Since moving to Oxford in 2012 I’ve walked past Gee’s many times but never stopped to eat. From the outside it looked like a gorgeous half-empty glass-house. Nick, my partner, had noticed it too on the bus up to my house so it felt appropriate as a place to have our last dinner together before he went off sailing for three months. It being Monday, we didn’t feel pressure to book.
We arrived and the place was 90% empty. They took one look at our outfits and said the place was booked up but we could have a bar table next to the kitchen. We took it. The food was delicious, I recommend the risotto.
Later, a couple who had booked came in and was told their table wasn’t ready. The restaurant was, at this point, 40% full so it was hard to tell which of the numerous empty tables wasn’t ready.
The waiters wore uniforms. One waiter tap danced when he could.
There was a strange mix of over-pretentiousness and casualness.
A well-dressed couple came in and got a table immediately.
The bill came and was over-expensive for what the food was.
We had very bitter espressos.
The couple whose table wasn’t ready was still sitting at the bar waiting when we left. They had been there for half an hour.
For some of us, I fear, the table will never be ready.