Board Games Cafe

Spoons and Mugs of Tea

There was a time when going to a cafe would have meant sitting in a dreary, grease-stained little establishment drinking tea from a chipped mug and eating a sausage sandwich on white bread with ketchup. At least that was the case for me during my time studying at Leeds University; the local cafe in Hyde Park being your archetypal greasy spoon, frequented by students, builders and local drug dealers. I wouldn't want to cast aspersions upon all cafes from way back when, but that was my experience from that particularly fleeting moment in life.

A New Coffee Dawn

Since the dawn of the coffee shop, it seems that you can't walk more than a few hundred yards in one of our fair metropoleis without finding a Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, Pret or other purveyors of the brown bean. The coffee shop is the go-to place for those wanting to rest a while after some heavy retail therapy, or to knuckle down and get some work done away from the office and away from the home, or just tired parents wishing to fuel their children up with cake before setting off on the next leg of a mammoth trek around the capital.

Tea and Cake and Games

Now, cake and coffee (or tea) are like night and day, Randall and Hopkirk, Vic and Bob, literally they go together like two things that go together really well. Who doesn't like to stuff their face with a piece of carrot cake whilst sipping on an Americano? No one. What if you could combine those two things with another activity that everyone (mostly) enjoys? What if you could play board games as well, wouldn't that be amazing?

Well, of course, you can.

The growth of board games cafes in the UK has been steady and wide. A few years ago I don't think it would have been something that I would have noticed or Googled to see if there was one wherever I might be. But these days board games cafes are popping up all over the place, including the recent opening of The Dice Box in Leamington Spa.

The concept is of course very simple: you go into one of these games cafes (pre-booking required in some cases), get a table, grab a board game, order drinks and food and then play, eat, drink. Of course, the important thing here is that the board games on offer are not the usual stack of crap that you might find in a local pub; a 1970s copy of Scrabble with no board, a plastic chess set with a knight and rook missing, a tattered copy of Dixit where someone has drawn Hitler moustaches on all the cards showing a human face. These board game cafes offer the latest and greatest modern tabletop games like Scythe, Eldritch Horror, Gloomhaven: games that you can play for hours whilst eating cake and drinking coffee.

Top 3 Board Games Cafes in UK

Here is a list of 3 board game cafes from around the UK along with a brief description for each, whats on offer and some links and contact details.

Thirsty Meeples, Oxford UK

Thirsty Meeples, Oxford

A well-established cafe offering well over 2000 board games and focusing on those games. Thirsty Meeples offer food and drinks as well as a selection of alcoholic drinks for the adults! You pay a cover charge, pick a game(s) and play, for however long you want.

Prices

Games only: 3 hours - £7.50 per person
Games with food or drinks: 3 hours - £6.00 per adult, £5.00 per child (ages 12 and under)

Opening Times

Monday - Friday: 11am to late
Weekends: 9am to late

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day

The Dice Box, Leamington Spa UK

The Dice Box, Leamington Spa

Opened in November 2018, The Dice Box in Leamington Spa is a board game cafe small in size but huge in their game library, cake offerings and welcome. Run by a local couple with a passion for playing board games that they wanted to share with the local community, with an extensive menu, the food is fresh and cosmopolitan and the coffee made from locally roasted beans. The Dice Box is Warwickshire first board game cafe.

Prices

Games only: 3 hours - £7.50 per person
Games with food or drinks: 3 hours - £6.00 per adult, £5.00 per child (ages 12 and under)

Opening Times

Monday - Sunday: 11am to 11pm