The One With The Friends Fest

Yes, that's right! It's the one with the Friends Fest review!

(this post is pretty photo heavy, it might take a bit to load FYI)

If you have read any of my posts before (and maaan I hope you have, if you haven't, get on it yeah?) you will know that they are often embedded with Friends quotes or some sort of Friends humour. It's because I love it. It's like my comfort blanket.

When I've had a bad day, I'll watch Friends. If I'm feeling particularly anxious, I'll watch Friends. It's like being with actual friends when I'm alone. So when I found out that tickets to Friends Fest had sold out because I'm an idiot, I was beyond gutted. Roll around to my birthday, and after receiving a bit of birthday money I knew if I didn't actually do something with it, it would end up going on rent or food, so I got on the old Twitter and found myself two tickets to Friends Fest on the 30th September.

I was, well, lucky in a way because the 30th falls on a Friday which means I would normally be at work. However, the 30th is the Friday on my week of nights, which meant I wasn't working in the day, yay. This did mean though that when I left my flat on Thursday evening to get to work, I wouldn't be returning until Saturday, boo.

Anyway, digressing. I picked up my cousin from Victoria Coach Station at 11am, excited but blooming tired. Our time slot at Monica's Apartment was 1:50, which meant we were slightly pushed for time, but coming from the Isle of Wight ain't easy is it. We got the train and taxi and before we knew it were pulling into Blenheim Palace, which is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, it was just so mind boggling.

After having our tickets scanned we entered the site, which was kind of like a mini festival. There were little areas dotted around the place, which on closer inspection you discover are the various sets of Friends. There are also the dining vans dotted around, with Mockolate selling hot drinks and the Monicas Moondance Diner selling food.

We miraculously had a bit of time before our slot so we headed to the first place we saw, which turned out the be Central Perk. There was a small queue to get in, but this was mainly because everyone wanted their picture taken by the famous window. There were plenty of staff waiting around the set to take your photos at important moments which was really great. Once in the cafe it was just how you could imagine it, there was someone playing guitar on the stage, plenty of places to sit and drink your coffee and of course that famous reserved sofa. I got a couple of pictures around and practicing my Gunther out behind the counter before we moved on to our tour.

It was slightly difficult to find out where we were supposed to be going for the Monicas Apartment tour, but we saw the longest queue and figured it was probably around there. It turns out that the queue was actually to take part in the opening sequence, having your picture taken with the sofa and umbrellas and it was really fun to watch the different ways everyone else posed together, so the queue actually moved pretty quickly.

Straight after that you go through a walkthrough and find yourself in Monica and Rachels apartment. It was incredible. It felt like we were sneaking around and Monica and the gang would walk in at any moment. Everything was just how I had imagined it and it was sooooo perfect. Sitting on the windowsill where Rachel rang the radio station, the coach where Ross taught Chandler how to hug and roll and of course the messy closet where Richard may be hiding. It was all so incredible and of course got so many pictures in there.

After this we went through to Joey and Chandlers apartment with the matching recliners (DRAW!), the cabinet carved by Joey which he got stuck in and it wouldn't be complete without the Foosball table (I never understand why Americans call it foosball? It's football?) which I won against my cousin, no bragging though. After that we both had a pose in the canoe.

There were a couple of other smaller set design pieces, like Phoebe's taxi, the club where Dick Clarkes Rocking New Year was recorded... HAPPY NO YEAR... and Monicas diner. Once or twice in my visit the staff of the Moondance Diner got up and danced to YMCA, just like Monica had to! After visiting all the sets we sat on some deckchairs and watched the entertainment on the stage, which ranged from people taking part in Friends quizzes to watching through some of the best parts of the series.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have time to see everything before I made my way back down for work, but fortunately this wasn't the case. Yeah, it was quite small but I think they had all the important set pieces and the atmosphere was just so fantastic. I would hope that Comedy Central would do another one of these and would definitely recommend it to every single Friends Fest! I can now settle down to re-watch the whole series and catching up on my sleep...