F.A.Q.

How has Coronavirus changed The Library Pot?

You want to come out for some fun and games. You want to be safe, and we want to make sure you are safe. Coming to The Library Pot will be a bit different now compared to BC (Before Covid). Here is what we are arranging to make sure you can stay safe.

We are now open in accordance with latest government advice). While we were closed The Library Pot got a bit of a make-over and a deep clean. Customers seem to like the toilet!!

We are reducing risk by making it difficult for a virus to get into The Library Pot in the first place. So, please do not come if you exhibit ANY symptoms of Coronavirus. If you have already booked, please call and cancel.
BOOKING We will only accept online bookings. This is to ensure that customers have had a chance to check the website and see what is in place to keep all of us healthy. Bookings can only be made for a group from the same household plus following whatever the current guidelines are for mixing with other households. It is your responsibility to make sure that your group is compliant with government guidelines, we don’t know who is in a household or not. If you turn up without a booking and there is room, you can make an online booking there and then.
CAPACITY The number of seats is being cut by approx 50% to allow each table to be a safe distance from the others. The ivy-wrapped booths take up to 6 guests, and will be allocated to larger groups. Groups are limited to 6 people. On the ground floor there will be two further tables available, one seating up to 3 people and the other up to 6. Two more tables are available downstairs. When on, the air-conditioning will be switched to low/no air movement. We will be closed between sessions to allow us to sanitise tables and other surfaces.
ON ARRIVAL Please queue at the front door, leaving two metres between booking groups. We will ask you to confirm that you are symptom free. Each member of your party will have their temperature taken by a no-contact forehead thermometer. This registers slightly lower than actual temperature which for a human should be 37 degrees. Any group with a person showing a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees on our device will have their reservation cancelled and the table made available for others. Most people show at 35.8 to 36.1 degrees on our device. There are plenty of Supernova anti-viral foam sanitisers – please use them on arrival, before you handle the games, and frequently otherwise. These do not contain alcohol and are a bit kinder to your hands. They are certified effective against SARS-Cov-2 (Coronavirus/Covid 19), C.Dificile, MRSA, Norovirus, Ebola & MERS.
TRACK & TRACE We will provide a form for each of your group to provide their contact details, which we will use for Track & Trace if requested. If you need to advise any Track & Trace investigators about your visit to The Library Pot you should also advise them of the name of the person who made the reservation.
SOCIAL DISTANCING Please remain at your table during your stay and keep movement around The Library Pot to a minimum. We will be providing table service as usual, alongside an online ordering system, and keeping a safe distance. One person in the toilet at a time, please don’t queue – wait at your table until you see the previous occupant has left.
GAMES One household or one person can go the games library, choose a game, book it out and return it to Rob or Emily when finished. One game at a time as usual. We will use Supernova Sanitiser spray on the game and put it into quarantine for 24 hours. The latest science (that we have seen) is that this virus is mostly transmitted by respiration; viruses contained in the fine mist of respiration had a half-life of just over an hour but some could survive for three hours or more. The virus is gone within 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on plastic without any anti-viral treatment. We will be spraying and wiping games after use. The Ball Pool is closed.
ORDERING We will be trialling a system to enable you to read menus and make orders from the table on your own handheld devices/ phones to reduce the numbers of contacts with physical menus and with us. We have started with some drinks online first … We’ll see how that goes! You may still use menus which we will treat with sanitiser and wipe down.
STAFF Rob & Emily may have had Coronavirus, or at least a cold. We are monitoring our own health and temperatures. We have a five star Food Hygiene rating and will be washing our hands and cleaning tables frequently. We will not wear gloves or masks all the time as these can still transmit a virus if present and give a false sense of security, ie you don’t feel as though you have to wash gloves as much as you do hands!

Are there any special offers?

On Wednesday evenings there is NO COVER CHARGE! What a bargain!

A games café is about fun.  You can play tabletop board games & get food and drink.  Usually there is a cover charge which allows you to stay and play games for a session. At The Library Pot the usual cover charge is £5 per person per session and a minimum spend of £10 each.

What is a session?

