London is all the rage with hipster cafes and trendy wine bars. Thankfully, for people who enjoy some brain-stimulating fun when drinking a beverage or two, there are still several places from with to choose. Regardless of whether you are a gaming geek, a history nerd or a board game buff; here are eight top places that are perfect for your next night on the town!
1: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
A place for all the literary history buffs among us is Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. In its time, this unique venue has entertained the likes of Mark Twain, PG Wodehouse, and Charles Dickens. The 17th-century structure dates back to shortly after the Great Fire of London and was one of the favourite drinking venues of the Fleet Street pack in their heyday. Now, the hacks have moved on; however, the pub survives in its original state to this very day with the addition of the pub-favourite Babyfoot foosball tables, of course.
The Meltdown bar is found in Caledonian Road and is the first e-gaming pub located in London. It can most easily be described as the sports bar for gamers where you can enjoy one of your favourite games while drinking a gaming-themed cocktail or shot. The venue often features games during the night using consoles arranged in an ‘X’ formation, so you can take part or you can enjoy a Doom or Stim pack while watching the action via the wide screens.
The board game bar and café is located on the east side of London and is one of the thinking man’s favourites. We head to Draughts each month to enjoy a play at all types of board games ranging from Cards against Humanity and Hungry Hippos to Backgammon or Game of Thrones. Grab a game, pull up a seat, and get your eyes down for some fun.
4: The Viaduct Tavern
If you are searching for some spirits, then you should head to The Viaduct Tavern – the last surviving Victorian Gin palace within the London area. Overlooked by St Paul’s Cathedral, The Viaduct Tavern used to be a debtors’ jail for the infamous Newgate Prison. A fun fact: some of the cells from the debtors’ jail remain and are utilised by the pub as a form of beer cellar.
5: Drink, Shop, Do
If craft lessons, colouring-in workshops and Lego robots sound like your cup of tea, then you should head down to Drink, Shop, Do. This bar or café can be found in King’s Cross and is the crafty geek’s paradise. Each evening at this venue is themed with some interesting craft feature, so be sure to prepare for some fun craft on every night of the week.
6: Jerusalem Tavern
Located in Farringdon, the Jerusalem Tavern has been operating since the 14th century (or thereabouts) and the current structure dates all the way back to 1720. In addition to the well-gained history lesson, you can also obtain a good beer along the way. Jerusalem Tavern was recently voted as the third best pub within the city of London in a poll conducted by over 20,000 London residents.
7: Booking Office
Take a step back in time and view a different side to the King’s Cross-station from the Booking Office café at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Well-known for its cocktails served within one of the grandest settings, the historic bar is a 29 metre-long venue that was built in the original King’s Cross booking hall area; therefore, making it a page out of history, as well as expensive and stunning. Plus, if you are still in the location the next morning, the Renaissance Hotel offers a spectacular breakfast at a relatively affordable price – at least for London, that is.
8: Loading Bar
The second of the gaming bars on this list can be found further east in the London area in a place called Dalston. Loading Bar is a venue offering gamers a place to relax, drink, and place some games. Featuring gaming-themed cocktails and shots, such as World of Barcraft and Alien: Inebriation, gamers can enjoy the drink while playing on the consoles placed around the bar. Moreover, the games can be played free! Loading Bar also holds launch nights for new games where drinks that are more themed are available.