We visited The Box Room, Cambridge’s first board game café

Cambridge’s first board game café has opened on Regent Street – we went along to check it out

Cambridge’s first board game café has opened on Regent Street , so we went along to check it out (aka, I dragged my friends along against their will).

The café opened on March 23rd of this year. It’s located just past Downing College, near Lockhouse Escape Games and Warhammer. 

The inspiration for the café came from Dev Vadhwana, a final-year economics student at King’s College, Cambridge.

“My family and I have enjoyed playing board games from when I was young. We would have family and friends over regularly for games nights. Then, as a teenager, I visited a board game café and loved the concept…  When I came to university, I saw that nothing like this existed despite a strong gaming community among both students and locals. It seemed like the perfect fit for Cambridge.”

The Box Room Board Game Café is a family-run business owned by Dev Vadhwana.

According to Dev, “the response so far has been overwhelming! The café has been exceptionally busy over the Easter period and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know the local community.”

Image Credits: Dev Vadhwana

So we went along to test out some games (in the name of science, of course). My personal favourite was Herd Mentality, where the aim is to write down the same answer as everyone else. It’s a great way way to test how well you know your friend’s brains – plus, you get to yell “moo!” when people take too long to play (we should normalize mooing at slow walkers on King’s Parade in my opinion).

We also attempted to play something called Patient Zero but after about 20 minutes of three NatScis trying to work out how to play it, we gave up. #womeninstem. 

I asked Dev if he had any board game recommendations – he suggested Linkee for a quick game for beginner players, or Ticket to Ride for larger groups.

There is a variety of food and drink available too, including sandwiches and alcohol (although for everyone’s sake I would not recommend playing Monopoly while intoxicated – you will lose all your friends).

The Box Room has a lovely cosy interior so it’s a great place for a catch up – it also operates as a normal café if you’re not in the mood for games.  

I can highly recommend the hot chocolates – and they were very patient with us when we ordered four slightly different versions which caused a lot of confusion. I suspect we were generally quite an annoying group – including being the last people to leave and taking an embarrassing long time to work out the door was a push not a pull –  but they still put up with us. 

Cat (of degree swap fame) enjoying said hot chocolate with her better half/college wife Maddy (feat. the back of Sonya’s head). Image Credits: Sarah Swift

Unfortunately Cat got very stressed while trying to explain Ticket to Ride, mainly because we were extremely impatient and kept shouting at her (this TikTok is a fair explanation of why we had no clue what was going on). I would like to point out she actually lost in the end though. #catsucks

Dev said that the café is “very much at the beginning of our journey – we’re looking to expand the café downstairs to hold events and meetups, and our board game library is ever-increasing.”

Overall, I would highly recommend a visit – it gave us some very wholesome fun and we will definitely be going back. 

You can find The Box Room on 58 Regent Street. It is open from 12:00-10:30pm everyday. It’s £2 per person per hour, so only cost £4 each for a two hour session. Compared to other activities in Cambridge it’s pretty good value for money, especially considering the amount of fun we had.

They have hundreds of games to choose from and you can bring your own games along too. Some of the games that you can play in the café are available to buy from them as well.

Featured Image Credits: Dev Vadhwana.

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