A Place to Sit

Great places to sit during a Big Day Out…

Anthony Tesselaar

That relaxed fellow who’s happily engrossed in the newspaper is me.


This shot of me appeared recently in the Dallas Morning News. Looking at it I suddenly learned something about myself. If I can make myself comfortable, even when I’m a long way from home, I’m happy. In this shot I’m relaxing with a coffee and the paper, while Sheryl is nearby shopping. It’s a great arrangement and I salute the foresight of mall designers everywhere who create spaces like this.

In Holland, even small shops we’ve wandered into offer the same – a seat, coffee and paper. They’ve worked out that not everyone in the shopping party is keen to stand around while the other browses, so they offer comfort (knowing that a happy companion is more likely to make encouraging noises when asked advice about a possible purchase).

So what follows are some memorable comfort stops I’ve made over the years and it’s a fun way to revisit some very special places  . . .


Guildford CastleMoments after taking this picture at Guildford Castle in Surrey, we sat down. We travel the world, forever on the look-out for new wonderful plants, but we always make time to visit landscapes as special as this.


French castleTake a look at this and tell me that the French don’t do everything better. Technically this is simply a coffee shop at a museum. But look at that ceiling, the room, the chandeliers and tell me that this is not the most beautiful place to find comfort after walking many, many metres to gaze upon glorious artworks. Yes, it’s the Musée d’Orsay.


KeukenhoffWe visit Keukenhoff in the Netherlands most years. It’s 32 hectares (79 acres) of landscapes literally painted with bulbs so you can see why the seating offered for the use of visitors is especially valued. These people certainly look like they’re please to sit down, and I have to say I was a little disappointed that there was no room left for me.


Tropicanna cannaYou can’t beat the all white bench seat. At a glance you can tell that it’s clean enough to sit on, and it makes any garden look great, like this wedge of Canna Tropicanna’s that I spotted when visiting Weihenstephan Abbey (in Germany’s Bavaria, and possibly the world’s oldest brewery thanks to a series of religious orders from the 700s.


Lake MagioreBut this seat is possibly the best. Lake Magiore, Italy. Enough said.

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