When I started this blog four posts ago, I had every pure intention of rigorously posting Every. Single. Monday. But life happens and I’m apparently terrible at planning in advance so I didn’t have anything ready to go for this Monday* when I knew I would still be recovering from the long weekend of my very first hen do. (*now officially a week ago – yes, this took a week for me to finish.)
Despite not drinking half as much as many of the others on the trip, Monday back at work was a struggle and I probably ate my body weight in M&S’ Salt and Vinegar chipsticks (everyone knows those are the best hangover cure) instead of dreaming up something to write in here.
I’m not exactly short of material but considering that I just found out my gran subscribes to this blog (biggest fan, shout out to Wyn) I feel it would be imprudent to write up my long weekend of debauchery and invite you instead to indulge me in reading more about how I like to fill my time playing games.
Anyone who has spent any extended time with me will know that I am a HUGE fan of games, and have a very slyly secret competitive side. I like to think that I’m not a sore loser but I AM an intolerable winner; it should be on my CV that I’ve only ever lost one game of Articulate in my entire life – feel free to challenge me on this. However, being from a family of three, it is a sad truth that I only get to play games when we have company round as none of the good ones cater for such a small odd number, so when it came to my attention that there are actual cafés you can go to specifically to drink and play games I was immediately IN.
Photo courtesy of my gaming partner KelseyJMulder on Instagram
Draughts in Hackney is proudly London’s first board game café so naturally this is the one we chose. Only the best is good enough when it comes to boozing and gaming.
I can’t sing the praises of this place loud enough; all the staff are insanely knowledgeable about the games (and there are over 100 of them on the shelves) and only too happy to help guide you through setup and the first few goes if you’ve picked something you’ve never played before. It’s only a £5 cover charge to play as many games as you want for pretty much the whole evening if you book for 6pm like we did.
Good job, too, because the first game we chose was hard AF; some mystery solving Sherlock Holmes game that was less a board game and more of a ‘read this paragraph and then do whatever the hell you like ’til you solve the mystery’ game. Honestly, even when we solved it 3 hours later we hadn’t even properly solved it and essentially must have got about zero points (5 points minus each time you use more ‘leads’ than Sherlock did; he uses 6, we used… all of them).
That’s not to say I wouldn’t play it again, for there were 10 cases to be solved and we only scratched the surface with one before the Pimms and cider went to our heads and made us only just capable of playing a trivia game for half an hour. Arguably the best game of the night, Linkee is not your average trivia questions game. There are four questions on each card, and each card is backed with either an L, I, N, K, E or another E of a different colour. The aim of the game (I think, I was a bit tipsy by this point) is to collect LINKEE. This is only achieved by a) correctly getting all 4 questions on the card and b) identifying what links all four answers.
Some are pretty easy like this:
And then there are some which have seemingly nonsensical answers unless you’re really into classical composing. As with any game, it probably got better the more we had to drink (under no other circumstances would it be hilarious for me to take ten minutes to guess ‘birdbrain’ for “what animal’s brain are you said to have if you are ‘stupid'” – the irony of this hit harder than me just saying every animal that popped into my head), so it was just as well that Draughts offers great table service.
You can also take your own games along (and presumably be exempt from the fiver cover charge, but honestly I wouldn’t begrudge them it anyway) and there are unused games near the front of the café that can be bought (as well as super cute Draughts own merchandise, bless).
Pre-booking is available Mon-Fri but unfortunately not on the weekends, so you’d have to try your luck in more ways than one. That’s some kind of reference to being lucky at games, I don’t know. It’s 3am the day after my tonsil operation so I thought it would be a good idea to post this not only a week late, but also under the influence of my super strong pain meds.
Long and short of it – I had a bloody great time and will 100% be going back again. Come along with me!