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Up until 25th January 2020 I had only ever seen Oxford on TV, mainly in the Morse series. I had always wanted to visit it and said one day I would. I hadn't realised that apart from fleeting glimpses of the beautiful buildings, mainly of the University, through the car windows, my first visit would be to a games cafe, the THIRSTY MEEPLES at 99 Gloucester Green OX1 2DF. 

Contact: hello@thirstymeeples.co.uk    Website:  www.thirstymeeples.co.uk   Phone: 01865 244247   Opens: Mon-Fri: 11am  Sat & Sun: 9.00am till late. 
Trip Advisor Page: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186361-d15081996-Reviews-Thirsty_Meeples-Oxford_Oxfordshire_England.html

There is also a Thirsty Meeples Games Cafes in Bath and my understanding is that this is an expanding franchise where in each there are many games you can take to your table and play. I have only been to the Oxford Games Cafe and that was a Saturday and it was heaving with players and purchasers. If all Thirsty Meeples are the same at weekends then booking your table in advance is a must. In fact whatever day you wish to go it is probably better to have a table booked to be sure of being able to play.

The food and drinks are at reasonable prices and it's good to be able to play games in an environment surrounded by hundreds of games you can choose to play. It is a great place to learn new games or try out games you have heard or read about and want to know whether they are worth buying for your collection; you can usually purchase the sealed version of the game you have just played from stock - you wouldn't want to buy the actual game you played because it is unlikley that it has been looked after in the same manner you would treat your own games. We played two games in our allotted time and in both the rules book were a collection of dog-eared, ragged, torn pages. Not the Cafe's fault obviously, just wear & tear and people not caring about games that aren't theirs. Speaking of rules, the staff at the Cafe are very knowledgeable about the games and will suggest good games to play if you give them an idea of the type of game you like and will also sit with you for a while to help you through the set up and until you are au fait with the rules enough to enjoy to play.

If you book a table it will cost you £7.50 per person for 3 hours. If you order something to eat or drink (or both) that price drops to £6.00 per adult and £5.00 per child. I am pretty sure these are standard prices for whichever Cafe you visit.

  
Players of all ages are welcome to enjoy games at Thirsty Meeples, and although the very mini peeps (see below) may not be able to stay awake for the duration, they are still allowed in, so 'can't go because of the kids' isn't an easy opt out.

One other thing of note is that the mirror in the Restroom is surrounded by Carcassonne Game Tiles

In Oxford, on some days, there is a fairly large, old style public market, literally just outside of the Thirsty Meeples cafe. This is worth a browse when you have completed your allotted games-playing time.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015