There’s a little bit of 007 lurking in all of us, and no better city than London to express it. We sought out the suavest services in the capital to turn our Film editor Dave Calhoun and Shopping & Style editor Katie Dailey into a very passable Bond and Bond girl. Here are all the necessary items to achieve this…
Bond famously favours the high-alcohol martini, shaken, not stirred (though Craig’s Bond doesn’t give a damn how it’s made). The undisputed king of the martini in London is Dukes Bar, haunt of Fleming in the 1950s and now home of the £95 martini masterclass. In the films, 007 will always plump for a vodka martini, but in the books he was also partial to a bit of gin. Bubbly for Bond is a toss-up between Bollinger and Dom Pérignon, which is so exclusive it is only produced in vintage years. A bottle of 2003 (the last time it was produced) will set you back £110 at the Soho Wine Supply Company.
In ‘Dr No’ (1962), we see a perfect dinner jacket, the sleeve revealing just the right amount of crisp white shirt and gold cufflink, before the camera pans to the face of Sean Connery. Only then do we hear those words for the first time: ‘Bond. James Bond.’ Cut by Savile Row tailor Anthony Sinclair, Connery’s outfit established the monkey suit as the iconic item in 007’s wardrobe. Today a Sinclair two-piece costs £1,950. The tailor Richard James’s wallet-friendly version for Marks & Spencer’s ‘Savile Row Inspired’ range will set you back £349.
Many Bond films require our hero to run around looking serious, which would be impossible in day-glo Nikes. Bond requires shoes, and not just any old shoes. Fleming, and later Connery, had his shoes made to measure by John Lobb of St James’s (leather shoes from £2,800).
Bond doesn’t generally do stubble and Geo F Trumper, the Mayfair perfumer and barber, is where Bond’s creator Ian Fleming would go for a wet shave. You can too, for £38, and if you want to smell like 007, pick up a bottle of the company’s Eucaris (£40/100ml), the scent Bond uses in the books ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘Casino Royale’.
Every screen Bond since ‘Dr No’ has worn shirts, ties and handkerchiefs from London’s most prestigious shirtmakers, Turnbull & Asser of Jermyn Street. But if you’re looking for something a little looser for, say, shooting people in, you’ll need the Sunspel Q75 Riveria polo shirt, (£75) as worn by Daniel Craig in ‘Casino Royale’. Sunspel also makes his underpants.
Exploding suitcases or guns in books are out of the question in the modern office environment, but undercover surveillance is very twenty-first century. At the Science Museum, £50 will buy a pen that doubles as a camera; for more serious espionage, Spymaster has electric plugs that double as bugs,bulletproof vests, camera detectors and more. Handily, it has outlets in Selfridges and Harrods, so you can pick up a hamper loaded with foie gras and bubbly at the same time.
In 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’, Bond was reunited with the Aston Martin DB5 from ‘Goldfinger’. You can drive a DB4, the next best thing, at Goodwood (£249), or a later model on the road if you have a few grand to join London’s Classic Car Club.
Predict the future
Echo Jane Seymour’s Solitaire in ‘Live and Let Die’ with a tarot-reading course at Mysteries, London’s leading mystic retailer. A seven-week course is £210. 9-11 Monmouth St, WC2H 9EQ.
Get the moves
Simply looking good isn’t enough for the modern Bond girl, who might be obliged, as Michelle Yeoh is in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, to dodge missiles and kick men where it hurts. Pick up some asswhipping tips at Gymbox (across London), where the fearsome mixed martial arts class includes throwdowns, karate and boxing.
Glamourous Evening wear
As a Bond girl you’ll inevitably be required to walk into a cocktail lounge wearing something slinky. But you may also come to a sticky end, ruining your posh frock. It makes sense, then, to hire your glamorous eveningwear from girlmeetsdress.com, which has a vast collection of designer gowns borrowable for either two days or a week.
Shirley Eaton’s outing as the golddipped Jill Masterson in ‘Goldfinger’ was memorable but ultimately fatal. If you want the look but also to live, head to master costume cosmetics shop Charles H Fox, which sells such face-changers as nose putty, prosthetic ears and hypoallergenic stage warts. Its Brandel Colour Spray (£9.40) is non-toxic, meaning you can get the gold birthday suit without the tiresome asphyxiation issues. 22 Tavistock St, WC2E 7PY.
Straightened, Not Stirred
You never know where you’ll end up when you hang with Bond – typically, on an island miles from the nearest hairdresser. Learn to perfect your own do with a Blow Dry Masterclass at one of Charles Worthington’s three London salons. A head stylist, such as the brilliant Michael Rowan at the Percy Street branch, will talk you through all the tools and techniques you’ll need for knock ’em dead tresses. From £47 at Charles Worthington, 7 Percy St, W1T 1DH.
Red Hot Poker
‘Dr No’, ‘Golden Eye’, ‘Casino Royale’. It seems liaisons with 007 will inevitably lead you to the gaming table. Sharpen your shuffling skills with a £299 home poker masterclass from Redletterdays.co.uk. A serious poker professional will come to your home (or safe house) armed with a poker table, casino-grade playing cards and chips. Four hours later you’ll have a poker face to rival Le Chiffre’s. Minus the weird tear duct.
Nights in Black Satin
No Bond boudoir would be complete without some saucy bed linen. Agent Provocateur is one of the capital’s few stockists of satin sheets, perfect for a come-to-bed, ‘Oh, James’ moment. And considering many Bond girls spend the majority of their onscreen time in their undies, it’s a good idea to stock up on smalls here too. Playful Promises is a good budget alternative if your MI6 lingerie allowance has been cut. Agent Provocateur, 6 Broadwick St, W1F 8HL.