When you first meet someone, how do your conversations normally start? A moan about the weather? Finding out about their job? Where they live? If they're cute, sneakily deciphering their relationship status?
The School of Life aims to get people talking about the things that really matter in life - love, play, work, politics and family. At their conversation dinners (held at the chic, Heatherwick studios-designed Konstam restaurant), your three course meal includes a conversation menu - so along with your roast pork and treacle pudding you debate aphorisms and discuss intriguing questions like:
What do you think makes families happy?
Who have you encountered in your life who has really stood out and why?
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself in the past, what would it be and when would you have received it?
Even though you were talking with a group of strangers, it was only when we had finished running through the menu, revealing deeply personal confessions and anecdotes over 3 hours, that the conversation faltered. I was confronted by the banality of my everyday conversation as we fumbled around awkward silences that petered into sporadic and unfulfilling discussions about the tube, the credit crunch and Wales, unless we bid our hurried goodbyes.