Yesterday was my 23rd birthday and I spent it in the best way possible- at Friendsfest with my boyfriend Harry. Friendfest is a 12 week tour of the UK dedicated to the TV show Friends. It recreates the sets, has original props and interactive experiences throughout the day. This is the first year it has come to Manchester so at the beginning of the year, myself and Harry got tickets for my birthday. And it was AMAZING!!

We arrived at Heaton Park for 12 and began the day with a set tour and looking at original props. The tour began with a Friends museum full of glass cases with original props such as Phoebe’s guitar, Ross’s leather pants and the holiday armadillo. We also saw ‘Pat the dog’ and we were told it was insured for thousands of dollars! My favourite bit of this section was to see Rachel’s letter to Ross- 18 pages (front and back). As a huge friends fan I was bursting with excitement at seeing all of these props and spending this moment with my favourite person. As we carried on we saw Joey and Chandler’s apartment and got in the lazy boys and the canoe. I even got a cuddle with Hugsy!! We moved on to Monica’s apartment and got a photo next to the iconic purple door. All of the staff throughout were brilliant and offered to take pictures of all the excited guests. Getting to see the hallway between Monica and Joey’s was a dream come true for me and all throughout the different sets I could not stop smiling.

After the set tour we decided to have some food but what to choose?  Located around the area were plenty of Friends themed food stands, named after some of the most memorable moments. We ate so much throughout the day and I chose to have ‘My Sandwich’ – named after one of my favourite scenes ever. Later on in the day I went to the ‘Mokolate’ stand and got some mokolate and strawberry waffles. 

We decided to take a trip to central perk and was delighted when a member of the team grabbed a guitar and started singing some of Phoebe’s classics. I was pleasantly surprised when everyone started singing along- just made the moment even more special. After seeing everybody else with a central perk drink we got two hot chocolates with cream and a flake- and decided to keep the central perk holder as a souvenir.

Luckily, the weather was beautiful so we queued up outside to go to prom as Rachel and Ross. Later getting married in the Vegas Wedding Chapel. Looking around, everybody was so happy and enjoying themselves- a really lovely atmosphere.

The day was topped off when we were able to recreate the opening scenes with the famous couch and umbrellas. Every member of staff on site was more than happy to help you out, taking lots of photographs and being a good sport.

Deciding we had gotten all the photographs that we wanted we sat down in a deck chair and watched some of the best friends clips with the sun blasting down. Members of staff were on stage teaching people ‘the routine’ and asking Friends trivia questions.

The day was perfect! Literally cannot think of a better way to spend my birthday. Usually I work on my birthday so this was a nice change and was definitely the best birthday I have ever had! I spent the day being showered in gifts, in the sunshine and recreating my favourite moments. If you are a friends fanatic like me, I would definitely recommend booking for next year! Now onto enjoying the rest of my birthday month…