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Eat your dinner in an East Anglian jungle!

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 June 2019

Amelia Browne Urban Jungle Cafe director, Josh Dawson, chef and Nelson Francisco, executive chef  Picture: Rachel Bannon

Amelia Browne Urban Jungle Cafe director, Josh Dawson, chef and Nelson Francisco, executive chef Picture: Rachel Bannon

Archant

The popular Urban Jungle cafes have introduced themed dining nights for 2019, starting in the Mediterranean.

If pottering around a garden centre dreaming up planting schemes, and grazing on café fare sounds like your idea of a perfect weekend, you might just like what Urban Jungle has up its sleeves.

The exotic nursery, situated at both Costessey in Norfolk and Beccles in Suffolk launches its global dining adventures in July combining freshly prepared home-cooked food (using many home-grown vegetables and herbs) and the chance to browse the hundreds of plants they cultivate.

Usually open only during the daytime, these events will give customers a glimpse into the leafy award-winning cafes on balmy (hopefully) summer's evenings, starting from 6.30pm with the chance to look around the Mediterranean plants with a glass of welcome sangria.

Then head into the café itself, ensconced in greenery and quite unlike anywhere else in the region. Every dining area has its own little 'snug' moulded into the planting schemes, while air plants hang overhead.

Dinner is six courses, served from 7.30pm and with vegan and gluten-free alternatives available.

Your journey begins in Greece with a mezze board of homemade falafels, feta, marinated vegetables, Kalamata olives and toasted pitta. A Spanish sopa de mariscos, rich with peppery tomatoes and basil and brimming with mussels, prawns and cod follows, before diners refresh their palates with a limoncello sorbet.

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Skewers of North African spiced lamb and vegetables with roasted aubergine and turmeric couscous concludes the savoury courses, with the final destination being Venice, and a classic tiramisu, coffee and petit fours.

The six courses and sangria aperitif are £38 per person for the dinner in Costessey on July 19 and at Beccles on July 26.

Co-director Liz Browne says: "We're really excited about our themed evenings. They're a celebration of our seasonal plants of course, but also the cuisines of the countries they originate from. This July is 'Mediterranean Month', when the nursery is showcasing architectural olive and pencil cypress trees, and colourful, scented flowering plants. We were spoilt for choice in deciding on the food for the Mediterranean evening, but we've come up with a super menu, and can't wait to deliver."

Booking is essential for the events at the Urban Jungle website. August's destination is Mexico.

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