Urban Jungle


Evenings in Cafe Jungle

29 March 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon



Evenings in Cafe Jungle dining suffolk


Connecting People, Plants and Food. 

Dine in The Cafe at Urban Jungle Suffolk every Saturday night from Saturday 21st April. Join us on our opening night for cocktails from 6pm.

An extension of our daytime menu, you can expect globally inspired dishes with bold flavours, colours, and exotic influences and spices. The ingredients are carefully sourced, beautifully presented, and cleverly complimented with salad, vegetables, and pickles, grown on-site in the Edible Jungle.

The food will be full of excitement and energy, perfect for sharing (or not!) and as darkness descends in the Jungle, the fusion of dramatic leaves, twinkly lights and great cocktails and wine will make for an unforgettable experience. 

Suffolk Cafe book a table

'Put simply, our cafe is inspired by plants. Anyone who knows us can't have failed to miss that we're pretty passionate about them, and first time visitors are always blown away by the concept of bringing the nursery into the cafe, and the life and abundance of greenery within.  

The informal seating arrangement, squishy sofas, and soft cushions lend themselves to a laid back style of eating - taking your time, ordering a few dishes at a time, and sharing with friends and family. Not only are our diners totally embraced by exotic plants, we're also proud to be growing our own beautiful and colourful produce on site. The whole experience is a sensuous feast.' 
Liz Browne, Co-owner

hummus kawarma
Just one of the dishes on the current menu, Hummus Kawarma

From 21st April dine inside the Jungle, or on the terrace and enjoy a feast of fresh, seasonal food and cocktails. 

Tables are available from 6pm for cocktails, and dining from 7pm every Saturday evening. Book on 01502 559103.

The Cafe at Urban Jungle is open everyday from 10 until 4.30, serving brunch between 10 and 12. Urban Jungle Plant Nursery is open everyday 10-5.

View the menu here.

The Cafe at Urban Jungle, London Road, Beccles, NR34 8TT, 01502 559103. Contact us to book here


 
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Uhi's Spring Nursery update...

28 March 2018 - Posted by Uhi Millington, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk

Nursery Manager Uhi's Spring Update...

So far 2018 has certainly tested us. With gale force winds uprooting a polytunnel in Suffolk, to the 'Beast from the East' who just wont quit, we continue to dust ourselves down, and push forward with positivity. 

As you may know, we're planning to move our car park from the bottom end of the nursery in Norfolk, nearer to the Cafe. We are nearly there, the next stage of work is scheduled to commence really soon and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience it may cause. We've been assured that it will be completed quickly to keep disruption to a minimum.

Now to the important stuff  -  PLANTS, PLANTS, PLANTS

In typical Urban Jungle style, all the deliveries have arrived at once in Norfolk and Suffolk so it's been manic in the Jungle over the last 2 weeks, however we've made good process in setting up the Nursery for the busy season ahead. 

1Uhis spring update
Uhi putting out the deliveries of houseplants in Cafe Jungle

The Cafes are looking stunning. We've had a big delivery of house plants which have been expertly slotted into place to create that exotic, tropical feel that Urban Jungle has become renowned for over the last few years. There are house plants for every room, for light areas and dark corners, dry, and humid places. You can hang them from the ceiling, stand them on the floor, put them on the window sill, and if you're not sure, we can advise you of what plant will suit your chosen place, and how to care for it. Our staff are always more than happy to help.

Uhi houseplants
Uhi displaying our hanging indoor plants

Houseplants
Houseplants by the bridge in Cafe Jungle

The Tree Ferns arrived on Friday, and they're spectacular. This delivery is made up of beautiful chunky trunks ranging from 1ft to 7ft tall, packed with croziers, just waiting to unfurl. Tree ferns are also known as 'Manferns'. If you've ever moved one you'll know why - they certainly put hairs on your chest! 

Tree ferns
Mark and Ed dealing with the Tree Fern delivery

Tree ferns
Tree Ferns ~ Dicksonia antartica

A huge delivery of trees also arrived last week. We have Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' back in stock and the beautiful weeping version Cercis 'Ruby Falls' the glowing reddish purple leaves are going to look spectacular with the ferny acid green foliage of Metasoquia glyptostoides 'Gold Rush' and Gleditsia tricanthos 'Sunburst'. 

Japanese Cherry Prunus
Japanese Cherry - Prunus subhirtella

If you are in the market for instant drama how about an oriental touch? The billowing blossoms of Japanese Cherry - Prunus 'Accolade' are a profusion of soft pink semi double flowers. For a bit of Californian sunshine we've got 6 ft tall Ceanothus 'Trewithen Blue' a great choice for growing as a specimen tree or as a wall shrub with its abundance of sky blue flowers. These are also available for delivery from our online shop. 

