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Michael Pennington on perfect spots for time wasting

The Daily Telegraph, 5th June 2013

The Dances of Death actor shares his top picks of places to while away the hours

The Cloisters, New York

Escape Manhattan for the peace of The Cloisters, a medieval Spanish cloister housing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s whole medieval collection. Sit with a biscotti and a cappuccino in the landscaped gardens and admire the view from the Hudson to New Jersey.


London Transport Museum, London

Tickets for this wonderful museum in Covent Garden are valid for a year so you can dwindle away countless hours looking at the Thirty trolley buses ot LNER train engines. Step outside and you’ll find one of London’s best buskers: a really good guitarist who plays Sting and Van Morrison.


Gran Caffè

The oldest and grandest café in Naples was Oscar Wilde’s favourite. Neapolitans take pride in small things and their coffee ritual is no exception. Watch the elite baristas create the perfect espresso: tiny white cups rattle in trays of boiling water and the sugar always goes in first.

Piazza Trieste e Trento, Naples, Italy

The Sage, Newcastle

There are beautiful views from the main foyer of the glass, bulb-shaped Sage concert hall: the marvellous Baltic Gallery and the six Tyne bridges seeing to slide into the river. Watch the Millennium Bridge tilting like a great winking eye to let ships through: it’s mesmerising.


The London Review Cake Shop, London

A large communal table implies spontaneous intellectual arguments with strangers, and there’s no pressure to buy. The food in the café is as comforting as the bookshop is brainy. I recommend whiling away an hour with a slice of their orange marmalade sponge and your pick from the infinite selection of teas.


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