Draughts | Board Game Café
What’s the charm of Draughts?
It’s easy to Articulate.
Draughts was the first proper board game café to pop up in the city, and five years ago it inducted Londoners into a new Sunday afternoon ritual – one which provided the indomitable combination of fast-paced tabletop strategy games… and booze.
A stone’s throw from Haggerston station, Draughts is – like all board game parties – off the rails, tucked away in one of the railway arches with cosy exposed brick walls, plenty of tables to sit at, and an entire wall stacked with hundreds upon hundreds of board games. That said, the place is (understandably) always packed, so it’s best to plan your moves ahead of time and reserve a spot if you can.
Once you’ve scored a table, you and your friends will be free to peruse the library. Friendly, knowledgeable staff circulate the room, and are always happy to make recommendations or talk you through the rules of a new game.
The 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!*
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. Work up an appetite over Hungry, Hungry Hippos and order a slew of dishes to your table – they range from smaller snacks (Korean sticky chicken; pulled pork tacos; sweetcorn fritters) to burgers and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese “to share”.
Which is precisely when those claws will come in handy.
*not a box full of bees.
NOTE: Draughts is open daily, 10am-11pm (midnight Fri & Sat). It’s best to book ahead for busy times, which you can do on their website 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 this place so much, they’ve opened a second, bigger branch in Waterloo.
Draughts | 337 Acton Mews, E8 4EA
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