Bored? Time for a trip to this board game café!

Looking for something to avoid the boredom this weekend? London’s Draughts is a board game café that’s bound to entertain you. 


Having launched its first site back in 2014, Draughts has since become quite the attraction for gamers in the city. With sites in Waterloo and Hackney (the café recently relocated from Haggerston to a bigger venue in Dalston), Draughts has something for everyone – whether that be friends, family or even colleagues.  

 From Uno to Obama Llama and Monopoly to Jenga, Draughts’ game library includes over 1,000 games. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, or reminisce with an old favourite. Staff are on hand to provide top advice and recommendations – as well as helping players grasp the rules of each game – so, when it comes to it – the world really is your oyster. 

 And if that hasn’t got your attention, this will: Draughts also has a seasonally changing food menu and a wide selection of drinks. Fancy a cocktail? They’ve got you covered. Coffee? Sorted. Or if soft drinks are more your thing, that’s not a problem either. 

In terms of food, it’s quesadillas and burgers galore, with a range of smalls and sweets also on the menu. The Dalston branch of Draughts also offers a pie and mash dish, paying homage to the building’s history. 

Still don’t know if it’s for you? Here’s what some of the punters had to say about the café: 

Tim, 34, from Chelmsford: “I thought it was a cool place! Great food and a huge selection of games. Everyone around us seemed to be relaxed and having fun. My favourite game was Raptor – I’d never heard of it before, but plan on getting a copy for myself now”. 

Emma, 20, from Essex: “It was really fun! It was great to spend quality time with my friends where we actually put our phones down and enjoyed the games. One thing I would say though is that it was a tad pricey for what it is. The 5 Second Rule was my favourite game – I learnt that I’m a bit of an expert in famous Jacks.”

Oscar, 22, from Deal, Kent: “I thought Draughts was an incredibly relaxed experience, something perfect for me and my friends to have a catch up and a bit of a reunion. Staff were informative, polite and service was speedy. There was a whole library of board and table games to choose from and the café itself was hidden away nicely under the railway bridges amongst vibrant graffiti. The decor was modern, bright and refreshing and overall it was a great place. Me and my friends really enjoyed playing Game of Phones, which is similar to Cards Against Humanity but we were judged on cards that made us have to look up things like ‘the most awkward message on our phone’ or ‘the cutest pet pic we could find’.”

So, if it sounds like something you’d fancy, then get your game face on and get down to Draughts; after all, there’s nothing better than a good board game during the festive season.


Both branches of Draughts are open seven days a week – bookings and private hire are available. 

Note: there’s a £5 cover charge at the Hackney site, and a £6 cover charge at the Waterloo site.

Words: Jodie Shepherd

Featured image: Jodie Shepherd

Video: Jodie Shepherd 

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