I Want to Play Board Games in a Castle

Hearst Castle Big Sur 2011
Hearst Castle Big Sur 2011

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?

8 thoughts on “I Want to Play Board Games in a Castle”

  1. Ohhhh… Totally should play castle/medieval themed in a castle too. Lords of Waterdeep, Castles of Mad King, etc. There are actually castles in Missouri! I’m very surprised by this. Too bad Cupples Mansion can’t be rented anymore. It’s on SLU campus. Isn’t there any building that looks like and feels like a castle on WashU campus?

  2. One place that you might like is the Rathskeller in Indianapolis. Its the Tavern under an old City hall. Its about a mile walk from the Convention center. Always makes me think of Germany and the food is great. Recommend trying their pretzels and mustard, its a strong ground mustard with spiciness close to wasabi.

    My family and friends always have dinner there post Gen Con. Here is a picture from this year:

    Here are some pictures of the outside and inside.

    • Sean: That’s exactly the type of environment I’m looking for! Also, I’m a sucker for a good pretzel. I can’t believe I haven’t eaten there at Gen Con yet, but I’ll definitely check it out next year.


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