Back in the day, Draughts rolled the dice on something new to London: the board game café.
And they scored a serious crit.
Five years on, their Haggerston railway arch was constantly packed with punters enjoying their indomitable combination of fast-paced tabletop strategy games and booze. And so… they’ve made a move.
As you’d expect, they’ve now set up shop in an old pie and mash shop on Kingsland High Street. With room for 180 spread over two rooms and a beer garden, it’s much bigger than the original, but with plenty of character thanks to the original tiled walls, intimate booths, and sleek art deco curves. There are more cocktails, delicious snacks (including pie and mash), and of course, hundreds upon hundreds of board games.
HOW IT WORKS
Once you’ve scored a table, you and your friends are free to peruse the library and pick out something to play. Friendly, knowledgeable staff circulate the rooms, and are always happy to make recommendations or talk you through the rules of a new game.
The great advantage of board games over, say, crazy golf or rock climbing, is that you can have a glass of something while you’re playing (unless you’re playing You’ve Got Crabs!, in which case you’ll be temporarily indisposed by having a pair of rubber crab claws over your hands). And they’re not rolling the dice on drinks – there’s brews on draught (eh), cans of craft beer, wine, soft drinks and a couple of house cocktails, including margaritas and whisky sours.
The game choices here run the gamut from the familiar (Settlers of Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Boggle) to the cult (Dixit, Codenames, Ticket To Ride) to games you’ve probably never come across in your life before; like Funemployed (which offers some great opportunities for some meta weekday enjoyment) and the action-packed Power Grid: North Europe/UK. There’s literally hundreds besides, including Hnefatafl (a kind of 4th century Viking Chess); Burn The Heretic; and the simple, but evocative, Beeees!*
*not a box full of bees.
NOTE: Draughts Hackney is open Tues-Sun. You can find out more and book, HERE. Please note that there is a £5 cover charge per person, which lets you play as many games as you like for up to 4 hours.
ALSO NOTE: People love Draughts so much, there’s also a second branch in Waterloo.
Draughts Hackney | 41 Kingsland High Street, E8 2JS
Like having fun and drinking? Check out London’s top activity bars
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial