Is this Bond Street? How to do London 007-Style

Somerset House

I duck behind a red telephone box (alas, only taking cards these days), heart racing and blood pumping in my ears. It’s so loud it almost drowns out the never-ending and unspeakably aggressive sounding Crossrail works around the corner. This is serious stuff.

I subtly look to my right, trying to gauge whether anyone leaving the Pret next door, coffees in hand , looked like my Enemy. They didn’t – unless my enemy had morphed into a skinny-jean-wearing, beard growing Hipster. The coast was clear, and so, being short of a gun, I ensured my selfie stick was in hand ready to strike should I need to defend myself, and ran to the tube station.

This my friend, is unfortunately where the Bond Dream ends. But being in London – aka the city renowned for its prominence in the books and films  of our favourite secret agent, I felt it was apt to pay an homage of sorts to the Capital’s input into the successes of 007. Whilst in no way a comprehensive guide, your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to experience London in the style of Bond, James Bond. (Start at Hyde Park Corner, end in Covent Garden).

map

  1. Walk past (but not IN, unless you have a bottomless wallet) Les Ambassadeurs Club, which is where Bond makes his first screen appearance in Dr No.
  2. See the MI6 building at Vauxhall Bridge.
  3. Have a dekko at The Old War Office Building on Whitehall which is the setting for MI6 HQ in Octopussy, License to Kill and A View to a Kill – pretty stunning.
  4. Somerset House, seen in Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies is worth a visit (and catch a free exhibition in one of their galleries whilst your at it)
  5. Sip on a Martini (shaken, not stirred, naturally). London’s Dukes Bar (St. James) is said to do the best one in the city, but if you’re after something a little cheaper, try the Vesper Martini at B@1, where Happy Hour ensures the purse is not drained.
  6. If you feel like parting with a tenner or so (a little more if not a student), The London Film Museum in Covent Garden is running an exhibition entitled ‘Bond in Motion’, the largest display of Bond vehicles ever in London.
  7. You’ll probably be quite tired by now. Have another Martini.

And that is where the Bond Dream really ends people.

9 thoughts on “Is this Bond Street? How to do London 007-Style

      • eternalidol says:

        I’ve not yet had a chance to go through all the posts here on your site, Hari, so can you please tell me if you’ve mentioned the Wong Kei in Wardour Street? I lived in London from 1979 to 1995 and it was invariably my first port of call for an evening out anywhere in Central London, while it’s still at the top of my list on the odd occasion when I return to my former haunts.

        Like

      • harimountford says:

        I think my mum used to work there back in the day! She tells stories of huge staff feasts at 3 in the morning… Being the only English, she often had to explain the menu! I haven’t been since aged 6 I think, so will definitely put it on my to-do list!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. eternalidol says:

    That’s synchronicity for you! Given the sheer amount of times I’ve been to the Wong Kei over the decades, Hari, there’s every chance I met or spoke to your mum at some point. I have a thousand and one very happy memories of the place and that number increases every time I go there. I was introduced to the place by someone in 1979, just after I’d moved to London, so it immediately became the one place in central London I’d visit by default just about every time I went out for the evening, or else just wandered around London during the day. I’m certain that it never advertises, because it’s never needed to as word of mouth recommendations have kept it full to capacity ever since I’ve known of it. Long before my two children ever visited the place, they’d heard countless tales from me about the feasts to be had there, so now they’re as fascinated by it as I am and they’ve loved every visit they’ve made there. I’d better stop now before I write a thesis on the Wong Kei, but thank you for telling me about your mum and thank you also for the excellent James Bond post, which was a great start to my birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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