The landmark Glasshouse on Oxford’s Banbury Road, home to Gees Restaurant & Bar, will close temporarily until May 2022 for a £1 million refurbishment and expansion to become Gees Restaurant, Bar, Gallery & Secret Garden.
The Oxford Collection has announced that the famous Grade ll listed, Victorian Glasshouse known to locals and tourists alike as ‘Gees Restaurant & Bar’ will be temporarily closing for 8 weeks on 21 February 2022 for a full, top to bottom makeover.
It will be combined with the property next door which has been remodelled over the last 6 months, to create ‘Gees Gallery & Secret Garden’, two brand-new, all-day destinations for guests to enjoy.
Gees Restaurant opened in 1985 in the Grade II listed conservatory that started life as a greengrocer and florist in 1897, serving market garden vegetables and flowers that the Gee family grew on land over the road.
The market garden was eventually built over, creating the distinctive North Oxford, Victorian houses for university dons. You will now find Charlie Gee, a direct descendant of the Gee family growing his vegetables and asparagus not far away, just off Botley Road.
Now the time has come to completely redesign and modernise the thirty-year-old kitchen and back of house in order to meet the needs of the 21st century and the enlarged business.
Jeremy Mogford says: “We are investing well over one million pounds in creating a very special and unique destination within Oxford. We are bringing Gees cooking facilities into the 21st century with the latest equipment, along with much improved working conditions for our chefs. I would also like to say that we are making a huge, post covid declaration of faith in the wonderful potential of our city.”
Gees will more than double in capacity with the addition of ‘Gees Gallery’, an adjacent private dining space for up to 50 guests, and ‘Secret Garden’; a heated private terrace for up to 60 diners. Upon reopening, Gees Restaurant, Bar, Gallery & Secret Garden will accommodate over 220 guests in total across all its dining spaces.
The kitchen rebuild means that Gees Restaurant & Bar will be closed temporarily between 21 February 2022 and mid-May 2022. During this time, two sister restaurants and bars in ‘The Oxford Collection’; Parsonage Grill, a 6-minute walk down Banbury Road; and Quod Restaurant & Bar, situated on Oxford’s High Street, will both be open all day every day.
The beautiful and distinctive building housing ‘Gees Gallery’ will provide a multifunctional space, operating as an art gallery/shop and function room for parties, meetings, conferences and screening. People will be able to meet, eat, admire and buy art on display.
The interior design of Gees Gallery is a simple, airy space allowing the art to be displayed to the best effect but also creating a unique venue for all events, including lunches/dinners and meetings.
The design will be influenced by the existing Gees interior and will include old York stone flooring both inside and outside. Special lighting throughout will highlight the paintings and photographs being offered for sale, and ensure a warm, intimate atmosphere.
‘Gees Secret Garden’, occupies a never-before-seen space at the rear of the glasshouse, which has been transformed into a secluded courtyard terrace, landscaped with York stone, topiary, a water feature, and pleached hornbeam trees, to be used as an incidental exhibition space for sculpture, outside dining and meeting friends.