Monday, 18 March 2013

Edible benches with Jench de Bench

As regular readers will know, I’ve had a hard time with my animal editors. Eddie was competent but too interfering, editorially. After an almighty row  I put him on garden leave. Meredith was gorgeous but she didn’t have much enthusiasm for the job. Halfway through Bench Town St. Helier she took to her basket and refused to work. She was last seen asleep on a bench in the sun.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that for this post we have a new editor. Welcome Jench de Bench, who comes from Potiron in France.

I contacted and asked for a good reliable non-animal editor. Jench comes highly recommended and better yet, he used to be a chef. This makes him suitable for this post about Edible Benches. 

I have been warned that Jench’s English is not a hundred percent so you'll notice that a small orange translator has also been sent along. This orange lad comes from   He has a bit of an attitude so I haven’t got up the nerve to ask his name yet.

Jench wishes it to be known that the correct pronunciation of his name is Jench and Bench, both rhyming with Launch, only with a softer ch. Apologies if this sounds patronising.

But now, to the edible benches. The first thing I show Jench is a fibreglass taco bench from

Jench seems to be asking the orange boy what a taco is and the boy doesn’t seem to know. Both of them are Gallic shrugging at each other. Let’s move on, shall we. Allons-y

I show him this lovely Farmers. Food. Friends bench from the Life-is-a- Bench Project in Rochester, Minnesota. The bench is by Susan Waughtal and it's at the entrance to the Downtown Farmer’s Market. You can’t actually eat this bench but at least you can sit on it and eat your tacos.

Jench looks at it and nods his head a little. A good sign.

OK, what about a hamburger? I'm sure you've heard of a hamburger bench?

Jench stares at me blankly. 



Look at this, Jench. I’m really excited about this one. An ice-cream sandwich bench. It’s from Fantastic Food Furniture. They have burger beds, and sushi cushions and all kinds of fantastical things.

I'm not getting much response. Do they have ice cream sandwiches in France? Maybe not. 

Alors, I show Jench a little sausage dog bench.  

I personally wouldn't want to eat sausage dogs but you never know.

Do you like hotdogs, Jench?

Jench is shaking his head emphatically non.

What about ice cream then? Regard this pretty ice cream sundae bench.


Here is an amazing Double Spaghetti bench by Pablo Reinoso in Argentina.

In trattorias all over the world spaghetti benches are very popular.

                                         In A Roman Osteria, Carl Henrich  Bloch 1866 

What do you think, Jench?

Jench is shaking his head slightly, saying peut-être.

I’ll take that as a maybe.

I can't tell what the problem is with Jench. He seems to have a thing against food benches. Maybe it's his chef-ish background. Maybe he's squeamish about sitting on food he might previously have cooked? I'll try some benches that aren't cooked yet. 

Here is a carrot bench, Jench. It's raw, but some people like that. 

Jench obviously doesn't find the carrot bench very ap-pealing.


Gosh, I don't know what's the matter with him. Maybe he's hungry? 

Jench, would you like some petite dejeuner? A bacon bench perhaps?


Sorry, you'll probably want eggs with that too.


Jench looks at me like I'm a bad egg.


I'll try another tactic. 

Have you heard of hygge, Jench? It's one of those Scandi trends that's caught on.

No, not Scandi Noir. That's something else.

Hygge is all about warm, cozy comfort food. Imagine your log cabin filled with the cinnamon spicy smells of this gingerbread bench.


You can sniff it, then eat it.

No? Why not?

I guess Jench doesn't like spicy smells. They're so particular in France.

Here is my pièce de résistance. It's a donut table and two stools.

image from

Jench is saying oolala but not in a good way.

Oh, I see. You're objecting because it's not strictly speaking a bench. Is that it?  

Next thing I know Jench is gone and the orange fellow is saying that Jench went to make pee-pee.

We wait for some considerable time and finally my imaginary husband Mungo goes off to France to look for him. He takes his little French camping car and tells me not to wait up.

my photo
                                                                        my photo

Mungo texts me a picture from a cafe and I can see the Dutch writing on the chips ad.

HOLLAND? What are you doing in Holland?

I remind him that Jench is French and the next photo proves that Mungo's in France. The beach near Perpignan.

He texts back oui but the photo suggests otherwise.

Another week goes by. 

Mungo phones me from a bench in Metz, where his mobile phone gets drenched in the fountains. 

That’s drench, rhymes with Jench.

And he doesn't find Jench.

Finally Jench comes back of his own accord and I show him another food bench.

How about a cooling slice of watermelon?

What about this then?

A bench telling us to eat cupcakes. Miggy would love this! It's from Sugar Mama's Bakeshop in Austin, Texas. The cute girl is Candy, the Pastel Assassin.

No response. Rien

You are so négatif, Jench! Where is your joie de vivre? Huh?

Bravo, Jench says, without enthusiasm.

Here's an actual cupcake seat from Jellio. C'est fantastique, eh?

He won't even look up. 

OK now I have no choice but to show you the edible benches I've made myself. You'll like this one. It's sort of French: Café Noir. Lord Brassica's dog Pru is sitting on it.

