The name’s Bond… Mrs Bond
There has only ever in fact been one Mrs Bond, (who came to a sticky end just after she married 007), but there have been countless ‘Bond girls’: the films’ female characters, who often start out as the secret agent’s enemies, but soon fall into his arms.
Far from being pushovers though, Bond girls usually have a feisty spirit, impressive fighting skills and the ability to look glamorous in the most desperate situations. Ahead of the release of Bond's latest movie Skyfall in November, there’s never been a better time to live like a Bond girl. Here’s how to do it.
Skyfall. Bond is a man who likes extreme activities, and any girl who wants to keep up, needs to have an appetite for adrenalin. 007 jumped out of a plane into the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony – why not experience falling through the sky over some of Britain’s spectacular countryside? The British Parachute Association has a list of drop zones all over the nation where you can experience the thrill of shooting through the air.
Another place to be at one with the sky is The Shard, the newest addition to London’s skyline. Zoom up 800 feet (244 metres) in 30 seconds to The View from the Shard, before being presented with the capital at your feet. Spot famous Bond sites through the attraction’s Tell:scopes (special telescopes that provide info on what you’re looking at), like Buckingham Palace (home to Bond’s ultimate boss, The Queen) and the National Gallery, where part of Skyfall was filmed. The View from the Shard opens 1 Feb. Tickets must be booked in advance (no tickets available at the door) and are available to buy now.
A View to a Kill. Somehow Bond girls manage to look immaculate while flying planes (and jumping out of them). For looks that could kill, any aspiring Bond girl needs to make a stop at the salon before their mission begins. Hairdresser Taylor Taylor in trendy Spitalfields, East London, is in a listed building decorated with beautiful Liberty-print wallpaper and a sumptuous gold-tiled washroom (Goldfinger would approve). It also boasts its very own cocktail bar where you can sample Bond’s favorite beverage – the Martini.
Goldfinger. The Midas touch was deadly in Goldfinger, where actress Shirley Eaton’s character Jill Masterson died after being painted head to toe in golden body paint. It was one of the more glamorous death scenes of film history, and aspiring Bond girls can experience the heavenly pampering (minus the suffocation) at some of London’s top spas. The May Fair Spa in London offers a Golden Caviar Facial, while the Dolphin Square Spa goes one step further with a 23 Carat Gold Body Ceremony. Full body massage uses gold minerals and precious oils, and the treatment ends with a dusting of gold powder.
For Your Eyes Only. Clothing is an important part of being a Bond girl, as is underclothing – Bond’s steamy relationships are a well-known aspect of the films. Rigby and Peller – who have a Royal Warrant from The Queen – has boutiques all over London and in Cambridge, and offers bespoke, made to measure lingerie for ultimate luxury. For pajamas worthy of a secret agent, follow M’s lead; Bond’s boss (played by Judi Dench) was seen sporting nightwear from Turnbull and Asser, who have also fitted shirts for Ian Fleming and every single Bond actor.
Live and Let Die. To be a match for Bond, you need to get fit, because it’s very likely that as a Bond girl you’ll be involved in a high-speed chase or some impromptu kickboxing. Forget the gym though – Bond girls are more likely to be seen crunching iron at hard-core boot camps. GI Jane boot camp is located close to the capital and offers week-long residential courses; Borders Bootcamp is an intense fitness camp set in the stunning Scottish Borders; and Fit For a Princess holds regular women-only classes in London’s parks.
Casino Royale. Bond has been seen at many casinos in his time, and always with a glamorous female sidekick – or opponent. To try your hand at poker, roulette and state-of-the-art electronic gaming, head to the UK’s first ‘international style’ casino. The Hippodrome opened in July in Leicester Square, after a 30-month, £40 million rebuild and renovation of the former Hippodrome Theatre.
Diamonds are Forever. Just in case you forgot your diamonds for the trip to the casino, best head to the aptly-named Bond Street, lined with the most famous jewellery designers: De Beers, Cartier, Tiffany and Co. If you want to look rather than buy, admire the creations at the Digital Crystal exhibition at London’s Design Museum. Star exhibit Pandora’s Box, by Fredrikson Stallard, features nearly 2000 Swarovski crystals moving in different directions, in a hypnotizing display of beauty and brilliance – enough to captivate any Bond girl.
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