You know those days that don’t work out the way you want them to? The ones where you might as well just be an extra in A Series of Unfortunate Events – waiting for the moment Jim Carey runs you over with a train? Last Saturday was one of those days. To make matters worse, anxiety and post-birthday blues were creeping in and the little decisiveness I do have in moments of anxiety went flying out the window in the most spectacular fashion. Not to mention I lost all ability to use a knife and fork and stained my favourite top with beetroot. So, in an attempt to pull ourselves out of the sluggish depression we were creeping into, Tom and I went for a walk with Little Moo.
Ah! Fresh air, winter sunshine, picturesque woodland, crisp autumn leaves…
Nope. Shit out of luck there. Cue the next in our series of unfortunate events: hail. Actual hail. Hail that was saying, ‘How dare you attempt to better your weekend? GO HOME IMMEDIATELY AND WALLOW IN YOUR MISERY!’ Luckily, we had cafe culture on our side and more importantly a little gem of a place less than 5 minutes down the road that could provide us with shelter. If you didn’t know it was there, you would almost certainly miss it.
It was as if Urban Jungle had been waiting for us with outstretched arms and the promise of a friendly hug. Utterly disheveled with blocks of ice for faces, we walked inside to find a table perfectly laid out and dressed with fleecy purple blankets and hot water bottles. Hah! Take that world. So here’s the thing: Urban Jungle is a garden centre – family-run and charming and situated between fields down a country lane in Old Costessey. In the summer, it’s a bustling 2 acre nursery with everything from exotic climbers to pretty little succulents and the open-air coffee shop serves gluten-free cakes and eight different types of coffee. In the winter, it’s an array of next season’s garden treasures and the coffee shop is treated to a stylish indoor makeover with fire heaters, blankets, hot water bottles and hot tea infused with cloves and cinnamon.
Oh, and it kinda feels like a jungle in there, in case you hadn’t guessed. It’s all about the plants, even when there’s tea and cake involved. The squishy brown leather sofas are dressed in mismatched cushions and frame solid dark wooden tables. There is a mini library for helping yourself to an adventure whilst you admire the surroundings not to mention an assortment of cakes and quiches and five private tables hidden from each other by towering plants and vertical gardens. Everything from the individual cafetieres to the blankets of succulents on display make me feel so relaxed I could drift into an everlasting sleep. It’s so reassuring to know that when I’m feeling overwhelmed or a little bit lonely (working from home has that effect sometimes) that I’m only a five minute walk from this utter masterpiece.
Thanks Urban Jungle for rescuing our weekend, we owe you!
Have you ever been to Urban Jungle before? Leave me a comment if you’re local! It’s a great place for meeting up for coffee and blogging.