Matthew Perry, who very sadly died on October 28, warmed the hearts of so many – most notably with his portrayal of Chandler Bing in the iconic sitcom, Friends. The show has brought us an abundance of comfort and joy for decades, and will continue to do so for years to come. But there are two episodes that hold an extra special place in the hearts of Londoners, and that’s The One with Ross’s Wedding (Parts 1 & 2). So we thought we’d help you follow in the footsteps of the gang, particularly Chandler and Joey, and take you on a whistle stop tour of the best spots from their trip to London, baby!
1. The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square
The gang, minus a heavily pregnant Phoebe and a lovesick Rachel, stay at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square during their trip to the capital. It’s not cheap, so staying there yourself might have to be reserved for a very special occasion, but it’s just outside the entrance to this swanky hotel that Joey steps into the map to try and work out how to get to Westminster.
2. Wapping High Street
There’s a moment where Emily starts spiralling about cellists and chicken kievs as her, Ross and Monica are headed towards their wedding venue for the first time. This all happens along Wapping High Street, before they are met with an unpleasant surprise…
3. St. John’s Church, Wapping
The building site that they’re greeted with is not actually a wreck as it is portrayed in the episode, but in fact a stunning, east London church. Technically the oldest church in Wapping, the original structure was bombed during WWII, but was restored in 1964. It’s definitely worth a visit, but note that the interior of Ross and Emily’s wedding is more likely to have been filmed at The Fountain Studios in Wembley.
4. Westminster Abbey
Joey said it himself: Westminster Abbey is the best Abbey he’s ever seen.
5. Trinity Place
I can’t guarantee you’ll spot Sir Richard Branson selling you a novelty hat, but you might be able to get your hands on some Union Jack memorabilia from one of the stands along the Thames. Trinity Place is not far from the Tower of London, which you’ll also spot behind Chandler during this scene – just as he falls into a beautiful display of bouquets.
6. The Houses of Parliament
You know the scene: Joey is rubbing the fact that he’s had the “best day ever!” in Chandler’s face, and he shows him footage of him and Sarah Ferguson (aka Fergie) on his camcorder… and they’re stood right outside the Palace of Westminster.
7. Tower Bridge
The famous London bridge (not to be confused with London Bridge) is only seen briefly during the credits of The One with Ross’s Wedding: Part 1, while Chandler and Joey are riding an open-top bus. But any excuse to see Tower Bridge, right?
8. The Wheatsheaf, Fitzrovia
Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat as it doesn’t strictly feature in the episodes, but once the group are all reunited in New York, Phoebe gets serious FOMO as they chat about their trip. The gang keep talking about a visit to a pub called The Wheatsheaf that their taxi driver took them to. Now, we don’t know exactly which pub this is, but we can take a guess and presume that it was The Wheatsheaf in Fitzrovia; a very central and traditional boozer that’s steeped in history.
So there you have it, our city’s small contribution to this wonderful show. Not to mention the fact that it was the birthplace of this iconic duo…
We’ll always remember Matthew Perry for his extraordinary wit — and while we can’t leave flowers outside the gang’s NYC apartment building today, the next time we’re mooching about in central, we’ll channel Chandler’s Westminster Crabbiness and raise a glass of Boddingtons in his honour.
Also published on Medium.