About Us

Board in the City CIC has recently opened Southampton’s first dedicated board game cafe. However, we’re a little different from other board game cafes in that we are a community interest company, which means that at least 65% of our profits go back into the community to help with the work we do with youth groups, schools, and other clubs.

Our aim is to spread the love of gaming and we pride ourselves on our friendly, inclusive atmosphere, we really focus on the ‘Community’ in CIC! We’re open six days of the week and have a cover charge of £3 from 4pm (see our opening times for our group discounts). This allows –

  • Access to our vast games library – over 400 so far! From classics to modern designer games you’re sure to find something you like. Simply grab a game and start playing, and if you’d like someone to teach you our games masters are on hand.
  • No time limit – play for as long as you like! Unlike regular cafes and restaurants we want you to stay for a long time!
  • Helping the community – as mentioned, the vast majority of our profits go back into the community so the cover charge helps with things like manpower, replenishing and expanding our games library (they get worn out when they’re played so much) and going back into the events we do. We do not charge for our work in the community.

Our food and drinks are locally sourced where possible and freshly made. We also offer a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. There are delicious homemade lemonades and specialty teas, as well as coffee, milkshakes, squash, and infused water.

As well as teaching you games, our games masters are on hand to welcome you to the cafe, recommend games for your groups, and give you a tour of the venue. Hopefully you’ll feel right at home. If you’re craving some more competitive play then see our events page for details on the tournaments we host.

We’ve seen first hand the positive effects gaming can have, so whether you’re an experienced gamer or not, come down and experience all the fun that Board in the City has to offer. Find exciting games and, more importantly, friendly, like-minded people.

Meet our Directors

Hayley Binstead

Hi, my name is Hayley. I have always loved immersing myself in other worlds, playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was a teenager, I was the youngest of the group and I became captivated by the creativity of what we were doing. The games were always funny, tense, sociable… it was so different from everything else we did back then.

Since then I have seen and used the power of gaming to empower and motivate children. When I registered Board in the City in July 2015. I decided to do it as a CIC (Community Interest Company) to combine my passion of supporting and nurturing inclusion for children. I have taken gaming into schools in a variety of forms and was never disappointed in the amazing influence to confidence, self esteem and social skills, young people benefited from engaging with gaming elements to their schooling.

Michelle Dadswell

Hi, my name is Michelle. I have known Hayley for about 7 years, I first knew her when I attended her parenting group through the secondary school that my children attended. This led to me volunteering every single week day morning at the Nurture group run by the school, which in turn led to me successfully gaining a paid position at the school. I am very grounded and practical and I see things from a different angle that others may have missed. I volunteer my time and support raising the profile of the company both financially and verbally. I am moral support and guidance for Hayley and also volunteer with Hayley in schools, delivering the ‘Community’ aspect of the business. Gaming exists in my home through the hobbies of my children, so it is safe to say I am very familiar with War Hammer for example. I am loyal to this cause and bring to the table, ideas about getting out into the community with a more diverse and useful approach.


Hannah Joyce

Hi, my name is Hannah. I have been involved with Board in the City since March 2016 when the cafe opened, and I have been a Director since May 2016. I am a volunteer with my husband Joe (called Panda in the cafe!) who is one of the Games Masters. During the day I work as a Marine Engineer, so my role in the cafe is mainly behind the scenes in the office (doing things like finances, HR and publicity) – but I also work Front of House when needed too. My level of gaming is very simple, and I am more than happy to sit and play Dobble or Top Trumps! I love being part of Board in the City and the fab community we have built here, and I am proud to be a part of the madness!