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Episode 2. Alexandra Llewellyn: It's Never Just a Game

The Remarkable Podcast

Alexandra Llewellyn
“We didn't share the same language, but we just played backgammon and it became a language. And we laughed”

From the backstreets of Cairo to the power lists of British luxury, Alexandra Llewellyn has taken what appears to be an extremely niche idea – exquisitely handcrafted bespoke backgammon boards – and become living proof that a dream followed can yield remarkable results. Today, her signature designs – instantly recognisable for their craft as well as their distinctive style – have homes across the globe.

A board might feature astrological signs, palm trees, family portraits or – as she tells us – the odd hippopotamus, but each tells a rich and very personal story. Translating her clients’ worlds and wishes into characterful objects, Alexandra’s bespoke games are commissioned by prestigious luxury brands as well as internationally well-known figures and royalty.

In this interview with The Last Drop’s Rebecca Jago, she tells us about why what seems to be a simple game in fact can represent so much more. Never has it been more important to find ways to bring people together, and Alexandra’s beautiful boardgames are not just an example of how this can happen – people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures find themselves united over her boards – but a celebration of the magic in play.

Using materials of peerless quality, always with sustainable origins and often in unusual combinations; her award-winning designs are canvases for marquetry, delicate hand-painting and bewitching print. Every board passes through no fewer than nine craft workshops on its journey from idea to realisation, and the results are testament to a rare unison of diverse disciplines to create singularly refined objects and heirlooms of the future.

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