Published On: Sun, Nov 30th, 2014

Review: Discover your inner child at London’s first board game café

At Draughts, £5 buys you endless board game fun. Or at least until the café closes at midnight

At Draughts, £5 buys you endless board game fun. Or at least until the café closes at midnight


Draughts is London’s first board game café and opened this month in Hackney. Located in a brick building right under the Overground tracks at Haggerston, the café has a certain charm. Except for the gaming tables, a bar and the shelves stocked with board games, the venue is unfurnished and simplistic.

When you enter you are greeted by a friendly member of staff, explaining the rules. For £5 per person, you can play any game until closing time.


Draughts offers over 300 different board games.

The collection proved to be as extensive as promised. From childhood classics like Monopoly to huge strategy games like A Game of Thrones, nearly everything was there. A so-called ‘Game Guru’ stands ready to explain any unfamiliar rules.

By 7pm on a Tuesday evening, every table was taken and excited players occasionally crying out in victory created a lively atmosphere. Unfortunately, with these large numbers of guests, some of the good games were quickly taken. So if you desperately want to play Game of Life, it would be good to arrive a little earlier.

Although Draughts advertises to be a café, during the week it feels more like a board game pub. As the venue only opens at five on weekdays, the coffee machine was not really in use. However, as they also offer beer and wine for a reasonable price, it is a nice location to have an after-work beer.

The major flaw in the drink selection is that Draughts only offers Dalston Coke, which does not taste anything like our average Coca Cola. Be aware that this trendy hipster drink is quite different before you order.

The menu is currently still very small and will be extended in the future. Still, the toasted baguette with salami, pesto and cheese for £5 was very good. Little snacks like olives are also on offer.

Overall the board game café is a lot of fun. Letting out your inner child with old board games is a great start to a different night out.

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  1. Frank says:

    good business idea. I´d like to go there…

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