Alexandra has played backgammon all her life and her love of the game evolved into a career designing beautiful boards.. No surprises to find them being used at the best of tables.

While life in 2020 may seem far from fun and games, as the year comes to an end we look forward to some much needed Christmas time with family. It is an opportunity to unplug and slow down and in our screen-obsessed age, there is something to be said for the simple luxury of sitting down to play board games.

Chess themed The Queen’s Gambit is officially Netflix's most-watched limited series of all time, watched by 62 million households since its release on 23 October. Prompting an increase in online sales of the game, it is one of many traditional favourites to challenge a loved one to this festive season.

Alexandra Llewellyn has played backgammon all her life and her love of the game evolved into a career designing beautiful boards.

As a child, she learnt to play backgammon in the backstreets of Cairo with her step-grandfather and his friends. She felt the game was a wonderful common language. A way to transcend age difference and origins.

After university she started making backgammon boards, the first was a present for a friend’s family. Then she moved to Spain and worked with a centre for adults with learning disabilities, employing them to make the boxes, after which she would hand-paint the interiors. Taking them all to London for a two-night sale – all 30 sold.

Llewellyn launched her label in 2010. The backgammon boards were quickly bought by Harrods, and she began taking custom commissions.

Today, Llewellyn and her team of designers create bespoke backgammon boards and custom-made game tables for homes in far-flung places around the world. Her clients are looking for the unique and exceptional, From prestigious luxury brands to well-known figures and royalty. She has also been commissioned to produce themed collections by global brands such as American Vogue, the Oetker Collection, and Sony Music.

From idea to realisation, each piece is a work of art and labour of love, requiring months of hard work to ensure the highest possible quality. The manufacturing process is extensive. To achieve a high level of excellence, Alexandra has built a network over the years comprising some of London’s finest craftsmen in various disciplines.

To create their backgammon boards, poker sets, games tables, card boxes and sets, the team work with about 20 different workshops throughout the UK, maintaining traditional ideals of craftsmanship in an era of mass production.

Each expert craftsmen specialises in different materials and methods. Alexandra’s signature backgammon board designs feature base woods such as London Oak, European Olive, Macassar Ebony, and Ziricote and are complemented by weighted wrapped leather or weighted Aluminium pieces, calf leather shakers, calf leather doubling dice and precision laser cut casino quality dice. Customization offers pieces featuring polished metals that are topped with precious stones such as Lapis Blue, Turquoise, Carnelian Red, White Jasper, Mother of Pearl, Malachite, Black Marble, Black Veined Marble or Tiger Eye.

Bringing families together in homes across the globe, these are treasured heirlooms of the future.

By Anna Bance
December 2020

Anna Bance

Anna is the co-founder of Girls Meets Dress and a contributing editor to the GWG. She expertly guides us round the most covetable online fashion.