The art of conversation is not dead

Louise Kaye does not do things by halves. When she puts on concerts to raise money for research into Parkinson’s disease she hires the Queen Elizabeth Hall or the Wigmore Hall and fills them, making many thousands of pounds for charity.

Now she’s decided Chiswick would benefit from a place to chat and within about half an hour of deciding that she’d signed up two venues – Avanti at Bedford Corner and the Grove Cafe in Grove Park, catering for conversational needs both north and south of the A4.

The idea came from her listening to a Radio 4 documentary on loneliness; how easy it is for people particularly in retirement, to sit within their own four walls and not socialise. Before you know it you find that days have passed without talking to anyone. 

Cafe Conversations in Chiswick

The Cafe Conversations will take place:

At Avanti, Bedford Corner, South Parade W4 1LDon Mondays from 3-5pm. First meeting Monday 15 October. 

At Grove Cafe, 7 Grove Park Rd W4 3RSon Wednesdays from 3-5pm. First meeting Wednesday 17 October.

Not suitable for children and it’s important to be there from the start, says Louise. The events are free and there’s no obligation to spend money in either cafe (but if you do, remember that Avanti is in the Club Card scheme!)

Being Louise, she’s aiming higher than a cursory comment or two about the weather. She has researched the subject thoroughly and taking inspiration from an initiative in Vienna to reignite the art of good conversation, has appealed to a range of people, including an academic who teaches philosophy at Oxford, for conversational starting points. 

If you would like to come and join the conversation, just turn up at the start. If you would like to volunteer as a conversation starter, email me at and I will pass your details to Louise. 

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Cafe Conversations a success

See also: Weekly blogs by The Man in the Middle, who decided to move his elderly mother in with his family, with hilarious results – No. 1: The Letter