A prime corner site on the High Street had churned through a range of restaurants and cafés without ever seeming to capture the public’s imagination, until an enterprising couple came along with an idea to play the long game, as MARCUS TYLER discovered
The Ludoquist café on the High Street, just behind the Town Hall, has swiftly become the place to go with family and friends where you don’t feel rushed to leave and where you can play as many board games as you like.
It is a family-run business owned by Nick and Carrie Smith, who in its first year have already established it as south London’s biggest and best board game café. It might be south London’s only board game café, but it is already popular throughout the week, offering quality food and drink alongside a large library of board games that is growing each month.
It costs £1 per person for a two-hour session or £3 each for the full day of gaming. With more than 700 games to choose from, you won’t be stuck with just Scrabble or Monopoly…
On my visit, I was welcomed by smiling staff and found that the place had a general relaxed feeling throughout.
Their simple food menu consists of pizza, paninis, toasted bagels, sharing platters and a sweet selection of cakes, with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals and snacks. Hot drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, juices and alcoholic drinks are all available.
The freshly cooked margarita pizza which came to the table was great. It arrived on a massive plate and it really felt like I was somewhere in Italy. The taste couldn’t have been better for me.
The chicken pesto melt panini was delicious. Not overdone on the amount of pesto and all the flavours complemented each other well. It was presented well with a simple side salad, and seemed ideal as an option for lunch.
When you see the milkshakes they have in Ludoquist, you instantly know you have to try it. My milkshake came in a big glass mug. The fresh strawberries used really make this milkshake taste great.
The atmosphere of a pleasant and relaxed café really comes out at the Ludoquist. Add in the quirky idea of the board games, makes it a really fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone. I would go back there in a heartbeat.
The pizzas cost between £8 and £9, with the paninis and bagels between £3 and £4. Cakes are priced between £2 and £3.50.
Ludoquist is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 11pm, Saturdays 10am to 11pm and Sundays 10am to 10pm.
This one-of-a-kind Croydon café can be found at 63-67 High Street, Croydon CR0 1QE. For more information see www.theludoquist.com or call 020 3011 2295.
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