Acers at our Pay Hut
Acers displayed at the Norfolk Pay Hut

And last but most definitely not least 'ACERS'. We have got our hands on some huge, mature trees. We can't wait for the colour explosion in the Nursery when the leaves break open in the next couple of weeks. If you don't have room for a huge Acer, don't worry we have smaller versions too.

There are too many plants in stock to list, so whether you are looking for large, small, or for spring, summer, autumn or all year round interest, fruits, flowers and foliage, we've got it covered. 

Jen Aloe Sansevaria
Nursery Assistant Jen, displaying Sansevaria and Aloe vera in the Cafe 

We're also extremely proud to launch the War On Plastic Pots this year. 1/5 of our propagated stock will be grown in terracotta pots that can be kept and reused, or returned for cashback. Just look out for the 'Terracotta Army' on the recycled labels. You can read the full article here. 

We're open as normal over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend at both our Norfolk and Suffolk Nurseries and Cafes.

See you soon!

Uhi 
UJ Norfolk Nursery Manager

Uhi's spring blog


 
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From the Edible Jungle to Cafe Jungle this Spring - Salmon Carpaccio

26 March 2018 - Posted by Niamh Mullally & Joe Enhari, in NewsLetter, Suffolk, Cafe Jungle, Propagation

Propagation Manager Niamh Mullally and Cafe Manager Joe Enhari have been working tirelessly on new dishes for the menu, utilising all of the fresh, spring produce from the Edible Jungle. This month's showstopper is Salmon Carpaccio with home-grown Castlefranco, and pickled blood orange and fennel. Follow this beautiful new dish on its journey from the Edible Jungle to your plate...

salmon carpaccio cafe jungle

Salmon Carpaccio with pickled blood orange and fennel, and Castlefranco all homegrown in the Edible Jungle


Niamh and propagation team edible jungle

Niamh and the propagation team at the Edible Jungle

From The Edible Jungle...

Propagation Manager, Niamh Mullally explains...

"Castlefranco radicchio is an invaluable winter crop with an interesting past. It dates back to the 18th century and got its nick name of 'Orchid lettuce' after a noble woman from Castelfranco, Northern Italy, wore a mature, freshly-harvested-head on her evening gown. A cross between a Trevino radicchio and an endive, it was so beautiful,the locals thought it was an exotic flower.

The flavour is subsequently milder than other winter radicchios. It’s a favourite of mine and incredibly easy to grow. The mature heads featured in new Cafe dish were sown in seed trays in August and transplanted in October. It’s not fussy, happy in semi-shade or full sun which is helpful, as these were used as under-planting between taller crops such as kale and chard in the Edible Jungle.

Castlefranco raddicio

Castlefranco raddiccio

A handy tip is to wait for the seedlings to take on a tinge of pink to the leaves, as this means they are starting to develop the more bitter taste of radicchio which is repellent to slugs.

Fennel

Fennel

The fennel being pickled by Cafe Manager Joe was grown inside the ‘Edible Jungle’ polytunnel over the winter months. Autumn sown, bulking fennel is my preference for this crop as it has a tendency to bolt in the summer months. Fennel is pretty straightforward to grow as long as you handle the transplanting with care - they hate root disturbance. Position in full sun and keep weed free."

Pea shoots

Pea shoots

Niamh has grown the above pea shoots inside the polytunnel, in a container without light. This method produces long tender pale stems that resemble bean sprouts but actually have a delicious strong pea flavour. A real delicacy and a favourite with every Chef.

To Cafe Jungle...

Joe Enhari Cafe Manager

Cafe Manager Joe with his new dish...

Café Manager Joe talks us through his dish...

"I'm a big advocate of using antiquated 'cooking' methods, such as pickling, curing and fermenting. The health benefits of natural fermentation have been rigorously explored in recent years. As a bonus it also reduces food waste, and allows us to eat 'out of season' in a responsible fashion.

My inspiration for the dish happened all at once when Niamh arrived, beaming, with the first crop of our produce. As luck would have it blood oranges are in season too. Fennel and citrus is like Rock and Roll. Salmon came to mind instantly. It's a fish with a bad rep' of late, the safe bet. Well, when cured with sumac and Suffolk sea salt it becomes a wonderfully textured, aromatic piece of fish. The home made buttermilk adds some acidity and helps with the rich salmon flavour. Finally the pea shoots and micro mustard bring tiny pops of fresh flavour, helping to balance the bold radicchio.

