Introducing May’s Amigo of the Month, Mr Ben Aitken! 👏

Ben Aitken was born under Thatcher, grew to 6ft then stopped, and is an Aquarius. He is the author of five books, the latest of which is Here Comes the Fun: A Year of Making Merry, in which he investigates the serious business of having a laugh.

Ben discovered us here at The Avenue in pursuit of having fun and we’ve even been lucky enough to make it into the pages of his new book – now that’s what we call an amigo! 🥰

So staying true to our format, we asked Ben a series of questions in the run-up to the release of his book and his answers prove to us exactly why he’s our Amigo of the Month.


Hello Ben 👋

We would like to know, how you first heard of us here at The Avenue?  “I was doing a bit of internet wandering, seeking fun opportunities for my book Here Comes the Fun, and just stumbled upon The Avenue, which seemed to tick all the boxes.” We are delighted that Ben stumbled across us and personally couldn’t agree more with him – we are fun! 😂

So, what Classes has Ben done with us and which was his fave? Ben says “My absolute favourite was the French Class 👍, which I wrote about in the book.” 🥳  “The Coq au Vin, the Cheese Soufflé and the friendly camaraderie on the solos bench (I attended alone). It was a terrific experience.”  This is joyous for us to hear and you’re right, no one is ever alone in our classes…we really are like one big family 🧀

But Ben, what was your favourite dish? “The above-mentioned Soufflé. It was a revelation. I rarely leave the house without a Cheese Soufflé on my person these days.” – We’re still trying to work out if Ben’s serious… maybe Cheese Soufflé is the key to a merry life 🤗 (we’ll definitely be reading the new book to find out!).

But enough about us, we wanted to know if Ben’s always liked cooking and, more importantly, if he was going to impress someone with his food (as well as his writing) what would his go-to dish be. Ben’s response was perfect. 🤤 “I love eating more than cooking, which is why I went to The Avenue – to correct this imbalance. My most impressive dish is a 🦆 Duck Ragu. When my Nan tried it, I went up in her estimation.” Awww, a man that loves cooking and his Nan – Ben, we love you ❤️.

Here’s a hard one; What is the most obscure thing you’ve made in the kitchen?  “My mind instantly turns to the time I made a 🍜 Pot Noodle Pizza 🍕at school. More recently, I was being resourceful and made a Black Pudding Salad. Neither experiment was especially successful.” Wow, we’d rather try the Black Pudding Salad but out of pure intrigue, may try the Pot Noodle Pizza too🧐…Although, we can’t see either making it onto a class! 😂

Everyone has a comfort food which holds a special place in their heart, what is yours? “It has to be 🍝 Spaghetti Bolognaise, with the cheese between the pasta and the sauce (rather than on top), and with 🥖Garlic Bread on the side. Just a staple growing up. Love it.” In all honesty, we couldn’t agree more – homemade Spag Bol after school was always a joy! 🙌

And how about any foods/flavours/ingredients that you simply could not live without? Ben says “ 🍅 Tomatoes. I love how they concentrate, how they enrich, and how they can be used in so many ways. And then, when they’ve been sun-dried, what a heavenly thing!” A universal ingredient and so versatile, good shout Ben! 👌

With that in mind, are there any more classes at The Avenue that you have your eye on? “I’m doing the Fish & Chips Workshop later in the year. Really intrigued to see how we’re going to approach this classic. I fancy the mushy peas are going to be a bit special.” We would say that you’re not going to be disappointed…

Finally, we asked Ben if he had any final comment for us and he said that “My experiences at The Avenue have been unfailingly fun. Social, educational, energising… They are a real and genuine treat.’’ After a year of following fun, we trust Ben’s opinion implicitly and we are delighted to have been a part of his journey of enjoyment!

If you would like to read Ben’s latest book, Here Comes the Fun: A Year of Making Merryyou can click on the link,  or also follow him on Instagram for more info – we cannot wait to read it and keep an eye out for Ben’s Avenue escapades on page 27! ✍️


* If we made you feel a part of The Avenue family and you would like to be an Amigo of The Month please respond to the mailer or email us directly on