Since it first hit our screens in September 1994 (I was almost 2 years old), Friends has become one of the most popular television shows of all time. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, in May 2004 and after 236 hilarious episodes, the final one was watched by millions of people all over the world (65.9 million to be exact). We thought it was all over, but now there’s a way to relive the days of Friends…and it’s travelling all over the UK right now!…
Returning for it’s third year after last year’s sell out tour, FriendsFest is the ultimate Friends experience where you can celebrate in true superfan style as you rediscover everything that made the TV series so spectacular.
This year’s tour has been running since 7th July and has been all over the country, in places such as Cardiff and Manchester. I was lucky enough to be able to attend last weekend’s shenanigans in London’s Clissold Park thanks to Stage & The City ( A massive thanks to Anna for all of her help!). It was an amazing day, we had a lot of fun, tried some fabulous food and got some awesome photos and merchandise to help us remember it all!
We had purposely not been researching or looking at any social media regarding FriendsFest because we didn’t want to ruin any surprises for ourselves. When we arrived we were confronted by some media walls, which we obviously had to get a photo in front of. There was also a big screen with loads of the infamous Friends quotes which we had a little reminisce and giggle over. My friend later bought the poster version of this screen she loved it so much!
First up, we found ourselves outside Central Perk, the hub of gossip for the cast as they drank their coffee, and now it was our turn! As you walk in it’s a little daunting with all of the queues but they’re not really thaaaat long and don’t take long at all (I’m just really impatient). It also makes it easier to get a clearer shot as people aren’t just chilling in the background of your photo. Another great thing is that there are strategically placed Crew members all over the festival who are used to taking thousands of photos per day of all the Friends-obsessed customers. We got a chance to work behind the Central Perk counter, to sit on the infamous orange sofa and to channel our inner Phoebe by sitting on her stage and belting out our best rendition of Smelly Cat.
It was time for our tour, we gathered by the entrance and waited to be called in for our chance to explore the sets. It wasn’t long before our time came.
We walked into the first room to find that it was like a mini museum with some of the most memorable original props and costumes from the sitcom. These included Ross’ leather trousers, The holiday armadillo costume, Chandler & Monica’s wedding vows and rings, Rachel’s letter to Ross (18 pages, front & Back), Science Boy and obviously Pat the dog statue. They were all enclosed in glass cabinets to ensure that none of us peasants could get our grubby little hands on anything!
The next room was like a dream scene. Never would I have thought that I’d be standing in the middle of Joey & Chandler’s flat, or sitting in those LA-Z boy chairs – I’d always wondered how comfy they were. Very. Everywhere you looked there were little indications to certain episodes or things you may have noticed in the show. Such as Hugsy the stuffed penguin that baby Emma stole from Joey.
In the middle of the two flats there was a corridor, you know the one. Just as you’d expect in real life although none of the doors opened and the window was just a picture. Obviously. But it did let us get some photos with the illusion of being outside the Friends’ Flat doors.
Monica’s’ flat was the final stop on the tour. It looked just like it did on the TV. Just like I’d stepped back in time and was watching the show again. We got to sit on the ‘couch’, enjoy a cup of tea at her table and rummage through her fridge for trifle. As well as this we got to take a look at one of the most recognisable doors in history as we stood in front of the purple door (we found out that the golden frame was actually meant to be a mirror but one of the crew members dropped it, leading it to become a frame for Monica’s peep-hole!)
Next on the agenda was food. And Beth Doesn’t share food. There were a few stalls to choose from including Monica’s Moondance Diner, which served burgers and things. Mockolate, which offered sweet treats such as waffles and crepes. We, however opted for a My Sandwich! From the My sandwich bar, this paid homage to Ross’ Thanksgiving sandwich which was:
Turkey and Stuffing.
Featuring the Moist-making gravy soaked bread slice, cranberry sauce and salad.
It was messy! But OH so worth it! I’ll definitely have to try making one of those at home, I’m not surprised by how angry Ross was when someone stole it, I would’ve been too! We sat in the centre of the festival to eat our glorious sandwiches, here there were deck chairs and some of the Friends best bits playing on a screen. Perfect.
We had 2 more photo opportunities left so we headed to the Las Vegas Wedding Chapel to relive Ross & Rachel’s wedding. Obvs we both wanted to be the girl so It’s not exaaaactly the same but was still hilarious nonetheless.
We returned to Central Perk for a hot drink shortly before we left the festival as it was getting a little chilly. I opted for a hot chocolate with all the trimmings. It was so tasty and a great end to a fantastic day!
The tour is currently in its last few weeks and is fully booked until then which is unfortunate, but if you have tickets then you’re in for a treat! If not, you can sign up to join the mailing list on the FRIENDSFEST WEBSITE to be kept up to date on all things friends related.
Friendsfest, goodbye….until next year (hopefully)!
You can also find out more about FriendsFest and sign up to their mailing list HERE