Bens on the BeachFriday evening we had the pleasure of finally dragging Andri and Malcolm out here to Gordon’s Bay to come visit with us, under the pretence that if they didn’t make use of that voucher for Gordon’s Beach Lodge that we’d given them way back in May already soon, the thing would expire and their one and only chance would be lost forever.

So for the first time in little Corben’s 17-month-long life, he had to spend a night without the company of either Mommy or Daddy as Granny took over those reigns and Malcolm and Andri jetted through in their fancy new second-hand silver Audi A4 that they’ve just recently acquired.

Of course, this also turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Chantelle to entice me to finally pay a visit to her favourite restaurant out here in the Strand, namely the psychedelically decorated Ben’s on the Beach, and so after the suitably impressed Malcolm and Andri had finished settling into their room at the guesthouse, the four of us hopped into their shiny new car and off we set towards the Strand.

Now to miss Ben’s on the Beach turns out to be quite a hard thing to do thanks to its rather colourful neon signage that stands out thanks to the fact that there is almost nothing like it for metres all around and so it was without any difficulty that we located the venue, found a parking spot and skipped over a big puddle to make our grand entrance and announce that we’d finally arrived in order to honour our earlier booking.

Just as well we had made a booking to be honest, because old Ben’s place was rather bustling, with that nice busy atmosphere that always makes for enjoyable dining out experiences, but heightened by the fact that the space between the tables is fairly generous and at no point do you feel cramped and on top of everyone else dining around you.

Now in celebration of my big news (more of which I will reveal in full detail tomorrow) the evening’s activities simply HAD to start off with a glass of champagne and with our raided guesthouse supplies on hand, the bubbly was soon freely flowing and we got stuck into the difficult task of picking something off what appears to be a rather scrumptious menu selection.

Once again Chantelle ended up being the only person who felt capable of dealing with a three course meal and as such she started things off by ordering prawns dipped in a batter, which actually turned out quite fine for a change because all the icky stuff that makes prawns, well prawns, was well disguised by a hardened crispy covering that looked like it had jumped straight out of a fish and chips shop’s fryer.

However, not to be outdone, the rest of us put in a varied order for mains, including steak, fillet cordon bleu and fish, eagerly awaiting our meal as we got stuck into polishing off our bottle of Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc and getting all the catch-up small talk out of the way.

After not too long a (but an enjoyable nevertheless) wait, our food finally arrived and our skilled waitress wasted no time setting it before us and then neatly stepped out of the way as the devouring got underway. Malcolm and Andri’s steaks both looked divine and I guess Chantelle’s blackened fish looked okay, but it was my interesting fillet cordon bleu that intrigued me the most and after careful deliberation and much smacking of lips, I finally concluded that turning fillet into a cordon bleu is indeed a rather sad waste of a good piece of fillet – rather leave the chicken to take care of the cheesy stuff if you ever have to choose.

Full from our rather hearty portions of food, Malcolm and I were forced to sit back and let our top button out while looking on as Andri and Chantelle unanimously agreed that it wouldn’t be right to end the evening off without at least trying their desserts and so ended up sharing what looked like quite a nice cr