for £23.50 and three courses for £26.50. The same prices apply on Sunday evening jazz nights between 8pm and 9.45pm.
Part of a discreet local chain – that includes the Old Bank and its restaurant Quod, as well as the Old Parsonage Hotel, which also serves food.
More information on Gee's:
- Price guide:
- 61 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE
- 01865 553540
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon - Fri noon-2.30pm, 5.45pm-10pm; Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm, 6pm-10pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Essential at peak times