Jench is holding his head in his hands now. 

Maybe you'd like a cup of coffee, Jench? It's part of the daily grind.

my photo, Pullman, Washington

Coffee is good for you. It makes people do stupid things with more energy. 

Here's a lovely cappucino for you.


Ok, look. Here’s a good one. I made it myself and it’s one hundred percent edible. It’s a lasagna and cannelloni bench. 


Jench seems to be weeping. 

Perhaps you prefer it with the Mozarella Man?

Mon Dieu! Jench cries, and he runs out, last seen having a smoke on the deck or else preparing to jump off it.  

Now I am stuck with the orange lad. I don't know what to make of him. On the one hand, he's quite menacing.

On the other hand, he left a sweet message on one of our garden benches.

When I finally ask his name he tells me he is Jench’s younger self. Of course. Existentialism. So verrrry French.

It’s getting late and Jench hasn’t returned, nor has Mungo. 

I get a photo from the Tarn Gorge.

Two coffee cups!


V nice sundeck in Montpelier.

Also, apparently, a very nice new car and caravan.

Another week goes by. No Jench. I'm getting worried now because this post needs to be published.

Mungo skypes me from a campsite in Normandy. He's had a good bottle of claret from a little auberge down the road in St Omer. 

He's seen Mont St. Michel, where the weather wasn't brilliant.

And he's enjoying the good life in Normandy.

Or is it Brittany?

I don't get much sense out of him so I text.

Nothing for a week, then the normally mild-mannered Mungo sends back this photograph of himself in a campsite in Poitiers. He seems to be shaking a baguette either at Jench or myself.

So, I'm on my own. Here are my last two edible benches. 

First, this is Tamsin, who works at Fribble's Nearly Good Enough Pharmacy. She's pretty as a picture on a fully edible wafer bench. 

The wafer benches are authentically French because the wafers come from Reims. Here is their beautiful box. Oh yes, these are Biscuits Roses de Reims, created in 1691. 

Gosh, they must be stale by now.

As Reims is in the Region Champagne, Les Biscuits Roses are meant to be dipped delicately in a glass of bubbly. Delicious! His Excellency didn’t know this though. He ate his plain and said it tasted like Mungo’s socks. 

My final edible bench is a still-life which I have entitled Dairy Milk and Toblerone KitKat Bench with Blue Frog

What do you think? You can actually eat everything but the frog. 

In France they might eat the frog too I guess.

Don’t go there, Mungo advises me. Just bring it to a close.

I want one more food bench so here is Eating A Biscuit Together by Korean designer Ku Bom Ju.

The two heads, rightly or wrongly, seem to be either ravenous or angry or both. A bit like Mungo and me, after all this debacle with the missing Jench and the surly Garçon Orange. 

But attends! Here is Garçon Orange and Jench, wearing a new scarf and beret. They have come back for their pay.

As it happens, when Jench and the orange fellow arrive I am making soup. As it happens, the soup is pumpkin. The recipe calls for a lot of pumpkin with some cinnamon, a bay leaf, and a squeeze of fresh orange juice. 

Jench and Garçon Orange look a bit alarmed when they see what I am doing.

Then Jench dares to ask for pay for the work he has not done.

I simply say, Does the phrase Soup du Jour mean anything to you?

That's pretty much the last I've heard from them. 

However, rest assured that no French editors or translators were harmed in the making of this soup.


There are many more tasty food benches on Benchsite. Let Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly show you the cream of dairy benches. He can show you a good picnic bench too. For a taste of Italy see the story about Tasty Italian Benches. Eggs? My friend Miggy loves cake. She'll show you some lovely log benches and plenty of cake. We're eggstatic about egg benches for Easter. And come summer we all scream for ice cream benches. You'll be glad to know that Jench doesn't edit any of these stories.   

The fibreglass taco, the hot dog, the donuts and the ice cream bench are selected from a huge variety of food furniture from in the Philippines. You could also have pizza bench, a cake bench, or a chicken and chips bench. Miggy says she'd definitely go for the cake. Their extensive catalog is at

The Farmer's Market bench in Rochester, Minnesota is by Susan Waughtal. It is part of an exciting project called Life-is-a-bench at

The hamburger bench is in front of the Moses restaurant in Herzliya in Israel. The photographer is דוד שי, who put the picture on Wiki commons in May 2013.

The watermelon bench is from Kiev, photographed by Naranek Kosh and available n Wikicommons at

Liren Chen lives in New York and is a prolific photographer of benches, especially the Parade of Benches in Rochester, New York. The pizza and donut bench shown here was sponsored by Salvatore's at the Historic Donuts Delite in Culver, Road, Rochester. It is by artists Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki.

The ice cream sandwich bench is one of many Fantastic Food furniture pieces seen at  It costs $950.  The cool cupcake seat is also from Jellio ($900).  Miggy says if anyone sees this and wants to get her a present...  