Opening hours are divided into sessions.  Your cover charge and minimum spend allow you to play as many games as you like during a session, whether you are in for 5 minutes or 5 hours,.

What times are the sessions?

Wednesday = 6pm to 10pm
Friday afternoon = Noon to 5.00pm
Friday evening = 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturday afternoon =  Noon to 5.00pm
Saturday evening =  6.00pm to 10.00pm
Sunday afternoon =  Noon to 4.30pm
Sunday evening  =  5.00pm to 9.30pm

Do I need to book?

You can book online which secures your table and helps us plan, it kicks off several processes.  Please do not just turn up without booking – though some tables are set aside, first come first served.  Booking at the last minute will not guarantee that a table will be available when you arrive.  Please book online, not on the phone.

Do I have to play games?

We have many customers who come just for the food or to have a drink.  If you are not playing games, then please do come and enjoy a meal.  There is no cover charge and min spend requirement if your table does not play games while you are here.

Can I bring a group / have a party?

Groups are limited to six people during the Coronavirus pandemic. Groups of 7 or more must book in advance.  A non-refundable deposit per person for groups of 7 or more is payable in advance.  Please contact rob @ librarypot . uk for details. We are not taking bookings for groups at this time.

Can I come on my own?

meetup is only being used for our mahjong members at the moment. We use meetup.com for people to join in with others.  Please join our meetup group, it is free to join, and have a look at the events.   Pick a day when you would like to come and RSVP that you will be attending.  Maybe put a comment on the event to say what time you will arrive or if you want to play a particular game. We are not hosting meetup groups at this time.

What age are your customers?

We have a minimum age of 8 years old, and no maximum!  Children over the age of 8 must be supervised by an adult (the cover charge of £5 per person and min spend requirement applies to visitors of any age).  We have plenty of younger and older customers, but most fall into the 25 to 45 year range.

Do you serve food?

The Library Pot is a café & restaurant with a range of cooked food dishes, with plenty of options for vegetarian, vegan & gluten-free as well as meat-eaters.  Food orders are queued in our small kitchen and individual items delivered to table when ready – which can take a while when we are busy (sometimes but rarely more than an hour if you are at the back of the queue – but you have games to occupy yourselves while you wait). Dishes are delivered to table when ready so may not arrive at the same time. You will find good food, not always fast food…

Do you serve alcohol?

Yes, we have bottled beers, including several from local Twickenham Ales, bottled ciders, several wines, popular spirits and mixers, some sake and umeshu plum wine, and often have absinthe.  Ask about the local link to famous absinthe drinker Vincent van Gogh.  We operate a Challenge 25 policy so please be prepared to show ID if you appear to be under 25 years of age.

Do I have to buy food and drink?

We have a great menu with some very tasty dishes, like Japanese Curry and chicken burgers.  The menu includes both larger meals or smaller plates to keep you fuelled. Unlike some cafés we don’t chase you out once you have finished your tea: stay and play more games! Nor are we like a restaurant, trying to get your orders and food completed as quickly as possible to turn the tables over for another customer. Get another game! The deal is that if you come and spend several hours here, if you need to be fed and watered, you buy from us. Please do not bring in food or drink from the outside, try our tasty food! There is usually a minimum spend, if you do not buy enough food and drink your bill will be rounded up.

Shouldn’t chips be the quickest thing on the menu?

Our chips are very popular, especially when cajun-spiced!  We do not use a deep fat fryer, we oven bake our chips which means they can take up to 40 minutes.  Deep fat fryers cook chips in mere minutes but present more health issues, create more odours, and it is difficult to dispose of volumes of cooking oil responsibly & efficiently.  We believe our chips are healthier but they take longer than anything else on the menu.  If you want to be eating more quickly, then please mention this when ordering and we can suggest particular dishes. And we have a wide selection of other dishes on our menu.

Do I need to know the rules for any of the games?

We have hundreds of games for people at all levels, from games that take 15 seconds to learn to those which have rules in a book.  In the menu there is a table of games split by numbers of players and difficulty level. You’ll find some help in choosing games there. Often we will be able to help you with the rules – as long as you choose a game for which we know the rules – so please ask.  Some of the games have a summarised or simpler set of rules added, check inside the box. For some of the bigger games please have a look at a run-through online on youtube or boardgamegeek.com.

