We are about to see the opening of the new Picture House at Elwick place which will eventually have a number of restaurants alongside, no doubt national chains, but that is yet to be seen.
But it is the independents that are of real interest. The Taproom TN23 in bank street has been a great addition to the town, offering a wide range of craft beers for the real ale connoisseurs along with their sourdough pizzas which are really worth a try.
Then we have the Made Inn at the former music shop in New Rents, a micro bar on steroids. This great little bar offers a great range of ales and food, practically all of which is produced in Kent. It is a bit like a tardis, walk in to the tiny bar area, where a total stranger is bound to speak to you, but then venture into the main seating area and it has a certain rustic charm, but it doesn’t end there, you can go out on to the covered patio if you prefer a bit more space. The Made Inn now hosts regular quiz nights and live music nights.
Next weekend sees the opening of the Glass House, which will be offering local wines, beers and gins, including Chapel Down, Romney Marsh Beers, Old Dairy Ale, Biddenden Wine, Anno Gins and much, much more. The Glass House is also promising live music, comedy and burlesque nights, gin tasting and exclusive, exciting experiences.
Middle Row is to get a new wine bar if planning approval is given and the John Wallis Pub has applied to create nine guest rooms in the upper floors along with a new basement bar.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era for the town centre, coupled with the new cinema, hotels, coffee shops, and eateries, perhaps Ashford town centre will soon be able to compete with the out of town venues as an entertainment and leisure destination in its own right.