Friends Festive is the ultimate London Christmas event this December

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  • After ten years of being there for us, Friends left our screens in 2004 – leaving a Central Perk shaped hole in our hearts – and we’re still not over it.

    Yes, it may have been 15 years since Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe and Joey made their last appearances but it still feels like it was just yesterday.

    We’re still deeply invested in Rachel and Ross’ tumultuous relationship, we’ve never given up hope on Parker (Alec Baldwin) coming back into our lives, and we can’t believe how quickly the Friends children have grown up. Are we the only ones confused by our feelings for Ben now that he’s grown up and starring in Riverdale?

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    But it’s not Cole Sprouse or the Friends reunion that made news this winter. Instead, it’s Friends Festive – an immersive Friends experience that has come to East London this Christmas.

    Yes, this is not a drill. The Truman Brewery is playing home to Friends Festive this December, presented by Comedy Central and Luna Cinema, marking 25 years since the show came to our screens. Yes, we feel old too.

    But what does Friends Festive entail? And is it worth the hassle?

    This writer’s opinion – definitely. In fact, if I could go again I would.

    From the holiday armadillo’s grotto to the stand selling Monica’s thanksgiving sandwiches, here’s everything to know…

    What is Friends Festive?

    Friends Festive is the ultimate Friends event – a celebration of the sitcom’s Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes. Starting with a tour of the genuine sets (Monica’s apartment, Chandler and Joey’s apartment and Central Perk), attendees can recreate the show’s most famous festive moments.

    From visiting the holiday armadillo’s grotto and ringing Phoebe’s bell outside of Macy’s to learning Monica and Ross’ New Year’s routine and recreating the famous floating heads Thanksgiving dinner scene, it is quite literally an Instagrammer’s dream. Oh and did we mention that there is a Central Perk cafe set up with a big screen so that you can put your feet up with a coffee in front of festive Friends episodes.

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    But they’re very very sorry! 👀 #FRIENDS25

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    Friends Festive food:

    One of the highlights of this writer’s Friends Festive experience was undoubtedly the Friends themed food – it is a must-try. From the ‘MAC and cheese’ macaroni stand inspired by Joey’s failed robot sitcom and the Pizza bar offering up the Joey special to Monica’s thanksgiving sandwiches – complete with a moist-maker layer. Then of course, there are teas, coffees and muffins served in Central Perk, with a Phoebe Buffay tribute singer performing all of Lisa Kudrow’s classics.

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    What's your stuffed animal's name?

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    Friends Festive gift shop:

    The Friends Festive gift shop is an obligatory stop, selling every kind of Friends memorabilia you can imagine. From Holiday Armadillo christmas jumpers and festive games to Central Perk mugs and coasters. The most popular product however is undoubtedly the cuddly ‘Hugsy the penguin’, a recreation of Joey’s favourite toy and at just £30, they are flying off the shelves.

    Where is Friends Festive?

    The Truman Brewery
    91 Brick Ln,
    Spitalfields,
    London E1 6QR

    From start to finish, this Friends Festive event was a dream – the perfect start to Christmas.

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