Friday, 4 November 2016

The Dice Cup - A Review

Earlier this year I did a review of Warhammer World as a location for parents to visit. Warhammer World is a pretty unique place, being possibly the only national events/exhibition/visitor's centre for a wargames company anywhere in the world. However, there are other places that us Dads, and mums, can visit to take our kids and play with our toys, and the Dice Cup in Nottingham is one such place.

Image result for the dice cup, nottingham

I'm not sure when it started, but I have suddenly realised we have two or tree board game cafes in Nottingham now, and I haven't managed to visit one. I was meeting up with an old school friend last night so we decided to check it out.

The place itself is located in the city centre, so nice and easy to get to, in what as once an art supply shop. The floor plan is huge, lots of space. It's fully buggy friendly with level access from the main entrance and a ramp joining the two internal levels. The tables aren't all crammed together so weaving a buggy between them is no hard task.

Board Games
There is a lot of choice! Board games for all ages and skill levels from what I could see. My friend isn't such a huge board game player so I selected Risk for us to play as it's pretty simple (especially compared to the games everyone else seemed to be playing).

There's some sort of rating system for the skill level of the board games from what I can see. I would have asked more of the friendly staff but 30 seconds beforehand we'd managed to make a pretty stunning entrance by trying to come in through the fire exit, setting off the fire alarm. The fully-glazed shop front meant that everyone in there turned to stare at us, so I decided to act like a pro and keep my mouth shut...

Anyway, lots of choice of games to play (they say 500+ on their website) and a similar number of new games to buy also.

This is a 'board games café' so it would be amiss to not mention the food and drink. Currently there is little in the way of hot food available due to their kitchen being built, but the cakes looked tasty. It might be worth another visit once the kitchen is up and running.

I was a bit disappointed by the selection of drinks, in that way that I can be, living in a country where I don't have to walk 16 miles just to fetch fresh water... Principally there was no Chai tea and they only had soya milk. What is the world coming too! However the Assam was nice and came in a chintzy tea pot, and the quantity was generous, which is exactly what you want from a café in my opinion. Oh, and the prices are very reasonable for a café situated in the city centre.

From a parent's point of view, the level access and ramps make getting in and around easy, however, there was no real baby changing facilities. They have tried, there was a changing mat in the very spacious toilet, but it was on the floor and there was only one toilet. Plus the toilets really aren't sound-proof. But they were clean and as I say they were spacious, which is what you need as a parent, I have found.

There were a couple of babies there so it seems like people are happy to take their children (maybe that explains the dirty looks we got after setting the fire alarm off...).

The staff were friendly, there's plenty of space, it's clean and there are games for all ages, so as a potential venue to take children this is a good one. Of course, as usual, use your judgement. I'm not sure my three-year old is going to be that interested in actually playing any games, more removing the boxes from the shelves, opening them, rearranging them, etc. But maybe when he's 5 and has more concentration, it will be more suitable.

I'll certainly be back there. Even my friend, who isn't that in to games, enjoyed the pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and has suggested we meet up there again.

My question is, how common are these board game cafes now? There's a couple in Nottingham, and a number of pubs are happy to host games nights. Is that the case where you are?

Dave – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads

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