CENTRAL QUIRK: Wisbech cafe’s Friends-themed makeover brings a slice of New York to the Fens

PUBLISHED: 15:58 13 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 13 January 2020

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her sister in law Clare Foster and daughter Lauren. Two cafe regulars are also pictured on the red armchair. Picture: BEN JOLLEY

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her sister in law Clare Foster and daughter Lauren. Two cafe regulars are also pictured on the red armchair. Picture: BEN JOLLEY

Archant

A family-run Wisbech café that has had a Friends-themed makeover - complete with bright orange sofa, Central Perk sign, brick wall effect decor and coffee board - is bringing a slice of New York to the Fens.

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her daughter Lauren and sister in law Clare Foster. Picture: BEN JOLLEYSweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her daughter Lauren and sister in law Clare Foster. Picture: BEN JOLLEY

Sweet Retreat on Market Street has a colourful new look for the new decade following the transformation, which was led by owner and Friends superfan Nicola Sewell.

"It's just something a bit unusual for Wisbech," she said of the makeover. "The town needs something different to keep it going.

"We're trying to bring more people in to the town; hopefully it's a reason for them to visit."

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Cafe regular Laura McClagish relaxing on the Friends-themed orange sofa. Picture: BEN JOLLEYSweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Cafe regular Laura McClagish relaxing on the Friends-themed orange sofa. Picture: BEN JOLLEY

Nicola, who "used to be absolutely mad on Friends", says what made her love it so much is that "it's such an easy watch for the whole family".

The instantly recognisable bright orange sofa is the centrepiece of the revamp that's based on the hugely successful US television sitcom.

There's also a Central Quirk sign (instead of Central Perk), different types of hanging lamps (as per the show) and even Friends pillows.

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her sister in law Clare Foster and daughter Lauren. It even has its own Central Quirk sign. Picture: BEN JOLLEYSweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Owner Nicola Sewell is pictured with her sister in law Clare Foster and daughter Lauren. It even has its own Central Quirk sign. Picture: BEN JOLLEY

"The outside is like 10 Downing Street in London but the inside is totally different," Nicola added.

"Hopefully it means that people won't have to go all the way to London to go to a Friends café."

Being a family-run business, Nicola only finished redecorating the upstairs area on Saturday night - with the help of her two daughters Chloe and Lauren and sister in law Claire Foster.

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Picture: CEE CEE PHOTOGRAPHYSweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Picture: CEE CEE PHOTOGRAPHY

"There's a whole different feel to it now," said café regular Barbara, who visits twice a week.

"The sofa is amazing," added another regular Laura McClagish. "We come here quite a lot.

"It's something a bit different for the locals. It's great for the area."

Sweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Picture: CEE CEE PHOTOGRAPHYSweet Retreat, on Market Square in Wisbech, has had a Friends-themed makeover. Picture: CEE CEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Now the new look is complete, Nicola hopes to host themed nights and acoustic gigs - "we want to give people something quirky to do of an evening".

She's also applying for an alcohol licence to enable the business to add prosecco afternoon teas to their menu.

While the upstairs is a chilled space to enjoy a hot drink and a cake, downstairs there's seats and a princess carriage for children to eat as well as a box of toys for youngsters to play with.

Outside is a courtyard with seating - that will also be revamped in time for the summer.

For more information about Sweet Retreat click here.


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