Updated: Oct 19, 2020
The writer Ian Fleming, creator of the iconic James Bond novels, was a man of refined style and taste, and many of his ideas about Bond’s nature came from his own glamorous life, as a naval intelligence officer in the 1940’s and his work on “Operation Goldeneye”
He was born into a wealthy banking family in Mayfair and the historic streets and shops were his early stamping ground. The historic perfumery Floris located in Jermyn St which is mentioned in several of his novels, was a favorite , and he was known to use its distinctive cologne No 89, created in 1951 and named for the number of the street where the shop is still located. It is available today, and with a mix of orange, bergamot, lavender and neroli is a classic gentleman’s cologne.
Another place close by but discreetly hidden is Dukes Bar in St James’s Place within Dukes Hotel, where the Vesper Martini was regularly served for Fleming. The original recipe appears in the first Bond novel Casino Royale in 1952, where James asks a barman to make him a particular martini, and names it after the glamorous Vesper Lynd who he meets subsequently. Sadly not all the ingredients are available today, but the talented cocktail waiters at Dukes will serve you well. You may enjoy one of this famous martini and ask for another but due to their strength its unlikely you will ask or be served a third. The legendary bar manager of Dukes, Alessandro Palazzi, favours a No 3 London Dry Gin made nearby by Berry Bros, and uses the aromatic
oil from a Seville orange, and a strip of peel to garnish rather than an olive.
Floris , 89 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6JH
Dukes Bar, 35 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NY