I hold my hands up, I am a bit of a Friends geek. Therefore after trying and failing to get into to “Friends Fest” which took place in London last year, I couldn’t miss this opportunity on the bigger and better touring version, over at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.
Here’s how the day went…
After a small adventure, and a tasty Costa breakfast to start our day, we arrived for when the doors opened, and as it was an outdoors event the weather couldn’t have been better for the day as the sun was bright and beaming the whole day. (Bonus points to you if you catch that reference!)
We wandered round the site, getting idea of what was there; it was actually much smaller than I anticipated though, but still a nice size with plenty to see and do.
With that, there was no time for hesitation as we made our way into the queue for “Central Perk” which was a replica of the famous fictional cafe! There were plenty of photo opportunities here; you start off with the famous logo on the exterior of the cafe, then you get to put on an apron and play the role of Rachel and Gunther, obviously you squeal with excitement as you take place on the orange sofa, and you end up channeling your inner Phoebe with a chance to belt out some ‘Smelly Cat’ on her stage set-up. A great start to the day, and SO MUCH FUN!
Next on the agenda was “The Chick & The Duck Bar” / “Joey & Chandler’s Apartment”. We skipped the Bar bit, as I personally don’t drink and they were horribly overpriced anyway (£7.50 for a tiny cocktail, really?) – however they had some fun themed cocktails and there was great decor around the bar; it would be a nice treat if that was your thing! As for Joey & Chandler’s; you get to see that wonderfully strange unit they build, along with their interesting decor, take seat in the loungers, step into the canoe and play a game at the beloved Fuseball Table. Again, there were some fun photo opportunities here and plenty of little details.
Then you get the lovely food and drink stands – the most popular and fun one being “Monica’s Moondance Diner”. You remember the time she worked in that awful diner, right? There were some brilliant actors giving you a few laughs too! Other stands had themes of “Mockolate” (on crepes, waffles and in milkshakes), “New York Ice Cream” and more.
In the centre of all this is a big stage, with rows of deck chairs and tables facing it – which give the perfect space to chill out and watch clips of the best Friends moments, a message from Maggie Wheeler (aka THEE one and only Janice) and it also gave some entertainment as fans could go up and get involved with various games and quizzes. Plenty of time could be spent here just simply soaking up your love for the show and enjoying the atmosphere – especially on such a lovely day.
Then you delve into the world of the “Silent Disco”, brought to you by MTV Trax – which is themed around “The One With The Routine” episode, so you can revel in the spirit of the New Year dance competition and learn some of Monica and Ross’ moves. This was such a good laugh!
You also have a lovely shop, filled with plenty of Friends merchandise; including clothing, mugs, notebooks, posters, keyrings and more. I hadn’t intended to spend, but I couldn’t quite resist the temptation, so ended up purchasing a lovely grey coloured “Central Perk” hoodie, so now I’m just looking forward to keeping cosy in this years autumn/winter months while subtly showing off my love for the show!
There’s “Ross and Rachel’s Vegas Wedding Chapel” where you have a replica stand of that famous Vegas chapel, and get to dress up in your best wedding dress and put yourself in that scene!
(Sadly we were slightly too embarrassed to face this though…).
Finally, last but not least – you book in advance a time slot for a session at “Monica’s Apartment”. You start off on the orange sofa, with coloured umbrellas – putting yourself in the title sequence. Then into Monica’s apartment; where you sit at the sofas, the window space, the kitchen and that famous door. So many fun photos to be taken, and plenty of details in place.
Overall, it was a really fun day, that any fellow Friends devotees will adore! It gives you so many fun photo opportunities with really detailed replicas, great laughs and you just get to mill around with like-minded people who love the show as much as you do.
However my only grievance is the cost; for what you get I think the general ticket price and food/drink prices could all come down a notch. I knew to expect that, but it just didn’t need to cost that much in my opinion.
Despite that, I’m glad this show is getting celebrated, as I think it will remain a timeless hit among the generations simply because it’s fun, funny and is something we can all relate to in some way. For I suspect everyone in attendance would probably agree that it’s a show that brings nothing more than a bit of happiness. Where’s the harm in that? A well worthy day out for any fans.
Here’s a few snaps from the day for a deeper insight…
For more information visit friendsfest.co.uk.
Also, don’t forget to leave a comment! Have you been; did you enjoy it? Are you planning to go; are you excited? Or has Friends completely bypassed you and you don’t get the fuss? Always feel free to let me know your thoughts…
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