20 August 2014

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James Bond's London


 Ian Fleming was said to have come up with many of the Bond storylines while strolling through the streets of London and, while his protagonist spends plenty of time in sun-drenched locations, 007’s roots are firmly in our capital – particularly in the latest movie Skyfall. 

Daniel Craig told Digital Spy, ‘Sam [Mendes] and I wanted to make it British, and it's not some flag-waving thing... it's just about basing Bond in Britain, and it's very exciting just to get out onto the streets and show London for what it is. It's Bond's home.’

As a result, locations around the city including Whitehall, Westminster, Vauxhall Bridge, Smithfield Market and the Embankment feature highly in the film. One of Skyfall’s most iconic shots is Bond standing on a rooftop examining the London skyline. 

Christmas at altitude 360 2011 - panoramic_hires.jpgYou can replicate this scene by choosing a venue with a view. There are plenty to pick from. For a view whatever the weather, there’s Altitude on Millbank – not far from Bond’s office at MI6 – which has 360 views across town. Alternatively, brave it outdoors at The Deck (which also has an indoor space) or Vista at the Trafalgar Hotel, where you can be sure of a good martini too.

A lot of the film’s action takes place beneath the streets. There’s a dramatic tube crash, secret target practice and of course, what baddie doesn’t need an underground lair?

Olympic Map - 1109_Old_Vic_Tunnels_IMG_8635.jpgWhile it might not be possible to recreate Bond’s tube chase, there are at least 21 disused Underground stations, including one on Brompton Road, which is currently being developed and plans are afoot for it to become available for events. In the meantime, check out Somerset House’s Lightwells and Deadhouse cellars or the Old Vic Tunnels, which hold up to 800 for a reception. Take a look at the Churchill War Rooms too, the wartime bunker that sheltered Churchill and his government during the Blitz. Although it’s technically not subterranean, Village Underground in Shoreditch does have its very own tube carriage and we think it’s pretty cool.

For more venues with a view, check out our venue menu

This was first published in October 2012

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