Anyone who knows me will know that I am a total Friends addict. So when I saw that there was such thing as Friends Fest and it was coming to OXFORD I could not pass up the opportunity to go. No way. So I invited the lovely Heather of heatherlerrynphotography.com to accompany me as I knew she was as obsessed as I am!
For about 6 months I was counting down the days until the day I could walk around the set of my absolute favourite TV show. And finally the day came. After watching trailer videos I couldn’t wait.
The event was being held in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace and the weather actually held up for us with the sun even making an appearance. We entered the gates to the theme song, which was exciting for us but must have been driving the staff crazy!
The first thing we had to do was find some food. We went straight to the ‘My Sandwich’ bar, serving Ross’ famous turkey and gravy sandwich from the series as well as mac and cheese, Joey’s favourite and of course nachos!
We then had to go and visit the set of Central Perk, the go to coffee shop for the Friends. It was a very surreal experience after having watched the show so much to now being inside the set. The famous orange sofa featured of course as well as so many other little details that made it feel so real. A singer picked up the guitar in the corner of the coffee shop and began playing the famous songs written and sung by Phoebe which made everyone laugh and sing along.
We queued for our tour of the set of the two Friends apartments. We were shown some outfits worn by the actors during some of the episodes as well as other props actually used during filming, such as the big white dog from Joey’s apartment and the guitar actually played by phoebe. Next, we were led into the working set of Joey and Chandler’s apartment. This was again very surreal after having being glued to the show for so long and how actually standing in the apartment. Everything was there, the reclining chairs, the foosball table and the hockey stick across the cupboard unit.
We took a look at the famous hallway next door with the green doors leading to each apartment. And the of course came Monica and Rachel’s apartment. The sofa was there, the dining table and all of the rest of the details that made up one of the bases of the Friends series including the picture frame around the spy hole on the door. To me, the set felt a lot smaller when we were standing in it than it looks on the screen!
Outside the sets, a big screen showing best bits of the Friends series had been set up with deckchairs and seats facing it. Every now and again, a presenter would come on stage and ask quiz questions based on the series and teach a group of people how to dance the ‘Routine’ famously performed by Ross and Monica at News Years.
It was so much fun to be surrounded by everything to do with Friends and very surreal but in such a good way. Of course at the end of our visit I had to buy some Friends merchandise, so I went away with a very cosy Central Perk hoodie that I will be wearing all of the time and a Central Perk mug!
I definitely recommend going to Friends Fest if you are as obsessed with the series as we are if the same event happens again next year! Tickets can be bought for lots of different locations but make sure you buy them well in advance as they sell out very fast!
Lots of love,