007 Travel story: London (ENGLAND) 2017: 007’s home, Bond girls and engagementNovember 6, 2018
In order to read our England 007 travel story from day one, click here.
Saturday 11 November 2017
Day three in England and final full day on this journey! Our day started having breakfast in Blakemore Hyde Park Hotel. After this we ordered a taxi and told him the driver to take us to 1 Stanley Gardens, Notting Hill. Why there? Naturally because James Bond lives there! In “SPECTRE” (2015) 007 (Daniel Craig) has an apartment at this address. Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) pays a visit to Bond’s place in one evening.
It started to rain and we went back to our hotel just to take our bags and change the hotel. Our last hotel now was Danubius Hotel Regents Park (£135,40 / night), which is near Regents Park, where the office of Secret Service is located in several Bond books. This hotel seemed to be London base for Canada Air pilots and crew, since there were several people who wore airline uniforms.
It was a nice surprise that we got our room already even though it was an early morning. We checked in, left our luggage and went on the road again. Just before we left Finland, Pirita discovered that there is a London Film Fair today in London and three Bond girls are going to attend the event. Of course we headed there also!
We took a taxi and there was quite many people in London today, since there was a celebration of a new Mayor of London. Our taxi left us near Central Hall Westminster which is opposite of Westminster Abbey. We first had our doubts if we are on the right place, since this was a Methodist church, but soon we found out that it is a conference centre also, where the event was held.
We bought tickets worth of £5 per person and soon we were in. We walked around the area and quickly spotted our first target! Caroline Munro, best known as Naomi in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). Even though 007 (Roger Moore) shoots her down with her helicopter in the film, luckily she seemed to be very much alive 🙂 We went to say hello and gave her chocolates that we bought from Finland. She autographed her photo from the film and we took pics with her.
Then we moved ahead and we had also a present to Martine Beswick, who has been in two 007 films. She was Paula Caplan in “Thunderball” (1965) and the gypsy dancer Zora in “From Russia with Love” (1963). Martine told us that she had visited Helsinki, Finland once and would love to come back one day. We also bought her picture with an autograph and took photos with her too.
There was still one Bond girl to meet… less-known in Bond world… Caron Gardner had just a minor role in one of Pussy Galore‘s Flying Circus pilots in “Goldfinger” (1964), but she had also appeared in four episodes of “The Saint” series with Roger Moore and starred also in many other movies. Caron said to us that Pirita has a lovely hair. We also got her autograph with photos.
There was plenty of people selling different kind of items, like posters, books, albums etc. and list of the guests attending was also really long.
When going outside we knew that we were close to Westminster tube station entrance, from where Bond (Daniel Craig) comes into the daylight in “Skyfall” (2012).
Next it was already time to find another “SPECTRE” (2015) location and we went to the underground and traveled to Covent Garden station and walked to the oldest restaurant in London; Rules restaurant. Here in “SPECTRE” M (Ralph Fiennes) meets Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris).
Our table was already available about one hour before our reservation time, so we went in and ordered our lunches. Pirita’s meal was Fillet of Salmon and Mika’s Breast of Pheasant with creamed lentils, bacon & apples. For red wine we chose Chianti. Before the desserts, it was time for a really special thing. This was a perfect place for us to get engaged and we put on rings to each other!
Also the date was a perfect fit, because James Bond’s birthday is also 11th of November!
“Ian Fleming did not provide Bond’s date of birth, but John Pearson‘s fictional biography of Bond, “James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007” (1973) gives him a birth date of 11 November 1920.” (Wikipedia)
Before this lunch, which we never forget, was over, we ate White Chocolate Brulees for desserts.
We walked on Strand and found a 007 filming location Somerset House, which can be seen in two different Pierce Brosnan Bond movies: “GoldenEye” (1995) and “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997).
In “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) Bond drives from a gate of Somerset House into a parking lot, and in this movie the place is supposed to be Ministry of Defense in London.
In “GoldenEye” (1995) 007 and Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker) are in St. Petersburg, Russia, but in a real life filming took place in Somerset House area. In the movie they have some car problems in icecold Russia.
Inside Somerset House we found some souvenirs, like London honey, made by Fortnum & Mason, and headed back outside.
A place where we have visited before was really close: Bond in Motion Exhibition is truly a second living room to the Bond fans. After our last visit there were also featuring some cars from “SPECTRE” as well as some new vehicles from other 007 movies and clothing etc. which we hadn’t seen before. Below are a couple of pics from there.
More pics can be found from this article
And even more pics from our previous visit here
In the evening we had a meeting with Gjevat “Kel” Kelmendi, he is an actor who was also in “SPECTRE“. He was coming to meet us at our hotel.
We went to hotel’s bar and we had a wonderful chat about his filming career, what had happened in our lives in the past and what we all would like to do in the future. Time flew quickly, it would have been nice to continue chatting even later, but we had an early wake up next morning, so we had to say goodbye for now, and we hope to see Kel soon again.
Goodbye London for now. Call us again!
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