For me, summertime is all about trying new things. My newest experience was paying a visit to my local board game café.
That meant a trip to Paradice Board Game Café in the heart of Bromley. It’s a lovely little place right next to a Games Workshop store, just in case the area wasn’t nerdy enough for your appetite. When my friends first suggested going to a board game café my thoughts were of a dark, dingy dungeon filled with Doritos, sweat and greasy people. I was glad to find myself proven wrong with a very clean and open café that looked inviting.
On entering this clean-cut café, my friends and I found a open table and sat down before going to pay for ourselves. A minor £2 fee was waived as it was my first time, so I bought a drink and some nachos. The café allows you to bring in your own games and has a section where you can buy board and card games as well as a slightly redundant area devoted to selling Warhammer. But I was more interested in the games you can play for free when you pay your entrance fee.
I was astounded to see the sheer variety on display here. The café had everything from Hungry Hungry Hippos to the lengthier Star Wars: Rebellion. I find many boardgames really exciting but hard to get my money’s worth out them; it’s hard to have friends available and willing to play them with you. This is where I see the appeal of the concept of a board game café. Not only does it allow you to be in an accepting environment to play some real nerdy games with like-minded people, but it gives you access to games that are very expensive to buy outright. It gives you an opportunity to try these games out and enjoy them before investing in them; or you can simply play them once, knowing that £2 is a much cheaper price to pay.
After my visit, it was easy to understand why this place is so popular. Not just for people wanting to play games either; indeed, many people turned up just to have a cup of coffee and read in the relaxed environment. Also, I must say that the nachos were great value for money and tasted great to boot. I can see myself spending more of my time at the board game café. I have my eye on the Game of Thrones board game next, I think.