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Slice + Dice: Board games and cake

Guest post by Samantha Whitehouse, Founder, Slice + Dice

Board games and cake. Are there many better combinations on a lazy day off? Slice + Dice is a pop-up board game café that invites you to indulge on both counts. A plant-based menu accompanying a library of new and old board games available to play for just £1 per person. Check it out this Sunday 12 May at Studio 20, Norwich.

Where did the idea come from?

Making friends as a grown-up is hard.

Once you’re out of the academic world where you’re crammed into rooms with the same people every day, it’s not easy to find your people.

I’m speaking from experience on this; I grew up in Norfolk and moved to London for University and ended up staying there for 9 years before heading home. Now I’m an adult (or at least pretending to be), most of my friends who are still in Norfolk are at very different stages in their lives (they’re raising children, I sleep with a cat next to my head). I work with some wonderful people but we’re only a small company and the others all have their own lives outside of work so don’t want to go for an impromptu dinner on a Monday night, or for me to turn up unannounced with a bottle of wine in one hand and a box set in the other on a Wednesday evening. (What’s the modern equivalent of a box set? My Netflix log in?)

So how else do you make friends as an adult? I’m genuinely asking!

In a world where everything from shopping to dating is becoming increasingly digitalised, choosing human interaction is becoming less popular despite the obvious benefits.

I don’t think anybody questions the positive impact spending time interacting with other humans has on our mental health but we don’t seem to be making as much time for it.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this and was reminded of the board game cafés I visited in London. I love regular cafés, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found myself sat across from a friend who is distracted by their phone and as much as I might not like admitting it, I’ve been that person too. That’s where the board games come in.

If you’re sat around a table with a group of people and you’re all focused on the same activity, the possibility of getting distracted is lower and you might find you actually enjoy talking to real humans as much as I do!

I’d describe myself as a confident person, but approaching new people in public is incredibly daunting to me. I’m a sociable person who loves to be around people and have learned from my own struggles with mental health how important it is to not fall into the habit of spending all my free time alone, despite how easy that is to do.

I wanted to create a space that helps to combat this. It’s so much easier to chat to people when we are engaged in an activity together and what better activities are there than uncovering a murder, building a city in the French countryside, bankrupting your friends or any of the endless possibilities that playing board games creates?

This led me to create Slice + Dice. A place to meet with friends, make new ones, and eat too much cake. My favourite way to spend a free day!

It was important to me that this space reflected my ethics in certain areas, veganism (and generally worrying about the planet) being high on that list. Everything on offer at Slice + Dice will be vegan (time to perfect a vegan version of that Victoria Sponge please, Mum) and all cups and food containers etc. will be biodegradable.

Whilst I hope that board game enthusiasts enjoy Slice + Dice, I want this to be a space for everyone. Whether you turn up alone looking for some company and need somebody to explain Scrabble to you or you’re bringing your mates for an intense game of Catan, I can’t wait to meet you.

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