Friends will always be the funny and love-able, easy-watching tv show that can never be replaced. Ten seasons, 256 episodes of funny moments, sticky situations, relationships, love, friendship, and story lines many could relate to, made it a huge hit with an incredible fan base.
So big in fact, that Friendsfest has now sold out two years in a row! With Kim unable to go due to a wedding planned for the same weekend this year, I was lucky enough to get the chance to buy her tickets…and boy was it worth it.
Friendsfest sees the set, including Joey and Chandlers flat, the iconic hallway, and Rachel and Monica’s place tour the UK. Along with this, there’s Central Perk, the famous yellow taxi, two other memorable scenes to be acted out for photographs – the Vegas chapel and school of 1988 – and the well-known orange Sofa, fountain and umbrellas to recreate the opening credit.
There’s also a few food stands, including Monica’s Moondance Diner and My Sandwich!, serving up burgers, sandwiches, waffles and pancakes including a couple of classics from the show. In between photo opportunities, touring the set and tucking into food, there was a stage featuring a big screen showcasing the best moments from all ten seasons, and at a couple times throughout our 3 hour visit the stage was also occupied by acts and a host who quizzed the viewers.
Alex, secretly a bigger fan than even I am, sat there reciting the lines for each scene as it came on the big screen, and tried re-enacting famous scenes whenever possible.
We made the most of all the photo opportunities except the ‘Class of 1988’, which we weren’t overly fussed about, with me not wanting to make my hair frizzy with a wig, and as the queue was quite long due to changing time for costumes.
It was amazing being inside Central Perk, behind Gunther’s counter and perching on Phoebe’s stool where she played her guitar.
Popping on some extra costumes and accessories and getting a snap at the scene for the chapel in Vegas was fun too!
But the one I enjoyed the most was recreating the opening credit on the famous orange sofa, twirling an umbrella!
To make the most of the day, we did most of this before our mid-afternoon set tour. We even stopped for some food to refuel amidst all the excitement.
Alex tried Ross’ signature ‘My Sandwich’, with turkey, stuffing, cranberry and gravy soaked bread. The gravy soaked slice, making the sandwich two tiered, added moisture and extra flavour, making the sandwich pretty tasty! We might have to do this at home over Christmas!
I ordered a Mokolate and strawberry waffle, sharing it with Alex. The sweet Belgian waffle, drizzled in melted Mokolate (Nutella) and topped with fresh strawberries, was more indulgent than my usual afternoon snack, but very tasty.
Set tours ran every 10 minutes, with about 20 people or so joining each one. It starts with a tour of some iconic memorabilia from the shows including Doctor Drake Ramoray’s costume, the dog statue, the Gellar cup and Joey’s VD advert, before heading onto the actual set. Even the leather trousers David Schwimmer actually wore are there!
The tour then starts in Joey and Chandler’s flat. The way it’s done is so fun – the TV is showing re-runs, there was a pizza box in the fridge, and the canoe was even there for photo opportunities. Alex lounged in one of the lazy boys, got inquisitive in the kitchen, and I chilled next to Hugsy the penguin, and got my competitive stance on for snaps by the football table.
You get time afterwards, when the host asks everyone to clear the space so you can get some clear apartment shots too.
The tour then moves onto the hallway everyone recognises, before heading into Rachel and Monica’s. My dream flat ever since I was younger – it always seemed the coolest place to live!
Smaller than I imagined, the colourful apartment space brought back so many funny memories from the show.
We left the set feeling a little exhilarated. It was amazing to get the chance to see the set.
Having pretty much exhausted the site after two and a half hours we headed off, both considering re-watching the shows.
At £26 a ticket, which includes the set tour, photo moments and opportunity to recreate the opening credit, I think it’s totally worth it and would definitely recommend for any Friends fans! It woukd make an awesome gift, and I’ve already suggested a few of my friends keep an eye out for next year’s release. We had such an awesome time that we definitely won’t be forgetting!
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