'I'm glad I stuck with it' - Board game cafe finally welcomes customers

Sam Whitehouse has officially opened Slice and Dice on St Benedicts Street. 

Sam Whitehouse has officially opened Slice and Dice on St Benedicts Street. - Credit: Clarissa Place

A relaxed space for enjoying vegan food while playing board games has officially opened in Norwich after a year's delay.

Slice and Dice, on St Benedicts Street, Norwich, has seen more than 100 people through the door for games since it was able to open on May 17 - the first time venues were allowed to have people indoors.

Owner Samantha Whitehouse had been left wondering whether the venture would get off the ground due to the pandemic but is relieved it was not checkmate for her dream. 

She said: "In the months running up to it, it was exciting. I was excited to get on with it. There was a long period of contemplating wondering how long it was going to last, and thinking a lot about was it the right thing to do at the time. I'm glad I stuck with it.

"[The first day] was very tiring, emotional and overwhelming in a really positive way.

"Before we opened we have at least one booking every day until the end of June. It was nice to know at least once a day someone had booked not really knowing what the place was."

The most popular item on the menu has been the vegan chocolate cake, with Ms Whitehouse selling at least one full cake a day, sometimes having to bake a second. 

The games shelves, which have family classics and newer options, are already bursting with more than 200 different kinds.

Ms Whitehouse hoped the cafe would be seen as a relaxed space, whether customers came in for just for food or to play games too.

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She added: "We had worries that people would be apprehensive to come, but everyone is desperate to be out and doing things, it's been good timing in that sense. People are desperate to do something that isn't a screen. 

"When you are playing a game it gives you something to talk about.

"The only time they are on their phones is they are arguing over the rules." 

The cafe has enjoyed a busy bank holiday with extra space at the back of the building required to cater for diners and gamers.