I saw 3 sushi ships... #whatsthestory #magicmoments

sushi boats from Benihana Chelsea, The Kings Road, London

This post is not actually about food really, although I ate some very lovely food right after I took this photograph. No, this post is more about the unique world of blogging.

This photograph was taken at the Chelsea branch of Benihana, the world-famous Japanese restaurant whose founder knew a fair bit about promoting himself and his restaurants. He raced motor boats, flew hot air balloons and mingled with the rich and famous including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mohammed Ali - anything to increase the profile of the restaurants named for a small flower which bloomed in the wreckage of his father's coffee house which was bombed in the war.

The organisation had invited bloggers along to help celebrate the chain's 50th anniversary - we know our way round social media and will happily snap, upload and share if the subject is interesting. Benihana know this and invited us to compete by uploading to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with a prize on offer to the best shares - as if we need a prize to share!

What tickled me was that as the waitresses and waiters brought out this wonderful display of sushi on ornamental boats is that not one of us reached for the food - we all reached for our cameras.

The light was terrible for photography (but perfect for romantic or discreet meet ups and meals) so those who had lugged along their "proper" cameras let those of us with smartphones steal their flashlight for perfect pics. We all stood round these boats and snap snap snap - all you could hear for a couple of minutes was the click of cameras.

When we finally decided we had taken enough photos we all dived in to the display plus gorgeous tender Teriyaki chicken and potato wedges. The children were even more fortunate - we were treated to a display of Teppen cooking where the chef cooks your meal right in front of you with flamboyant gestures, flames and food flipping and they got to eat it!

It was a wonderful afternoon not only for the lovely venue but for the chance to get to know even more bloggers (male and female) and spend time chatting to people who "get" what it is I do and why. We swapped anecdotes about children who ask before they open presents or eat food in case we want to photograph it, and of having to reassure friends that their birthday present was bought with real money, not acquired through our work.

Most of us even abandoned our inhibitions and finally gave in to the persuasive Beni- Girls (2 talented dancers who have been touring Britain to celebrate 50 years of Benihana) who were determined to get us off our chairs. They dazzled us with their street moves and finally after much smiley pleading we agreed to  join in with a short routine with them - hopefully no video of that is online!
The fabulous Beni-Girls

I came away with a really warm fuzzy feeling about bloggers-the one unexpected benefit of this odd career I have chosen is that I have made real friends.

Enough schmaltz anyway - Benihana is a fab venue (though with prices that would only merit a very special occasion on my budget). You order a set meal which comes with Japanese onion soup, Benihana salad, Hibachi vegetables, prawn appetisers and steamed rice and you choose the main course - wagyu beef, chicken, lobster, sirloin, filet mignon etc to go with it and the prices varies according to whatever your main course item is.

Children are more than welcome - I even saw high chairs - and the children's menus turn into high red chef's hats!

If the welcome we received is anything to go by you will be made to feel like a celebrity  and you might even spot a real celebrity while you are there!

John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Benihana

Disclaimer: I attended the #benigirlsbash as a guest of Benihana. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

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