A gingerbread bench? Brilliant! IKEA have cracked it. The gingerbread couch is one of their hygge-inspired gingerbread house furniture pieces from Christmas 2016. You cosy up to it, then you eat it. What could be nicer?  ikea-gingerbread-house-furniture__1364324118146-s3   For some hyggelig benches to fawn over see  

The little dog in the hot dog coat was photographed by Linda Wanless.  It was the dog's Halloween costume in 2008. Linda is a self-confessed Flickr addict. Her site is called a pieceofheaven, which gives you a clue how much she loves photography. For more dogs, not necessarily hot ones, see

The Double Spaghetti Bench is one of a series by Pablo Reinoso, a French-Argentinean artist and designer. Starting in 2006, Reinoso used public benches, which are anonymously designed and travel across cultures with an out-of-time, old-fashioned quality, as a starting point for his reflections . . . These new creations have multiplied and found homes in very diverse places. The fabulous benches can be seen on his website at though this photo comes from Pablo's postings on Wikimedia.

The gorgeous oil painting In a Roman Osteria was painted in 1866. The Danish artist is Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890). He is one of many Danish artists of his generation who were fascinated by Italy. 

The egg bench is by designer Grace e Chen, first seen on Inhabitat in 2010. Inhabitat is a female designer working in cyberspace from Novato, California. However, the photo of Grace's debut bench that I have used here was seen at Here is Grace's explanation of her work: Composed of six dozen eggs delicately seated on a solid walnut base, Egg Bench was created to challenge common misconception that eggs are fragile. By researching this complex physical structure, I discovered that each egg can support and distribute a load of 120 lbs maximum. To insure success, my unique design isolates each egg into an optimum position and ensures that it remains motionless. The result is a piece that invites the sitter to suspend their disbelief and to embrace a new appreciation for this powerful, natural creation.

Ron McNeil is an artist based in the Scottish highlands, working in both Pop Surrealist and abstract genres of painting and drawing. He has degrees in fine art printmaking, fine art painting, and photomedia. Bad Egg is one of his wonderful graphite illustrations His other work can be seen at

If you doubt that it's possible to find anything online, try Googling Bacon and Bench. Yep. Here's the bacon-coffee-table-handmade bench, which sold on Etsy in 2011 for round about £475.77. The creator is Ryan Fitzpatrick, from Texas, whose shop is Masters of Fate at

The Zjedzony banana chair looks good enough to eat and indeed Zjedzony means eaten in Polish. It comes from Wamhouse in Poland   Wamhouse was established in 2005 by two people - a graphic designer/photographer and a civil engineer. The company is in Chojnice, a small town in northern Poland which is near the inspirational natural setting of the Bory Tucholskie National Park. Wamhouse creates both interiors and furniture, promoting not only the design and the products, but the region they come from. 

We photographed the little red Citroen camping car at the Dover/Dunkirk ferry in July 2012. I'm sorry to say that it isn't Mungo's; he would really like one. The second car and camping trailer are not ours either. The other photographs of France are from our various camping/cycling trips throughout France over many years. We normally travel on the Brittany ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, where we immediately begin enjoying ze Normandie way of life.

All mobile phone text messages are from   Their free use of images is much appreciated on a non-commercial blog like Benchsites.

Many thanks to Candy, the Pastel Assassin, for use of her photo at Sugar Mama's Bakehouse in Austin, Texas.  Candy's gorgeous pastel website is at   Thanks also to Olivia O'Neal at Sugar Mama's; it's her bench. And what she doesn't know about cakes isn't worth knowing. That's Miggy's assessment and she knows a thing or two about cakes herself. 

The Daily Grind is a very popular coffee shop in Pullman, Washington. Pullman is home to Washington State University so not surprisingly, it's full of students. And also enormous cinnamon rolls. 

My lasagna bench, including the Mozarella Man, was eaten by Mungo and his parents on March 12, 2013. I think they also drank the Bordeaux. His Excellency and I ate the pumpkin soup. My imaginary friend Miggy ate the Dairy Milk, the Toblerone and the Kit Kat. 

The Eating A Biscuit Together bench is by Korean designer Ku Bom Ju. It was photographed by sonya2013, who found it while roaming the streets outside the Bukchon Art Museum in Seoul. I saw it on the korcan (Korea Canada) website, which was started in 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Canada. The Korea-Canada 50th Anniversary Blog features bloggers from across Canada with a deep interest in Korea-Canada relations, who present stories about all things Korean within the context of Canada.

Jench de Bench and Garçon Orange can be seen throughout Benchsite. In fact, Garçon returns to Paradise Island and makes rather a spectacle of himself in the Orange Bench blog.  You can read all about his love life, starting from The Summer of the Scottish Weddings in 2013. 

A reader has asked if the blue china frog seen in this post is the same as my dog Sit, shown in previous posts 




  1. Dear, dear Shelley
    I fear that you have gone a little bonkers! Living on small island may have something to do with it....
    Ha ha
    Best wishes

  2. Yes, the confines of Paradise Island may be getting too much for me. I thought it was time to reach out to the world, which is why I invited Jench to come over from France and help me out. Alas, this particular relationship hasn't worked out too well but I really enjoyed the pumpkin soup.

    Hope all is well at Les Custards this morning.