The excellently-named Loading Bar in Dalston, East London has an epic collection of board games, plus a whole basement full of arcade and console games that you can play for free. And now, it has a board game vending machine so you can take your favourite new discovery home with you.
Part of a chain of gaming bars that includes Secret Weapon in Stratford, Server in Shepherd's Bush and the again brilliantly-named C:\Side Quest on the beach in Brighton, Loading Bar is technically called Scenario and can be found at 97 Stoke Newington Road. The menu is a work of genius including such game-themed concoctions as Assassin's Mead, Deus Ex On The Beach and good old Skyrum.
The board game vending machine is the creation of Big Potato Games, who make some of our favourites including the brilliant Bucket Of Doom and the very timely Clickbait: The Game.
Loading is the perfect venue for the machine, because board games aren't especially cheap (Big Potato's popular Obama Llama will run you £22, for instance), and sometimes they're rubbish. This gives you the chance to play the game with your mates over a drink, and if you like it, make a drunken impulse purchase so the fun can continue at home.
Whether you visit for the vending machine or just to see what it's all about, we highly recommend the Dalston branch of Loading – not least because they have videogame karaoke (Marioke!) every month. Oh yes.