Balzac et Bazza
The idea of conversing in an English pub in the language of Balzac with Barry from Mount Pleasant Drive may seem a bit odd. You may also worry about exchanging a multitude of grammar and pronunciation errors along with your most profound reflexions. This is perhaps to some extent true.
I would say that you need to at about B1 standard for it to be worthwhile, otherwise it could be a bit demoralising. However, once you have reached that level the pros outweight the cons.
La lutte partagée
Firstly, there is also your shared struggle with the French language. Secondly, you discover people’s obscure interests and opinions and struggle together to find the vocabulary to describe these more singular topics. Thirdly, and most importantly, conversing with other non-francophones develops your fluency. Because you know that you are both making errors together, you are able to concentrate on just getting your message across and enjoy being in full gallic flow. Finally, they are great social occasions and an opportunity to make friends. People who make the effort to learn languages tend to be open and interesting people. In short, we are superior beings!!
Les beaux esprits se rencontrent
This kind of grouping could potentially be accessed via a town’s twinning association. In large organizations such councils, universities, goverment department offices and large companies you may find that such a french club already exists or that you have the necessary critical mass of francophiles to get a group off the ground. Laura K. Lawless provides some further advice on this. There are also fantastic resources online such as the excellent Meetup Groups website, which enables people with common interests, such as a language, to form social groups.
Allez, bon courage!