Joe Enhari Cafe Jungle menu 

The salmon sits on the plate with a sense of uniformity and purpose. The fennel and oranges have been fermenting for 12 days in a salt-brine, offering a wonderful umami tang to the crisp veggie. I tend to use the younger, brighter leaves of the Castlefranco and casually mingle them with the fennel, letting them fall onto the plate. The home made buttermilk and herbs complete the dish and give a pleasant aestheticism. It's rustic yet some-what refined and i'm enamoured with the complexity of colour and flavour.

salmon carpaccio cafe jungle

For me, this dish epitomises everything Niamh and I are trying to achieve for Café Jungle. Fresh, organically-grown produce, full of flavour and provenance, with zero food miles. The 'field-to-fork' collaboration sits proudly on the menu as a sign of things to come, a glimmer of spring and the bountiful harvests we'll be enjoying in the months ahead."

Notes on prep

  • Salmon - 2 day cure in Suffolk sea salt and summac
  • Fennel and orange, sliced thin, 12 days in a 4% brine
  • Radicchio, hand washed and dried, carefully selected.
  • Home made buttermilk with lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Cafe Jungle Suffolk is open for brunch from 10am everyday, serving lunches, light bites and cakes from Midday until 4pm. Cafe Jungle is opening every Saturday evening for dinner from 28th April. Book your table on 01502 559103. 

Follow Cafe Jungle Suffolk on social media and via our newsletter - sign up here.


 
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The Terracotta Army - War On Plastic

20 March 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk

PRESS RELEASE

The 2018 War On Plastic Pots campaign will mark the start of a huge change in the way Plant Nurseries use plastic. Urban Jungle aims to convert their use of 1000's of plastic pots into terracotta.

The UK is drowning in hundreds of thousands of unwanted plastic garden pots, lots of which end up in our landfills. It's estimated that 500 million pots go into circulation every year¹ and together Co-owner Liz Browne and Propagation Manager Niamh Mullally, are leading their Terracotta Army in the War On Plastic Pots.

Liz and Niamh, Leaders of The Terracotta Army

From left to right; Propagation Manager Niamh Mullally, Co owner Elizabeth Browne. Plants; Fascularia, Aeoniums and Echiveria.

This year the Urban Jungle ethos and mission is to reduce their environmental impact by reusing and recycling where possible, and the 2018 War On Plastic Pots campaign will bring a sizeable reduction to the consumption and use of plastic pots within the Nursery.

Until recently, who didn't have a massive bale of carrier bags stuffed under the kitchen sink? Shops introduced a charge, and this was widely accepted by the general public as a good thing, massively reducing plastic bags ending up in landfill.

Now it's time to turn our attention to the 'pot mountain' behind the shed. They can languish behind the shed for years, with gardeners not quite knowing what to do with them, but feeling too guilty to throw them away, until the mountain gets too large, and they end up in the bin anyway, ready for landfill or incineration.

Like carrier bags, it's an environmental scandal. So this year we'll be introducing a range of plants grown and sold in terracotta pots. Our customers will be able to re-use the pot or return it to us on their next visit to receive a refund. We'll then re-use them ourselves. It's a small step, but hopefully one in the right direction.” Co-owner, Liz Browne.

Volunteer Michael Terracotta Army

Volunteer Michael potting up for the Terracotta Army

The price of the plants will increase by just a few pence and will be refunded upon return of the pot. No profit will be made on the wholesale price of these terracotta pots. The plants included in the campaign will include succulents, agaves and puya.

You only have to visit Urban Jungle's eclectic and vibrant cafes to realise that this is a business committed to reusing and recycling. We are extremely proud to be the first Plant Nursery to announce the War On Plastic Pots campaign.

Now 1/5 of our entire range of plants heading to our Norfolk and Suffolk nurseries will be grown and sold in terracotta pots. The propagation department will then reuse the returned pots each growing season. We anticipate that our like-minded customers will also be proud to be part of this movement, and join the Terracotta Army in 2018.” Niamh Mullally, Propagation Manager

'It’s estimated that we each own about 39 redundant plastic plant pots and over the UK it is suggested there are over 5 million languishing in sheds and garages.'²

Terracotta Pots

Thousands of terracotta pots, of varying sizes have arrived in the Jungle... 

The initiative begins this spring. Just look out for the recyclable plant labels in the Norfolk and Suffolk Nurseries.

In year one, the campaign will keep a close eye on the impact of the extra weight and surface area in lifting and transporting thousands of terracotta pots, in planning for further reductions to the use of plastic in 2019. Urban Jungle are already looking into alternative pot materials to combat some of the anticipated issues, such as bamboo.

Urban Jungle are also proud to recycle all of their cardboard, and compost all of their coffee within the Edible Jungle, which itself provides organically grown salad and vegetables for both the Norfolk and Suffolk Cafes with practically zero food miles.

