Our Loveashford insider gives us the low-down on her Mecca Ashford experience ...

A friend once said to me, “when I’m old I’m going to go to bingo all the time! I can get cheap food, entertainment, company and I can sit in the warm for a few hours!”

Back then I was twenty-something and playing my first ever game of bingo. Now, 10 years on I’m still enjoying the occasional flutter at the bingo hall, and I expect I will still be enjoying it when I am old too!

Ashford Mecca is located in the Lower High Street and unlike many other bingo halls in the area, which are purpose built, the building was formerly the town cinema. It has an endearing style, yes a little rough around the edges these days, but that just adds to its charm.

If you have never been inside the old cinema building it is worth visiting. It is a vast eclectic mix of psychedelic printed carpets, salmon red walls and neon lighting, all set against a back drop of art-deco styling … unique and intriguing to say the least.

So, one recent Thursday evening, myself and three other bingo-ing colleagues, dabbers in hand, headed out for a night of ‘eyes down’ fun.

The cost of bingo for this night, £9, (although it is worth checking their website as prizes change depending on which sessions of the week you’re attending).

The bingo hall was a little quiet this night but the game was still fast and furious! For new comers it can be quite something to get used to, and although it was quiet you still have the opportunity to win big prizes as the club links up with other Mecca Clubs in the country.

Two of us ate dinner, the menu is standard fair chain-food pub grub. But, it is cheap and cheerful and is produced in a kitchen with a Scores on the Doors rating of 5.

I found my toasted sarnie and chips rather tasty and there were no complaints regarding the scampi and chips either! The service enables your food to be delivered whilst you are playing, so there is no chance of missing a number. However, the bingo sessions run between 7pm and 9pm, so the opportunity is definitely there to enjoy a meal out in the Town Centre either before or after you’ve played too.

You never know, you may even have a winning envelope of cash to buy your dinner with at the end of the night!

The bar is well stocked, but the service can be a little slow. It is worth noting to new comers the bar is closed whilst the numbers are being called so you will need to purchase your favourite brew, alcoholic or a nice cuppa, before the games start or at the interval.

The place itself is clean and well kept, the toilets are plentiful due to its former use as a cinema and should you wish to broaden your horizon from playing bingo you could dabble on a slot machine or two!

So did any of us win, no. Maybe I will have more luck next time. But, I can safely say that Mecca Ashford really does have something to offer everyone.

Maybe it’s the gambling that gets my heart racing and the thought of winning the National prize of £100,000! Sure, that is part of it, but mainly it’s the experience.

I am rather fond of Mecca Ashford and I’d recommend giving it a go!

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