James Bond Venues in London
James Bond Events Venues for Hire, London
To say I’m slightly excited about writing this blog is an understatement. I’ve been a huge Bond fan ever since I first saw Pierce Brosnan tearing up the streets of Moscow up in Goldeneye (1995). After that I was hooked, I’ve seen all the films numerous times and read all of the original books, I am an unashamed Bond bore. Today (Oct 26th) marks the next installment in my love affair with Britain’s most famous export, the release of Spectre, where Bond will confront his past. I have no doubt it will be another epic, my tickets have been booked for weeks.
With much of Bond having been set in London I thought why not take a run down of some of the venues used by the directors & producers over the years, specifically those you can hire for meetings & events.
The Barbican, No one quite knows why the director of Quantum decided against setting the Mi6 HQ as the usual (and correct) Vauxhall Cross, but he did and decided instead that the Barbican Centre would play host instead. Most are familiar with the imposing 1960’s estate that forms the Barbican, one of London’s premier arts centres and the largest of its kind in Europe. Few may know, however, about the extensive conference and events facilities on offer there. Given the estates purpose as an arts centre there are numerous theatres across the site seating from a few hundred up to 2000. There’s state of the art AV equipment throughout and a vast array of smaller breakout rooms, ideal for daytime meetings.
Somerset House One of London’s most iconic buildings played host to James Bond on two consecutive outings. In Golden eye it played the role of St Peter’s Square, Moscow, followed by a star turn in Tomorrow Never Dies as the Mi6 HQ. In the real world it's a well known events venue, with part of it now being owned by Kings College London, who very kindly rent out a number of fantastic spaces for meetings & events.
London Film Museum Ok, James Bond may have never visited the Museum and he hasn’t filmed here either, however it’s worth a visit for any fan. The current exhibition, Bond in Motion, features a huge number of vehicles from all 24 films. You’ll find everything from boats & planes, to the famous Aston Martin DB5 used in Goldfinger. The entire venue can be hired for events such as drinks receptions, awards dinners and Christmas parties, with all of these fantastic exhibits included to create the most incredible Bond themed setting.
The Royal Horseguards Hotel Having only been a hotel for the past 7 years the building, originally Whitehall Court, was used in some scenes during the filming of Roger Moore’s Octopussy. However there are more spy links than that. During both wars Whitehall Court was used by Mi5 & Mi6 for offices and operations. Given that it’s next door to the Ministry of Defence there’s more than a fair chance that some real life James Bond’s could be spotted here from time to time. Here’s our review of the event spaces on offer at the hotel
Dukes Hotel Mayfair Arguably the most Bond related venue on the list, Dukes world famous bar was often frequented by author Ian Fleming, and is rumoured to have been the birthplace of the legendary “shaken, not stirred” line. The hotel offers 3 beautiful and intimate event rooms, which are ideal for board meetings and private dining. There are also a number of bars and restaurants to relax in at the end of a difficult day saving the world.
Four Seasons Canary Wharf Once again thanks to the trickery of cinematography Bond is transported half way around the world. In Skyfall he takes a well earned swim in a rooftop pool over looking Shanghai before fighting another nemesis. In reality Daniel Craig had a quick car ride to the Four Seasons Canary Wharf, where he was filmed swimming in the hotels pool overlooking the Thames. The fight was then filmed in the Broadgate Tower, just a few miles away.
The Reform Club While Die Another Day won't go down in history as a particularly memorable Bond it did have some good scenes. One such scene where Bond took on the dashing yet dastardly Gustav Graves in a fencing duel to the near death was filmed at the Reform Club on Pall Mall, and made even more notable by the cameo appearance from Queen of Pop, Madonna. The Reform Club has numerous spaces available for dinners, meetings and parties, however you will need to become a member, which is arguably more difficult than beating James Bond in a duel.
Dukes Hotel, Mayfair, where Ian Fleming created the famous line "Shaken, not stirred"
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