* Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and book something (there is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
The English have always loved a good round of board games to go with their afternoon tea, especially. Gone are the days when board games were restricted only to you and your family, inside your house. Being socially accepted throughout, many pubs and cafes in the capital welcome board game enthusiasts for a game of the classic Monopoly, or the Operation or even the favorite Guess Who, perhaps. In fact, there are game cafes popping up at many corners of the city, to serve as the perfect place for a game’s round and some snacks/ drinks to go with, post work or for that lazy Sunday afternoon. We bring to you, 10 places to play board games in London, so you too can roll the dice and get playing! Whether you are a connoisseur or yet discovering the wealth of the game, these places are just right!
1. Draughts - The most popular board game cafe in London
Undoubtedly, the first place goes to this one! London’s first official board game café, has a huge library of 600 and more games, with a friendly staff that even helps you to choose a game. What’s more? They serve high-quality food along with a wide variety of craft beers. For the mavens they host tournaments and for the newbies, they even conduct workshops where professional board game designers teach.
A traditional pub with a twist, the Westow House is located at the Crystal Palace triangle. This place is as local as it could get, with old yet comfortable Chesterfield sofas, pallet benches, and quirky artwork. They will even get you your choice of cut and have it roasted, with a heads up in advance. The bar is extensively stocked and reasonably priced. Along with a wide variety of board games, they also have a Pinball Machine from the 1950’s and the best part?! This is a dog-friendly pub!
Essentially a freehouse, The Crown is nestled in picturesque surroundings amidst the country park and the beach at Hastings. Delicious home-cooked food and a selection of some great drinks - local and specialist, create a warm and pleasant ambience. As if this weren’t enough, the generous freehouse also has free Wi-Fi, daily newspapers, some quirky art, great music, some great board games and a warm fireplace, basically everything to keep a family happy; even your pet dog!
Address - 64-66 All Saints St. Hastings, TN34 3BN
Must have - Basil gnocchi, roast cauliflower, locally foraged mushrooms, blue cheese and walnut pesto!
Game-themed cocktails anyone? London might have plenty of board game cafes, but Scenario is different! It serves game-themed cocktail! Settled cozily downstairs, with several board games to choose from their 100 games-library, they have plenty of video game consoles too. Hosting occasional gigs, exhibitions, and game events, this place sure is a must visit.
Named after the two most memorable landmarks from Streatham's past of the destroyed Pratts department store and deceased madam Payne, the Pratts, and Payne is one happening pub! Fine ales, wonderful food and music, many good board games and a host of events, the pub always has something to offer. Summer sees barbeques in the garden outside, while winter is a delight with the Sunday roasts. Christmas and Halloween here, are an affair in their own here!
40 minutes outside of London, this country pub is a great choice, if you are planning to head outside the city. The huge checkered board in the garden is perfect for a game of chess as the sun sets! A favorite of many, you will find people coming out to chill with their drinks as they get involved in some very interesting games.
Address - High Street, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9SQ
Must have - Seared Scottish Scallops & Crispy Pancetta
The first e-gaming pub in London, Meltdown can very well be illustrated as a sports bar for gamers! Home to gamers from around the world, Meltdown bars are dedicated to gaming. Constantly abuzz, there is always some event happening here. With a really whacky food and beverages menu, this place knows what it is doing. The drinks especially; are phenomenal! If you are not too keen on playing, all the gaming action displayed on the wide screens will change your mind.
The BBC (as referred to by locals) boasts of a spectacular restaurant, three grand hire spaces, two bars, and beer garden at the rear making it perfect for almost any occasion. This once highly reputed clubhouse retains its vintage furniture, original décor, and quirky trinkets even after being taken under the wing of Antic London. Serving fresh seasonal British pub fare and a wide array of spirits, the F&B scene here is good too.
Address - 7-9 Ramsden Rd, London SW12 8QX
Must have - Lemon & Garlic Corn-Fed, Free Range Chicken Leg
The perfect place to relax and unwind over a round of board games! Two flights in the Angel will lead you up to this late night café, perfect for a romantic date, cozying up with a coffee or having an interesting game from the wide selection of board games. In fact, even the furniture is perfect to strike a great board game, complete with a communal table surrounded with red velvet chairs. Order some lip-smacking Mediterranean fare and you are good to go for the rest of the night.
Address - 3 Torrens St, London EC1V 1NQ
Must have - Chicken in mushroom sauce with rice and salad
Saving the best for the last! Unleash your 1990’s inner child at The Old School Yard Bar and Playground, with everything 90’s, from music to games. It gets better with the retro console in a corner that you can play for free. Even the location is an ideal one, being next to the London Bridge. Mind you this is better than any other London Bridge bar.
Address - The Old School Yard, 111 Long Lane, London Bridge, SE1 4PH
Must have - The Tatanca cocktail
With this list, you now know where to head, should you ever crave a board game indulgence!