We’ve been waiting a long time, almost two years to be exact, but the third series of Ricky Gervais’ incredible dark comedy, After Life, is back on Netflix.
As the most watched British comedy in the world (that’s some accolade), we’re guessing we won’t be the only ones binging the new series in one weekend, shedding more than a few tears, and longing for another series, so we’re sharing the inside scoop on filming locations so you can experience your own little slice of quirky Tambury. We happen to know that a lot of After Life is filmed right here in Hertfordshire, and after a summer of seeing Ricky and the crew out on our streets and in our coffee shops, we cannot wait to share their top spots with you.
So, grab the popcorn and prepare to watch the entire series all over again on an eagle-eyed hunt for these filming locations…
Now let’s get this out of the way first, Tambury is not a real place…You ok? You still there? While you might not be able to pick up a copy of the Tambury Gazette on your travels, or bump into any of its quirky residents, you can still enjoy a little Tambury sightseeing right here in Hemel Hempstead Old Town. The pretty, historic square can be seen throughout the series and is even the location of the Tambury Gazette office. While here, enjoy the amazing Georgian and Tudor architecture and pop into some of the many independent cafes, shops and restaurants lining the street (some of which true fans might recognise!)
One of those very shops, The House of Elliott, sits right in the centre of the High Street. While it was transformed into the vintage boutique where Tony buys the chess set in series three, we recognised it as one of our favourite gift shops. With its beautiful window, you can’t miss this local gem, but it’s what lies within that’s a real treat. Take a peek and you’ll find a treasure trove of jewellery, unique homeware and gifts too good to give away!
Just a short stroll from The High Street, the beautiful Gadebridge Park was the backdrop to the funfair in series three that characters James, Valerie, Brian and Tony could all be seen at during filming. While we can’t promise a funfair to raise a smile from even Tony Johnson, we can promise a Roman villa, gorgeous riverside views, plenty of Insta-worthy shots and green space to walk the Brandy in your life. When you’ve taken your photos, we recommend grabbing a coffee from the kiosk and maybe even taking on a round of crazy golf!
Do you know what would go really well with that coffee? A sweet treat from the very bakers who helped fuel the cast and crew! Yes, as big fans of The Bakehouse and their incredible cakes and pastries (seriously, have you seen the cruffins??) it comes as no surprise to us that this small but mighty independent bakery crafted everything from Victoria sponges to cupcakes for Ricky Gervais and co.
So where can you enjoy your own slice of The Bakehouse’s delights? Well, it just so happens that local urban farm shop and coffee shop, Old Town Artichoke on the High Street are proud stockists of The Bakehouse bakes, and even had front-row seats for much of the filming in the Old Town. Grab yourself a cake, pastry or whatever takes your fancy (umm did we mention the cruffins?) and look out on the square where so much filming history has been made, before stocking up on the freshest local produce in store.
In season two Tony takes Sandy out for a coffee where the two commiserate over a cuppa and discuss Sandy’s rather uninspiring 30th birthday gifts (mop, anyone?). While the chat was less than cheerful, the welcome you receive at the location, The Tea Tree in Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town, will be far more upbeat. Settle in for afternoon tea, complete with cake, a pot of tea and scones and clotted cream, and soak up the views of the historic High Street.
Netflix and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have donated Hemel Hempstead's very own Hope is Everything bench, one of 25 benches inspired by After Life. Here visitors can sit and reflect outside the offices that doubled up as the Tambury Gazette and access the CALM initiative's website through a special QR code on the bench.