A new Swiss-inspired café has opened in Hackney with a rather morbid theme – death.
The idea spread to Paris and now to the UK. London now has its own cafés mortel or 'death café'
Groups of friends and associates are encouraged to gather and discuss the subject, and a grief specialist is in residence for a chat. The specialist is also available to facilitate some of the discussion.
The founder, John Underwood told the Evening Standard "We all know that we are going to die. Often time passes without us taking much notice of it. If you're aware that it's going to come to an end you have the opportunity to really appreciate everything as much as you can."
Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz started the movement in Switzerland to alleviate the idea that the subject of death should be kept in “tyrannical secrecy.”
"I can't tell you how much this has helped me…I will never forget it" said blogger Jayd Kent, describing her emotional experience at the café.
Kristie West of Beyond Grief said "I was there because I wanted to talk about death. An even bigger reason to go is because you want to talk about life..And if you can’t think of any other reason to be there, the food was awesome."