Live like Bond
This autumn sees the much anticipated premiere of the 23rd Bond film, Skyfall, as well as the 50th anniversary of Dr No, the first film in the Bond series. But why not take it one step further, don’t just watch the films –live like Bond!
Britain is the perfect place to do this, whether visiting the film locations, trying out the sort of fashionable restaurants and bars 007 would frequent, being measured by the best tailors or going on a Bond-style adventure. Not forgetting to sample at least one Martini, shaken but of course not stirred.
Bond is known for his glamorous lifestyle and where better to get the look than at London’s bespoke tailors, shirt-makers, and hat-makers. Visit classic Savile Row tailors such as Henry Poole, who invented the tuxedo, Gieves and Hawkes, or the more contemporary style of Ozwald Boateng, who was the youngest and first black tailor to open a store on the Row. Or for star quality, visit Timothy Everest’s atelier in a Georgian house in Spitalfields in East London – Everest has designed for Tom Cruise and David Beckham. Turnbull and Asser on Jermyn Street, in London’s West End, have fitted shirts for every single Bond actor and made the pajamas for Judi Dench’s M. Parts of Skyfall were filmed in Scotland, home of the first movie Bond, Sean Connery. Its capital Edinburgh offers stylish shops for stylish spies, such as 21st Century Kilts, which gives a contemporary look to tartan. Designer Howie Nicholsby, who aims to “give men throughout the world a realistic alternative to trousers” has used materials such as leather and purple denim for his kilts, which have a celebrity following.
How to accessorise like 007? Bond is often seen with a Martini glass in hand. Dukes Hotel, near Turnbull and Asser, has one of London’s most elegant bars, and Ian Fleming’s famous line “shaken, not stirred”, is said to have been inspired by the barman at this boutique hotel. Legend also has it Fleming invented the Vesper Martini here, which Bond ordered in Casino Royale. Martinis are popular cocktails in all the best hotels and bars of London; One Aldwych offers plum and apple martinis on its drinks list and even Martini Movies. For those wishing to explore cocktails in more depth (or strength) try the Experimental Cocktail Club in Chinatown, or take a masterclass with mixologist Tony Conigliaro at 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington.
After the cocktails, the food – and an undoubted favorite of Ian Fleming’s was Scott’s Restaurant in Mayfair, a fish restaurant which attracts a famous, stylish and A-list clientele. Today, Fleming and Bond might also favour the ever popular Wolseley, The Ivy or the new and very chic Brasserie Zédel in Piccadilly.
Those wanting to live like Bond, rather than just drink like him, will want to try some action – and where better than a high speed boat ride down the River Thames, followed by a climb Up At The 02– almost recreating a scene from The World is Not Enough, which featured a race down the river, followed by a fight scene on top of the arena; there are great views from the top for those brave enough to make the climb.
Anyone gripped by the high speed car chases in the films will certainly want to take a trip to the National Motor Museum in the New Forest, Hampshire, to see the exhibition Bond in Motion: on show till the end of 2012, it features 50 vehicles, the largest official collection of original Bond vehicles, with famous vehicles like the Aston Martin DB5 and Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, as well as bikes, trikes, sleds and boats.
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