Holiday like James Bond this autumn with inspiration from Daniel Pembrey’s new “James Bond Destinations”, published by Assouline — displaying a myriad of luxe holiday destinations and day trip inspiration for Londoners looking to embrace their inner spy.
Whisking viewers away to opulent escapes, including Baroque Venetian Palazzos, sugary-sand beaches, and marble palaces in India, the book offers dream destinations for everyone. Bond motion pictures have included more than 100 real-life locations for over 50 years — beginning in 1962 when 007 first introduced himself to the world in “Dr. No”. Since then, he set a cinematic standard: 007 would forever be a travelling secret agent.
Each chapter of the Assouline book is filled with ‘for your eyes only’ insight into the destinations and memorable scenes. Bond fans and vacationers alike can transport themselves to scenes of Ursula Andress emerging from the Jamaican waves, Daniel Craig on a high-speed car chase through the streets of Rome, or Roger Moore battling his nemesis on top of a Sugarloaf cable car in Rio.
A Staycation for Londoners
As the spy reported for duty in London before jetting off to a dream destination, Bond fans can also discover close attractions for a luxe getaway nearby. Bond’s creator Ian Fleming took inspiration from Raffles London at The OWO and many of the following films transported viewers inside the hotel’ walls with scenes in the building.
Raffles London at The OWO offers a premier location for a brief retreat, with a short car ride away from nightlife and fine dining in Soho and Mayfair, or Westminster for some historical sightseeing.
In the early-mid 1960s, international travel was rare. When Bond entered the big screen, viewers were mesmerised by the glamour of travel and adventure that he offers. He inspired cinema-goers to dream of alluring, exciting vacations and established the franchise as a trusted concierge.
Barbara Broccoli, the daughter of the original Bond producer, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, says her father “wanted to take people out of their lives and transport them on an adventure to something magical”.
As international travel became popularised, Bond and the masterminds behind him stayed ahead of the curve — offering destination possibilities that had rarely been thought of before. Producer Michael G. Wilson said that the destinations in the films aren’t just destinations. Their contributions to the films were similar to the characters’.
“You have to find places that haven’t been seen, or you have to think of doing something spectacular in a well-known place, as we did with the chase through Rome in 2015’s Spectre,” Wilson said.
The dream destinations — both near and far — came with a price for the people who brought Bond to life.
“The scene involved hundreds of blockers along two miles of main road to ensure no bystanders entered the shot,” remarks associate producer Gregg Wilson.
For Casino Royale, the Grand Canal in Venice was partially closed for the first time in 300 years as Bond, played by Daniel Craig, sailed a yacht up the canal without crowds of onlookers.
Although the book doesn’t guarantee that your adventure will exclude onlookers like the movies, readers are given the chance to be transported to countless fantasy getaway destinations, with some closer than expected at the epicentre of London life.
To discover more, visit: assouline.com
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All imagery courtesy of James Bond Destinations Assouline.