Cogito ergo... cappuccino

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Jean-Paul Sartre may have been convinced that "hell is other people", but those who would like to meet up to debate the point can now do so over a croissant and cafe creme, writes Suzi Feay.

Cafe de Philosophe, a movement which has picked up huge popularity in France since the days when Sartre and de Beauvoir first holed up together in Les Deux Magots, is to be introduced to Britain by the Institut Francais.

The cafes are a formalised attempt to bring philosophical ideas into the lives of ordinary, rushed human beings. Today, there are a reported 80 such cafes in France - 20 in Paris.

The first British "Brain Breakfast" will take place in the Institut's cafe in London on Saturday 15 November. The initial four sessions, all in English, are to be hosted by Gale Prawda, an American academic who studied philosophy at the Sorbonne.

She discovered the French phenomenon last year, and with the support of its founder, Marc Sautet, launched an English-speaking version in April in Paris's famous Cafe Flore.

! "Brain Breakfast" is free, but must be booked on 0171 838 2167.