Originating in London, The School of Life focuses on cultivating your emotional intelligence in a social environment. Predominately this is facilitated through workshops and seminars that considers principles from both the arts & sciences, such as philosophy and psychiatry. Classes such as 'How to Face Death' and 'How to Find a Job You Love' encourage productive discussion and aid you in the latent quest for self-realisation.
The Melbourne headquarters opened in 2014. The main room contains the bulk of the cafe and store. An extensive bookshelf occupies the left wall and features a range of topics that can either complement classes or further explore topics that engage your interest. Other than books, The School of Life also sells thoughtful products,such as pencils with keywords from Psychoanalysis and an accompanying pamphlet detailing their meaning and salience. Meanwhile, the room next door doubles as both extra seating during the operating hours of the cafe, and as the classroom for when workshops are running.
The cafe itself features a simple menu of bagels. Coffee is by Allpress has been consistent in the three times I've visited, but the true standout is the conversation cards that accompany each drink. Each square card comes with a printed question, perhaps as a more meaningul ice breaker with a stranger or a persistent question to sip and ponder over. The School of Life is a place highly recommended for all, whether to tackle the bigger questions in life, get to know another person, or sit in purposeful silence, save for the chatter of a stimulated mind.
The School of Life
669 Bourke Street
Phone: 9077 8724