We all know the real star of any James Bond movie is the Bond Girl. Sexy, glamorous, dangerous…who wouldn’t want to be a Bond Girl? So I accepted my luxurious London challenges from a mysterious Mission Commander and channeled my inner Pussy Galore. I scaled a London landmark, went speed boating at 65 kilometers per hour (all while keeping my hair perfectly coiffed as any Bond Girl would do), and sipped cocktails (martinis shaken, not stirred of course) at swank bars around the city, all in the name of research. It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it! Mission successful and I bring you the Bond Girl’s Guide to London:
Adventures Fit for a Bond Girl
Climb a London Icon
Technically, Bond rolled down the side of The O2 Dome in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, but climbing The O2 still gives you a healthy dose of danger. My protective jump suit and safety harness weren’t exactly Bond Girl sexy, but I certainly felt like I could go head to head with 007 as I ascended up the 30° incline to the summit of The O2. Once on top, I take in the 360° views of the London skyline, and case the joint as any Bond Girl would do. Surely some villain is about to drop in at any moment.
Climbs at Up at The O2 are available every 40 minutes from 10am – 6pm daily. Prices start at £25 per person and advance booking is highly recommended. I recommend the sunset climb as London is set ablaze in golds and pinks.
Speedboat Down the Thames
London RIB Voyages didn’t let me drive the RIB speed boat like Bond Girl Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough, but my heart was pumping as soon as we cruised under the Tower Bridge and hit it at 35 knots (65 kilometers) per hour toward the docklands. There’s no speed limit on the Thames beyond Tower Bridge and I held on tight as we swerved at seemingly impossible angles. At times I think the boat left the water all together! Screams of delight were punctuated with the James Bond theme song blaring through the speakers.
The High-Speed London RIB Voyages ride is available daily at 9am and every hour from 11am – 4pm daily. The boat only holds 12 passengers so advance booking is highly recommended.
View from the Shard
At 310 meters high, The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. Officially completed in November 2012 and opened to the public in February 2013, The Shard hasn’t featured in a James Bond movie…yet. But a Bond Girl can get a birds eye view of The British Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6), located next to Vauxhall Bridge and famous for playing its part in a number of James Bond movies.
The View from The Shard is open Sunday – Wednesday from 10am – 7pm and Thursday – Saturday from 10am – 10pm. Visits are timed, so pre-booking is highly recommended. I recommend timing your visit for sunset.
Relax at Afternoon Tea
The tradition of afternoon tea was born over 140 years ago and the Langham was the first grand hotel to serve afternoon tea back in 1865. With high fashion and sumptuous decor, tiny tea sandwiches and the perfect cup of tea is a great way to relax after a morning of shopping like a Bond Girl on Regent Street.
Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court at the Langham has seatings at 1pm, 3:15pm, and 5:30pm. The Wonderful Afternoon Tea is £40 per person and reservations are recommended. Dress code is smart.
Where to Drink Like a Bond Girl
May Fair Kitchen at the May Fair Hotel
Flashy and fashion-y, you’d hardly know the May Fair Hotel is a remnant of 1920’s London. It’s just the type of place a Bond Girl would sip a trendy cocktail. All the cocktails at May Fair Kitchen are served with edible flowers, making them just a beautiful as they are tasty. Try the Lebanese Taxi, a blend of Tanqueray Gin, Grand Marnier, Miclo Rosé Liqueur, and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur!
May Fair Kitchen is located at Stratton Street. Use the Green Park tube station.
Charlotte Street Hotel
City chic and low-key luxe, the Charlotte Street Hotel is located need trendy SoHo. The buzzy Oscar bar is popular with Bloomsbury’s media crowd and you’d expect to see a Bond Girl perched atop a multi-colour humbug-striped stool sipping a Frosty Kitty martini.
Oscar Bar is located at 15 Charlotte Street. Use the Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road tube stations.
Frequented by James Bond author Ian Flemming, it is said that the famous line “Shaken, not stirred” was invented at Dukes Bar. The line first appeared in the 1956 novel Diamonds Are Forever but was not uttered onscreen until Sean Connery said it in Goldfinger in 1964. Whether or not the famous line was actually invented here remains in question, but there is no doubt that Alessandro Palazzi mixes up some of the best martinis in the world. Even the New York Times says so!
Dukes Bar is located at 35 St. James Place. Use the Green Park tube station.
Where to Dine Like a Bond Girl
May Fair Kitchen
Located in May Fair, a particular favorite area of Ian Flemming’s, May Fair Kitchen serves up modern Mediterranean fare. The dishes are beautiful; a 45 day aged steak girlishly garnished with dainty edible pansies and avocado hummus piped in perfect little peaks almost too pretty to eat. The starters are meant to be shared with your Bond Girl crew, order your own entree, and share a dessert. The flavors are zesty and you’ll soon be lulled into a food coma as you sink into the plush red banquets surrounded by the trendy, yet soothing Byzantine interior.
May Fair Kitchen is located in the May Fair Hotel at Stratton Street. Use the Green Park tube station.
Hot dogs aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about foods that pass the perfectly painted lips of a Bond Girl. But the uber trendy hotspot Bubbledogs serves up poshed-up junk food and pairs the gourmet dogs with flutes of bubbly. And with names like Horny Dog and Mac Daddy, the dressed up dogs even sound like they are fit for a Bond Girl.
Bubbledogs is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:30am – 4pm and 5:30pm – 11pm and is located at 70 Charlotte Street. Use the Goodge Street tube station.
Roka gets top marks for glitz and glamor. Contemporary Japanese robatayaki-inspired food is prepared at the central robata grill and if you’re lucky to sit around the bar surrounding it, you’re in for quite the show. Though somewhat small and definitely not cheap, each dish is impeccable. Our party of three Bond Girls shared spicy edamame, beef dumplings, baby ribs, and scallops followed by four sushi rolls.
Roka is open for dinner Monday – Friday from 5:30 – 11:30pm and Sundays from 5:30 – 10:30pm and for lunch Monday – Friday from 12 – 3:30pm and Saturday – Sunday from 12:30 – 4pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Roka is located at 37 Charlotte Street. Use the Goodge Street tube station.
This Bond Girl Guide to London was put together in collaboration with Visit Britain, London RIB Voyages, and the May Fair Hotel. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own. This article contains affiliate links. When you book on Viator through our affiliate sites, we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.