Jess, aged 14, writes: I’m always looking for new places to visit in London with my friends, and I was very excited when I found Draughts online. It’s a regular café with a difference: people go there to play board games. There are shelves and shelves of the café filled with every board game I could imagine – family games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos to more adult games such as Cards Against Humanity, and simple card games to complex ones which take hours to play.
Draughts is situated right in the middle of Hackney and is really close to an Overground stop: Haggerston. I had booked a table in advance, which was lucky as the shop was very busy (though luckily not too loud). It is £5 per person to play an unlimited amount of games and to stay for quite a long time (10-5 or 6-11 on weekdays, and up to four hours on weekends), which I thought was good value as we stayed for ages! My friend and I quickly rushed over to the game area and spent ages deciding on which game to try first. We decided on Escape: The Temple Curse – a complicated game where players work together to escape a temple.
The games are all categorised which I thought was a good idea. This stopped us from picking up games which take hours and hours to play!
Although we spent about twenty minutes setting the game up and understanding the rules, we played the game for about half an hour and it was really good fun. Despite the fact that we failed miserably, I loved it and could have played again and again.
Over the course of four hours, we played countless games of Bananagrams, Scattergories, Othello, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Hive, and Snatch (a particular favourite of mine where you quickly form words and steal them from your opponent). There was such a range and next time I visit, I’ll be sure to play some longer, more complex games. I wanted to play the Ghostbusters game but my friend unfortunately decided it would be too difficult to understand… Luckily, there are staff to ask for help with complex games.
Draughts also serves a variety of food and drinks, and I ordered a mango and ginger drink, and some chocolate mini eggs. These were very nice and reasonably priced, although I was glad I didn’t order food as the portions looked quite small.
Overall, Draughts in Hackney is a place I wish I discovered sooner. Everyone was really kind and friendly, the atmosphere was lovely, and the abundance of games were all in very good condition. I paid £8.50 total for four hours of board games, a drink, and snacks, which I thought was good value. I will definitely return!
All pictures on this post were found on Draughts’ website or instagram.
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