What happens if a game gets damaged / piece is missing?

Much of our effort is centred on keeping the games in good condition so that you don’t (often) pick up a game with pieces missing or cards stuck together with beer.  Which is why we ask you to book games out, why we have stemless wine glasses (low centre of gravity you know), provide lots of coasters to put your drinks & glasses on, provide tap water in non-spill bottles, have elastic bands around the boxes, put the game contents in plastic bags, etc.  But we are happy for you to eat and drink while games are on the table.  If accidents happen (and they do – it is an occupational hazard in a games cafe) then please let us know so we can clear up or put the game aside for repair/replacement.

Can I bring my own games for play or playtesting?

Yes, you may bring your own games at your own risk.  If you want to arrange playtesting of your own prototype game with our customers, please talk to Rob or Emily.  It may be best to set it up as a meetup event and let people know in advance.  We have had several game launches/demos/kickstarter events here as well if that is of interest, please email rob @ librarypot . uk.

Is it true you have a ball pool?

CLOSED DURING CORONAVIRUS TIMES. Ssshhh … yes, we do!!  It is for adults only (minimum age is 14 years old).  Younger kids have plenty of soft play options for themselves.  There are some rules so please don’t just jump in.  The most important one is NO SHOES.  Your shoes have been walking in god-knows-what and other ball pool users do not want that on our balls.  There is an extra charge for using the ball pool.  You will also find some hats and costumes around the place that you can borrow to get into that strawberry mood…

What’s all this Japanese influence?

Yes, there are a few Japanese dishes on the menu and, yes, we tend to play Japanese Riichi Mahjong and, yes, we do have lots of Japanese books and mangas and, yes, we do show anime in the dungeon  and yes, there is a J-Pop playlist and, yes, you will find people happily playing Go and Shogi (as well as Sekigahara, Samurai, Kamisado and other Japanese-sounding games).  But this has mainly been because our customers have requested such things and we quite like it all too.  And Rob found a good sake supplier!  Have a look at the 1.8 litre bottle of everyday sake.

Is it possible to hire The Library Pot / have our team building day there?

Yes, you can hire The Library Pot as a venue, a film location, or arrange to hold corporate events here, such as skills assessments based around board games – or team building fun.  Usually available between 10am and 4pm on weekdays, and other times by negotiation/prior arrangement.

Is there anything else that goes on at The Library Pot?

We are not running any meetup group events at the moment. Normally, you will sometimes see other events on our meetup group.  If you like the cinema we often organise trips to Cineworld Wandsworth to keep up with new releases.  Emily helps to run an Anime meetup group.  If you like more active pastimes, Emily also runs the Love Outdoors meetup group with over 4,000 members and organises tennis, and walks around the south and southeast of the country amongst other things.  Anyone want to join a 100 km 24-hour South Downs Way nature walk?

Where can I park?

During the day (Monday to Saturday inclusive), usually until 4.30pm, there are some meter bays on the Kew Road (outside The Hope and The Shaftesbury pubs) and in a couple of the side streets (Shaftesbury Road, Jocelyn Road and Selwyn Avenue) though beware some of them are for business users only.  Some of them are for a maximum of 30 minutes and some for up to 4 hours so please check carefully.  There is no parking on the Kew Road directly outside The Library Pot between 7am and 7pm.  At all.  Not even on a Sunday.

Most of the area is a Controlled Parking Zone for locals requiring a parking permit.  After 4.30pm the meter bays and Residential Parking restrictions are often lifted but in some places it is 6.30pm.  After 7.00pm the bus lane directly outside becomes a single yellow line and you may be able to park on the main drag.  On Sundays, most rules are relaxed but the bus lane, clearway and no loading restrictions are still in place.  Please always check signs where you intend to park, you are responsible for keeping on the right side of the ever-vigilant parking wardens.

Nearby Pay And Display car parks are at The Old Deer Park and Pools on the Park.