For Sarah Halliwell, her most precious café moments are spent with old friends. What are yours? Share your story with us …
THE GLOSS is celebrating café conversations, with sisters, mums, chums and others! Whether planned gossip or impromptu catch-up, involving a secret shared, a problem divulged, or great news to impart, we meet up to connect and chat over coffee in our favourite cafés. And sometimes we go solo and listen to other people’s conversations. Eavesdropping? No! We prefer to say, we couldn’t help but overhear ….
What makes café conversations fascinating and fun? We’d love to hear from you. Write a short paragraph (not more than 200 words) telling us about a conversation you had or overheard, and send it to us at [email protected] Your piece could be selected for publication and you could win a gorgeous Butlers gift card to fund more café conversations in lovely Butlers locations all over Ireland …
By Sarah Halliwell
My firmest friendships have been forged in cafés. It started at school, where we spent hours talking about ourselves over a giant teapot; as one girl’s unimpressed father snorted, “All they learned to do at that bloody school was drink tea”. We graduated to to cafés which, back then, meant mugs of murky Nescafe and air grey with smoke. How things change. And in every city, cafés still provide an anchor and an opening – to experience the kindness of strangers and to convene with friends.
Recently, my most precious café moments are spent with old friends, including one I hadn’t seen for a decade – so much time apart, and yet we are still stimulated by all the same things, from strong coffee – enough to make us jittery – to culture, books and beyond.
I meet another friend every few weeks en route to visit my dad, who’s been ill. She collects me from the airport and we pause for a coffee together. It sounds simple and mundane, but this hour has become a precious cushion – a limbo between the tired tension of the journey, and the often fraught destination. The café is a neutral space, a limbo where we connect and re-set and find valuable points of connection. Café conversations aren’t always light, frothy gossips or catch-ups. We stir our creamy flat whites and share stories about our teens – ours met as toddlers and now tower above us, golden, recalcitrant. She lost her mother last year and shares gentle, hard-won wisdom; I am learning from her how to tread this unwelcome new terrain of frailty and threat of loss. All you can do is be there when you can, she has learned, so you can look back without regret. T.S. Eliot said it best: We measure out our lives with coffee spoons.
Catch up with friends over a touch of indulgence and blissful award-winning hot chocolate at Butlers Chocolate Café in the epicentre of Cork, Galway, Limerick or the beautiful mobile unit located in Kildare Village – the perfect spot to elevate your elevenses.
Discover the Art of Café Conversation at Butlers Chocolate Cafés …
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