• Kester Eddy

The Beny Hill Espresso-Pizzeria – it's clearly the Romantic Location to Dine the Lady - but where?

Updated: Jul 18

KesterTester 45 – Brand-Bending in Central - South-Eastern Europe? [Updated with results of KT 44 - An Obelisk? A Minaret? Just What and Where is this Weird Column?]

Photo: the Beny / Benny Hill cafe - Don espresso (talk about brand confusion!) - piccie taken in 2010.


British slapstick comedian Benny Hill was primarily associated with absurd, high-speed chases by scantily clad women, rather than an Italian pizzeria-espresso cafe.

But when a brand crosses into this region, strange things can happen and the ever-grinning Benny would no doubt beam yet brighter if he could see this cafe seemingly named after him (even if they misspelled his name).


According to the Wikipedia page, the Benny Hill Show was - is - one of the UK's highest earning TV shows, exported to 97 different countries around the world, including, presumably, this one.


But where could it be?


Though the show made him a millionaire, the frugal Benny would always stay in modest, rather than luxury accommodation when travelling, and often walked rather than take a car or taxi.


In which case, I suspect he would have glady taken an espresso in the Beny Hill / Don cafe and watched the world go by.

Global celebrity status and the right to buy me two beers, or in this case, two espressos, could be yours by winning KesterTester 45 - answers via email or using the website messenger system, please.

And apologies for accidentally posting this some days ago when preparing the text. I somehow hit the 'publish' icon – and once posted, though I can edit out the image and text, I can't find a way to take down the whole post – it has to remain a blank.

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I'll update this post with the results of KT44 on Sunday – so you still have the chance to identify the unusual object in that photo. This has certainly stumped a large number of Magyar experts – and yes, Gábor, it is in Hungary!


Update: The results of KT44 - An Obelisk? A Minaret? Just What and Where is this Weird Column?


Wow - I almost won this one, but for one clever cloggs who had been rather silent of late.


Gábor Rimner thought long and hard, and wrote: "​It is definitely a minaret, roughly 65 feet high, beautifully renovated, but I can' t guess its whereabouts. Are you sure, it is located in present day Hungary ???"


Yes, Gábor, honest, it is!


"As I know, I associate minarets in Hungary with Pécs and Eger, but there's not one like this at either place," he later told me. I remained stone faced, knowing I would be sternly admonished by the Competition Committee were I too favour anyone with an clues.


I have an idea someone else had a stab at this, but I can't find it if they did. My humble apologies - I wasn't so strict with logging entries with this as a) there were very few and b) a certain reader nailed it very quickly.


ADDED LATER - found it! Steve Anthony filed: Pecs, perhaps? Or is it up in Buda Castle somewhere?


(Ok Steve, it's in there somewhere, but you were trumped by the winner, I'm afraid.)


As Tom Chilton gleefully emailed in: " Well, after a string of no-ideas about KTs, I got this

one. This Zsolnay minaret is in Pécs and it is now in the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter (see attached pic). I was in Pécs a couple of weeks ago and watched the Hungary - Portugal match in a park near the cathedral. Was this park perhaps the location of the minaret when you were there üdv."

The answer, Mr Chilton, is I think it is in the same location, only when I was there in October 2009, it was the near-deserted Zsolnay factory, which was like a wonder world of vegetation, decaying industrial buildings an priceless Zsolnay museum pieces.

The original photo of the minaret was in colour (I made it monochrome to keep it in line with most KTs and also because I thought the beautiful tiling would be more of a giveaway to potential contestants.


Here is the original, in all its glory - really, ain't it beautiful? The question remains, however, as to why it was made in the first place - a possible order from overseas that was interrupted by the First World War and never completed afterwars, perhaps?

I'm afraid its modern setting is, as Tom described it, rather "sterile" in comparison.


I was in Pécs to do a profile of the city for the Financial Times special report on Hungary. Pécs was to be 'a' European City of Culture the following year, and it seemed ripe for a feature. The date was October 2, and my guide, Bea, was very attentive and always willing to 'go the extra mile' regarding my questions. She was also, if I remember well, keen on developing the Zsolnay Quarter - but I don't know how happy she was with the final results.


The FT report was delayed (which was a blessing in disguise, for reasons I won't go into here) finally coming out in December.


Ah! I've found the hard copy and photographed it - and lo! - what's more, if you google "Pécs Positions itself as Gateway to the Balkans" you can still read the piece on FT.com .

So, Tom Chilton emerges as the undisputed winner of KT44 and the dubious right to buy me what must amount to to kegs of beer by now.


But while we are here, Tom also sent these comments relating to KT43 - Tu Je Jugoslavia.

"Wow. I didn't think anyone would get it. "Did you know that Fiume wasn't assigned to Italy in the Treaty of London? Maybe I am teaching my granny to suck Balkan history but: Wiki says: The main problem arose from the fact that Rijeka was not assigned either to Italy or to Croatia (now Yugoslavia) in the Treaty of London which defined the post-war borders in the area. It remained assigned to Austria-Hungary because - until the very end of WWI - it was assumed that the Austro-Hungarian empire would survive WWI in some form and Rijeka was to become its only seaport (Trieste was to be annexed by Italy).


However, once the empire disintegrated, the status of the city became disputed. Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians comprised the largest single nationality within the city (46.9% of the total population). Croats made up most of the remainder and were a majority in the surrounding area.[31] Andrea Ossoinack, who had been the last delegate from Fiume to the Hungarian Parliament, was admitted to the conference as a representative of Fiume, and essentially supported the Italian claims.


Nevertheless, at this point the city had had for years a strong and very active Autonomist Party seeking for Rijeka a special independent status among nations as a multicultural Adriatic city. This movement even had its delegate at the Paris peace conference - Ruggero Gotthardi.

This led to the very interesting Regency of Carnaro


Thank you Tom, keep 'em coming.


Now, what about Beny Hill? Have a good week all!






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