Craig’s List: How to live like James Bond
Rumour has it that Britain’s most iconic fictional character, James Bond, returns to the big screen today, with the release of the hotly anticipated Spectre. As the nation begins to lose its cool in a 007 frenzy, here’s an ultimate round up of things you can do in Bond’s home town to feel a little shaken and stirred. If high-speed chases, shoot outs, and generally saving the nation is something of a tall-order, there’s still plenty you can do to eat, drink, sleep and dress like Bond, James Bond.
Drink like Bond at The Savoy
We all know 007 likes a drink, so where better to try his favourite tipple – the Dry Martini – than at The Savoy hotel’s American Bar where it was popularised by legendary bartender Harry Craddock. We’ll let you decide whether you have it shaken, stirred, neither or both, but rest assured you’ll be getting the real deal at the place where the drink was born.
Dress like Bond on Savile Row
Bond wouldn’t be Bond without being impeccably dressed – so you’ll need a sharp suit (and a big budget). If you’re looking to exude the sophistication of the MI6 stalwart, you’d do well to take a trip to Savile Row, London’s finest tailoring destination. With hundreds of years of experience between them, the tailors of Savile Row will have your back covered, literally.
Sleep Like Bond at the Four Seasons, Canary Wharf
This luxury 5* hotel actually featured in the last Bond film, Skyfall. Yes, really – remember when he was swimming in the rooftop pool looking oh so dreamy? That scene was filmed at this show-stopping hotel. If you do get round to booking a room, on arrival ask if number 712 is available. After all, who wouldn’t want to stay in a room where Daniel Craig filmed a shower scene?
Drive like Bond at The London Film Museum, Covent Garden
If buying an Aston Martin is still on your wish-list, you might have to settle for looking instead of touching (admittedly not Mr Bond’s forte). Unleash your inner petrol head and check out some of the film’s most iconic cars at the London Film Museum. The Bond In Motion exhibition showcases the largest collection of original James Bond vehicles from the films, including the Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III, and the Lotus Espirit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me.
Bet like Bond at Les Ambassadeurs Club,
When he isn’t saving the world, Mr Bond can usually be found playing his favoured game, chemin-de-fer, perched at a table in a top casino. So if you’re partial to trying your luck, head to Les Ambassadeurs Casino in Mayfair, which inspired the fictional ‘Le Cercle’ club that provided the setting for Bond’s on-screen debut. As one of the capital’s most distinguished gambling clubs, you’ll be mingling with royals, politicians, playboys and millionaires – just the standard sorts of crowd Bond regularly rubs shoulders with.
Spy like Bond at the Imperial War Museum
If you’re not as well versed as you’d like in the world of secret agents, it’s time to swot up. Bond’s endeavours, fictional though they are, are set in the very real and murky world of British espionage, and this compelling story is the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. Secret War documents the previously classified objects and untold story of Britain’s covert operations from the birth of MI6 before World War One, to dealing with the threat of cyber-terrorism today – a spy fanatic’s dream.
Eat like Bond at Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester,
Even though we seldom see Bond actually eat on screen, we’re betting he likes top-notch cuisine. Step forward Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, which has three Michelin stars and a menu that will make your mouth water.