Sunday, April 9

Lunch in the jungle

We often have lunch at a garden centre - it tends to be a case of killing two birds with one stone. I've never felt the urge to write a blog post about this - until now.

The reason for the exception is because the experience was exceptional. Last week we went to Norwich and so as usual Martyn was browsing the Internet looking for a suitable venue for lunch when he came across Cafe Jungle which is set in The Urban Jungle garden centre which specialises in exotic and unusual plants. It seemed like it would be an interesting place to visit and so our lunch venue was settled.

The garden centre itself was an interesting place around which to browse but it is not the plants I that I want to focus on. The first surprise was the visit to the 'facilities'. I was wary of paying a visit to the Compost Loo so Martyn checked it out first and declared that I would be safe to go in.
It was in fact quite a surprise inside, not at all what I expected - in fact dreaded.

The next surprise was the cafe itself which is set inside a large glasshouse. This is filled with tropical plants, all of which are for sale. There is even a koi pond complete with a bridge and boardwalks.
 Seating areas are set amongst the plants. We chose the table below.
All the food on the cafe menu is gluten free. We chose a chicken, pork and stuffing pie served with salad and new potatoes followed by a slice of lemon and ginger cake.
The day when we visited was during a lovely warm day but I did wonder whether it would be comfortable to sit in a glasshouse on a cold, miserable day. Apparently when it is cold the heating is supplemented by diners being offered hot water bottles and blankets.

If we are in the area again we will definitely pay another visit,

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

20 comments:

  1. What a great spot to dine in. I'd love that feeling of being surrounded by plants.

    And I chuckled about the visit to the bathroom. I wonder just how many husbands have to "check it out" first.

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    1. Quite a few I would imagine, Sue.

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  2. What a lovely place to visit, including the loo!

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    1. I'm sure later in the season the plants in the nursery will look even better, Belinda.

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  3. The first self composting loo I used was at the CAT in Machynlleth eons ago. Nothing to be afraid of, and the one you visited seems very well kept indeed.
    Your food looked scrumptious {not that I'd eat it as a vegetarian} and the thought of being offered hot water bottles and hot drinks on cold days is just so cosy sounding I'd have to try it! Wrap up warmly though!

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    1. There was a vegetarian version of the pie, Deborah.
      I didn't expect the compost loo to be so well equipped.

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  4. Well, that's one outhouse I wouldn't mind using :) It's so interesting seeing how things are done across the pond - our garden centres are simply stores with plants. The idea of going to one for lunch sounds wonderful! I'll have to remember that once we finally make it out to the UK.

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    1. It's the first compost looI have come across, Margaret. Quite a lot of our garden centres have cafes They do vary greatly with respect to food quality though.

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  5. It's nice when a Garden Centre has a good-quality café, but unfortunately these days many Garden Centres are more about the café (and the "giftware") than about plants and gardens!

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    1. This was maybe better described as a plant nursery, Mark. Other than the cafe, it didn't sell anything other than plants. No gift shop or clothing.

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  6. What a fantastic place, it must be brilliant to eat in that greenhouse. We have a lovely little local garden centre - not a chain one, with a nice little cafe. The other, bigger one is part of a chain I think. It has a nice big cafe advertises itself to people as an alternative to the motorway services, although to be honest it's at least twenty minutes from the motorway. Much nicer than the services though! I should like to have the odd garden centre lunch I think, but I'd be rather tempted by the plants as well. I popped out for manure earlier today and came back with a white dianthus, you know how it is.

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    1. I know exactly how it is, CJ. We have a little traditional garden centre near us. It's family run and has recently opened a cafe as the son is a trained chef. It does a roaring trade.

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  7. Wow! Such an amazing place! I never seen this kind of place before! You must have enjoyed the lunch among the plants!

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    1. Your actual garden must be quite similar, Malar.

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  8. Yum yum unusual plants and 🍰. Pity I don't live nearer!

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    1. It's a pity we don't have something similar in the area, L

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  9. What's not to like! What a fabulous place, loo and all, lots of narrowboats have those toilets. If I had to sit surrounded by such lovely plants I would end up plant rich but utterly broke!xxx

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    1. You would certainly be broke, Dina. There were gnarled old olive trees for £600+. Just imagine getting one home and it dying,

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  10. Oh that looks a great place to visit Sue and your meals look quite delicious. We have a composting loo at the allotment. I filled in the application form that our allotment association filled in for a lottery grant towards such a purchase, so I became quite familiar with the whole business of composting loos in doing so :) It's now been in situ for almost five years and has been problem free since it's been installed.

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    1. Who takes care of maintenance, Anna and do you have problems with vandals?

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