ONCE one of the country’s oldest garden centres, it is also a North Oxford landmark.

But for the last 30 years the Grade II listed conservatory in Banbury Road has been home to Gee’s restaurant.

Since Christmas Eve the building, dating from 1897, has been undergoing a £500,000 transformation.

The work is now near completion, with Gee’s to reopen on February 11 when diners will have the chance to review the extensive restoration work.

Oxford restaurateur and hotelier Jeremy Mogford bought the lease from the Gee family and the freehold of the building from Oxford University in 1982.

Mr Mogford, who also owns the Old Parsonage and the Old Bank hotels in Oxford, said: “We have seen some amazing restoration projects in Oxford at the Ashmolean, the Radcliffe Infirmary and the Bodleian Library. I just thought that this is an iconic building and deserves to be restored properly."