Five years ago, I traveled to Ireland primarily to live in a castle for a few days. While my hotel room in the Clontarf Castle Hotel felt like any other nice hotel room, I spent some spare time in the heart of the castle, which was awesome.
Recently I was invited to a small game convention on the outskirts of St. Louis. The location was picked specifically for the ambiance. I love playing games pretty much anywhere, but a great gaming environment definitely adds to the experience.
So as I thought about that convention, I was overwhelmed with a desire to play board games in a castle. I spent the next 30 minutes looking through lists of castles in Missouri and Illinois, none of which provided event spaces.
It occurred to me that I may be looking for the wrong thing. The exterior of the building–the primary identity of castles–isn’t all that important. It’s the inside that matters. It should feel old–dark wood paneling, stone outcroppings, iron-wrought chandeliers. There should be casks of ale and tapestries hanging from the walls.
But all of those things can exist in buildings that aren’t castles. It’s possible I’m searching for the wrong thing. What do you think? Where would you look for that type of atmosphere?