All The fun of the Arcade.
Article by – Tie Another Day.
On Monday 20th September, I was fortunate to attend a very special event at Burlington Arcade where several of the brands collaborated together for a celebration of James Bond and the new film No Time To Die. (Out in cinemas 30th SEPT 2021)
A star spangled affair
Before the event started I was passing Burlington Gardens and there was a buzz of excitement in the air. An Aston Martin DB5, and V8 Vantage were parked outside the entrance. A crowd of excited car and Bond fans cowered the area. During the build-up, I was lucky to spot Meg Simmonds (chief archivist of the Bond films at EON Productions Ltd) overseeing the whole set up. I was also fortunate to say hello to Adam Holdsworth (CEO N.Peal Cashmere), outside the Arcade.
Just as I was about to enter the arcade, none other than Greg Williams was outside and taking photos of the car. Having owned all of the Bond on Set books, it was a real honour and privilege to meet the photographer who over the past 20 years has captured so many images associated with the Bond films.
Whilst inside the event, again I bumped into other celebrities including David Arnold who was very gracious. I had the opportunity to say that his scores were by far the best of the whole entire Bond series.
It truly was an evening in celebration of James Bond. The floor of the arcade was transformed with a narrow stripe of carpet in the colours of James Bond’s NATO strap for the No Time To Die Omega Seamaster 300 watch. The ceiling included cut outs of cogs and springs to provide that effect of the inner workings being on display in gold and silver.
In the middle of Burlington Arcade was a mirrored glass gun barrel tunnel, perfect for those 007 poses. It is a testament that a majority of the stores had been involved in providing clothing, shoes, luggage, and drinks for James Bond, and reaffirmed the Britishness of 007.
The journey through the arcade was littered with several shops that are synonymous with James Bond, and more specifically No Time To Die. I have tried to document this journey below.
N.Peal sits on the corner of Burlington Gardens and is the first store you see when you enter into the arcade. Much has been documented of N.Peal’s involvement with the Bond films over the years, but their involvement for No Time To Die has given us more than sweaters. The combat trousers as seen in trailers is something of a new turn. Whether you adore or detest, you cannot ignore the importance and significance of a show piece that appears to the costume that defines the film.
If you are visiting Burlington Arcade, the Bond collection is located on the first floor in a comfortable boutique that is peppered with lots of nods and winks to James Bond. Including a certain book (Wink). The view from the 1st floor gives you a great vantage of the arcade.
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Right next door to N.Peal is the latest addition to the arcade, the Bollinger Champagne bar. The new Bollinger 007 Bar is the world’s first Bollinger 007 Champagne bar and the only standalone branded bar in London.
The Bollinger 007 bar situated in the heart of Burlington Arcade is spread across two floors. The ground floor is resplendent in gold and black, framed with gold leaf walls and bespoke brass and marble furniture and a Bollinger bar, whilst the 1st floor lounge is a place to luxuriate on the plush seating.
This bar offers a taste of elegance on the arcade, with an impressive window display of a 1/6 scale Aston Martin DB5. The bar celebrates the long term partnership as being James Bond champagne of choice for over 40 years in film.
In Bond’s Garage
In No Time To Die, Bollinger makes a notable appearance in the film when Bond returns to his garage and take the keys to his Aston Martin V8 Vantage, last seen in The Living Daylights. Within the garage Bond has a small set of 5 crates of Bollinger Champagne, although it is questionable whether a garage is the best place for a crate of fine champagne. For the release of No Time To Die Bollinger have released a new limited edition bottle which has an amazing box cover.
This new limited-edition bottle follows previous incarnations of limited-edition bottles and boxes.
It brings together three icons: Bollinger’s signature Special Cuvée, the Aston Martin DB5 and the legendary British secret agent, James Bond. Honouring the most perfect of partnerships, the limited edition gift box features the silhouette of James Bond alongside his Aston Martin DB5, celebrated photographer Greg Williams shot the new Special Cuvée 007 Limited Edition campaign, which features Greg’s signature cinematic style that appears in the No Time To Die campaign.
Also on display, one of the more interesting is the box is in the shape of a Moonraker shuttle. Indeed, there are other boxes that have intricate designs, and etched bottles with the Bond film logos, all of which are highly sought after.
Crockett & Jones
Bond’s shoemaker of choice has an outlet on the arcade, and it was great to see the limited edition “James” model that was created specifically for the character. Whilst it doesn’t feature in the film, the set it appears in contains specially branded 007 shoe brushes, shoe bags, and shoe trees.
I have purchased a pair of the dark brown Molton rough suede boots as seen in No Time To Die. Like every other pair of shoes from Crockett & Jones they are a joy to wear. In my opinion they are the most comfortable shoes I have worn.
Another Bond brand with a presence on the arcade is Globe Trotter. They have provided the luggage for Daniel Craig’s Bond when he visited Morocco in Spectre. For No Time To Die, Globe Trotter have produced a special series of luggage that has been seen in trailers when Bond is in Matera, Italy. The Ocean Green Vulcanised Fireboard suite of luggage is very exquisite and luxurious, and in turn represent and exudes the look and feel of Bond.
Omega are celebrating over 25 years of their connection with James Bond with the Omega Seamaster 300M appearing on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye. For No Time To Die, the watch provided is a new titanium design with a tropical brown dial and watch face, along with an intricate Milanese bracelet that is also made from grade 2 titanium. You can read more on my thoughts in my review.
The specially designed Omega House on the arcade offers three floors of celebration of this union. On the ground floor, there is a mini replica of M’s office with the pictures of Bernard Lee, Dame Judi Dench, and Robert Brown as their respective incarnations of M in the Bond films. The first and second floors provide a gallery of the latest watches as well as a gallery of images related to Bond and Omega’s history. Due to the popularity of the place, I could only see this store from the outside. However, I urge you that this is a place to visit if you are a Bond and Omega fan.
Bond is Back
The event was well attended and was indeed a celebration of the James Bond films. In particular the involvement of so many brands based along this tiny arcade who’s contributions have allowed us Bond fans to emulate that Bond Experience of wearing the same jumper, or the same shoes, or having the same luggage, or wrist watch or even sampling his champagne.
The Bollinger bar is going to be an addition to the Burlington Arcade and will be serving customers until December. If you are in town, do pay a visit to them. The other brands who will also warmly welcome you to their boutiques.
Credits and further reading
- With thanks to Z (@Tie_Another_Day) for posting this review and capturing the essence of the experience. Be sure to follow him on instagram.
- With thanks to Bollinger for the invitation and Carl Thompson for the introduction.
- Photos by Hannah Harley-Young, courtesy of Bollinger.