How does it work?

A games café is about fun.  You can play tabletop board games & get food and drink.  There is a games charge which allows you to stay and play games for a session. At The Library Pot the usual games charge is £6.50 per person per session and a minimum spend of £15 each. A session can last for an afternoon or an evening. If you want to come on your own and join others, please use out meetup group. Join at meetup.com/gamescafe

What is a session?

Opening hours are divided into sessions.  Your games 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. The earlier in a session you arrive, the more time you have. If you want to stay beyond the afternoon session, you will have to book into the evening session which will incur another games charge and minimum spend.

What times are the sessions?

Monday = usually closed for special meetup events
Tuesday = usually 6pm to 10pm but closed for the meantime
Wednesday = usually 6pm to 10pm but closed for special meetup events
Thursday = 7.00pm to 11.00pm
Friday afternoon = Noon to 5.00pm
Friday evening = 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Saturday afternoon =  Noon to 5.00pm
Saturday evening =  6.00pm to 11.00pm
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 need to cancel?

If you book a table and you cannot make it, please cancel as soon as you know. There is a cancellation link on your booking confirmation. If you want to change your arrival time, let us know you will be running more than 20 minutes late, or change the number of people in your booking, please email (emily@librarypot.uk) or text us (07964 674 355), ie no need to cancel and re-book.

If you don’t turn up for your reservation we reserve the right to charge you a “no show” fee equivalent to the games charge plus the minimum spend, ie £21.50 per person.

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, eg you just come for food and drink.

Can I bring a group / have a party?

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.  Some menu items may not be available for groups, eg chips. Please contact emily @ librarypot . uk for details.

Can I come on my own?

We have a couple of thriving meetup groups at the moment. You can see all sorts of activities, such as tennis and cinema nights, as well as board game events. 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. At the moment we run Riichi Mahjong meetups on Thursday evenings & Sunday afternoons. There is a league for the mahjong players who complete a full game at The Library Pot. Emily occasionally also hosts a “Learn a Boardgame with Emily” – check meetup to see if one is scheduled.

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. Please don’t bring babies or toddlers, the minimum age of 8 years old is because we are a predominately adult and older child space. We serve alcohol & many of our customers prefer if there are no small people so they do not have to watch their language!

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; you’ll be able to see more about him in next door’s Blue Anchor Alley.  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. A discretionary gratuity or tip of 10% for table service is automatically added to your bill. We have a range of tasty cakes and tarts, but if you want to bring your own birthday cake, there is a £25 fee.

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 book there is a menu/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. For some it is better to do this before you turn up.

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 have stemless wine glasses (low centre of gravity you know), provide lots of coasters to put your drinks & glasses on, provide tap water in a common urn, 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. Entrance fees and minimum spends still apply.

Is it true you have a ball pool?

ONE table is permitted to use the ball pool at a time. So 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 the table using the ball pool, £20.  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?

Emily is running some outdoor 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.  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?

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, we are happy with a well-behaved dog joining a party, preferably smaller & willing to sit under the table.  Preferably just one. As some customers may be allergic to dog hairs, please would you keep your dog off the bench seats. And if you can avoid Saturday afternoons that would be great. When booking, please mention in the comments that you are bringing a dog as it can influence which table we allocate.

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 where this nearly always space and you can stay for hours, and Pools on the Park.