#TerracottaArmy #TheWarOnPlastic


Both Urban Jungle, and Cafe Jungle Norfolk and Suffolk are open every day from 10am until 5pm (Kitchen closes at 4pm and Cafe closes at 4.30pm).

Urban Jungle Norfolk: Ringland Lane, Old Costessey, Norwich, Norfolk, NR85BG 01603 744997
Urban Jungle Suffolk: London Road, Weston, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8TT 01502 219110

For press enquiries contact rachel.bannon@urbanjungle.uk.com

¹http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/today_in_your_garden/ethical_plastic.shtml

²http://www.pottoproduct.co.uk/


 
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Guest Blog; Create an Urban Jungle with these Tropical Houseplants

09 March 2018 - Posted by Lucy Loves Ya

Over the last few years I’ve become increasingly obsessed with plants. You only have to read my last post about planters for evidence.

Well, I was pretty well over the moon when Urban Jungle opened it’s second centre, even nearer to me, because it’s such a clever venture full of exotic plants and colourful homeware – and omg the food is pretty delicious. I think it’s also so important to give a big shout out for local businesses that are offering something totally unique and felt a post was in order plus I am going to talk through some recommendations for tropical houseplant buying thanks to Nick, one of their team who passed on some wisdom :)


snake plant

There are so many options if you’re choosing a plant and they all have slightly different needs. Although surprisingly low maintenance considering they’re not in their original habitat. The one above is a Snake plant (Latin name Sanseveria ) Super easy to care for as it’s from the succulent family. Only needs watering once or twice a month. It’s great for the home, especially bedrooms as it’s an air purifier.

There are different types including these (left and right) which are very cool because you can plait them. Okay that’s just my weird reason but they are pretty quirky aren’t they? With mine, I water it every few months and it’s happy with that.


Fiddle Leaf Fig

This plant is known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus. It originates from tropic rainforests of Western Africa.

It needs decent light but not overly bright and not to be moved around as it doesn’t like change. The leaves at the bottom sometimes die off so you need to remove them and they do grow back. Don’t over water the plant – keep the top soil moist.


lily plant

Natal Lily Plant aka Clivia Miniata. I took this one home this time. How could I not ? It’s a South African woodland plant that grows the most amazing orange flowers. It has a flowering rest period around Autumn when it needs to have a cooler environment other than that it prefers a warmer temperature. The leaves are also really pretty and they don’t die off. Again don’t over water – let it become 50% dry before watering again.


cycas revoluta sago palm

Top left is the Sago Palm or Cycas Revoluta. This is one of my favourites because it’s base resembles a pineapple. These are excellent for conservatories. They can get huge so be warned ;)

From Japan, they can live inside or out and are slow growing.

Bottom right is a Corn Plant – Draceana Massangeana Fragrans originally from Madagascar  – you can’t see the trunk of it in this photo but it looks like a little tree. It’s a very popular houseplant because it’s so it doesn’t ask much and perfect for the beginner. You can put it anywhere in the home. It does grow larger so be aware of that. It’s a great foliage plant.


Mistletoe Cactus

I adore the Mistletoe Cacti ( Rhipsalis ) it is really versatile as it works in a hanging basket or in a pot and just does it’s thing ! Doesn’t need much watering and when you do add some water at the bottom in a little plate so it takes what it needs. Ideally put it in a bright room but not direct sunlight.


Lipstick Plant

Another lovely hanging plant is the Mona Lisa – in Latin: Aeschynathus. Also known as Lipstick Plant. They love warn temperatures and humidity. Ideal for bathrooms and I guess a kitchen. I would pop this on a shelf. Another plant that likes some water in a plate under the pot.


Pothos Plant

I can vouch for the Pothos plant as we have one in our living room and it’s a great feature with it’s shiny, marbled leaves. Very low maintenance and really hardy, it’s perfect for a busy home. I water the pothos about once a week and keep the top inch moist. In the Summer apparently a little but of plant feed is helpful.


air plants

You may have seen Air Plants ( Tillandsia ) on Pinterest being used in all sorts of random ways as it doesn’t need soil so sometimes people hang them from shelves or attach to mirrors. They look great tucked in to sand with succulents. They just need a little bit of mist spray and they’re good to go.

I hope my tips are helpful. It’s such a joy to visit Urban Jungle and I wanted to share it with you. It is situated just outside of Beccles and they are also based in Costessey near Norwich. There are loads and loads of outdoor plants too. I feel like I’m on holiday there with the palm trees and giant Cacti to greet you.


Cafe Jungle Suffolk

Sitting amongst the greenery and vibrant colours to eat your meals makes each table feel like you have lots of privacy and the music is always nice and chilled.

Do you have any favourite places to visit locally ? Let me know …

Lucy x

Visit Lucy's website and read the blog here.



 
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