We had the delight of being invited to Gees after their big refurbishment. All I can say is: that it was Gee-licious!
Originally opened in 1985, the well-known Victorian Glasshouse venue underwent an 8-week refurbishment earlier this year. This has enabled them to increase their diner capacity with the ‘Secret Garden’ which is a private heated terrace, seating up to 60 people. There’s also the ‘Gees Gallery’ which is an adjacent private dining space for up to 50 people. The refurbishment has managed to make Gees even more charming than it was before. It feels like you truly are away on holiday in the Mediterranean. All we can say is wow, the venue is beautiful, and the air-conditioned glasshouse is beautiful and was ideal for this summer heatwave.
Let’s get straight to the delicious cocktails that started off our Gee-licious experience.
Chiara tried the Pineapple Margaheater which consists of a chill-infused tequila, line, pineapple, agave, and grapefruit. And I had the Secret Garden which was a cucumber-infused gin, elderflower, thyme, and cava.
The Secret Garden was refreshing with the perfect combination of ingredients for a summer cocktail with the cucumber-infused gin not overpowering the other elements of the cocktail. It has been one of my favorite cocktails this summer, so naturally, I ordered another.
We kicked off our meal with the Tapas board to share.
The board consisted of green and black olives, anchovies, red pepper arancini, Manchego cheese, gherkins, capers, cured meats, Padron peppers, fried aubergine, and a mustard dip. We were happy with all elements, from the hot arancini to the thin pieces of fried aubergine. The freshness of the ingredients really came through.
Over to the mains…
Chiara ordered the fish of the day, which was Skate that came with fries and Nicola had the Chicken escalope, parmesan, and breadcrumbs with a tomato and rocket salad.
The chicken escalope was crispy, moist, and honestly, any dish that has parmesan is a winner for me. It was a generous portion of chicken (I was already fairly full from the tapas board) which meant the rocket and tomato salad accompanied the dish better than any of the starch options.
The Skate was great (wahey) with it’s fresh and zesty flavour sticking with you throughout. It could’ve been a teeny bit more melt on the mouth, but it was lovely. Chiara was also quite full after the tapas board (note- go with big appetites!) but managed some chips which were cooked well and perfectly cripsy.
Dessert does truly go to a different stomach; we could not resist it!
Chiara had the Almond and polenta cake, roasted peaches and clotted cream. Nicola had the Chocolate Nemesis with crème fraiche and honey & ginger ice cream.
The Almond and polenta cake was gorgeous, not too heavy, and the perfect crumbled texture once it hits your mouth. The roasted peaches were the perfect accompaniment and really made you feel like you were on holiday, so juicy and fresh.
Any chocoholics reading this, you need to try the Chocolate Nemesis. It’s rich and decadent but also was balanced with the quenelle of crème fraiche. The smooth top half and the crumbly consistency base of the nemesis are the perfect texture balance. My mouth is watering just writing this! I was feeling cheeky so also tried the honey and ginger ice cream which you can tell was made in-house and the little pieces of ginger in the ice cream were a delight and not too overpowering.
No complaints about the service at all. Our waiter (sadly we do not remember his name) was very friendly, helpful in providing recommendations, and very attentive. We were given space and time to enjoy our meals, with no rush – which also felt quite mediterranean.
Gees exceeded our expectations and we are already planning our next visit back before the end of summer. Gee’s gets a solid 8.5/10 rating!
61-63 Banbury Rd, Park Town, Oxford OX2 6PE