Some helpful Bond adviceCHARM WOMEN LIKE BOND
There is one accessory no aspiring Bond should be without — a Bond girl. But how to snag one? If you’ve read The Game, the bestseller by Neil Strauss, you’ll know about the “seduction community”, a group of men who swap online pick-up tips based on the premise that a man does not need to be especially good-looking to charm beautiful women.
A key player in the community is Wayne “Juggler” Elise, who heads Charisma Arts a company that claims to have turned thousands of inept men into smooth-talking lotharios.
Charisma Arts runs regular Charm School Boot Camps, coaching men in body language, “storytelling” and how to put across the right “vibe”. During the three-day course, they are taken to bars and nightclubs to test the techniques on unwary women. The key to success, says Elise, is to “internalise the beliefs of a man who is naturally charismatic”.
You can attend the boot camp in any of half a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Las Vegas and London. But the most appealing venue is the capital of chat, New York City, where courses are held once or twice a month at a cost of £865.
If you’re on the pull, you’ll want a cool crib. In Fleming’s Live and Let Die, Bond took a top-floor suite at the St Regis (00 800 3254 5454, www. stregis.com), on East 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, described by the author as “the best hotel in New York”. The King Cole Bar in the St Regis — one of several bars that claim to be the birthplace of the bloody mary — is a snug venue to celebrate your conquests. . . or drown your sorrows.
DRESS LIKE BOND
If you’re hoping to step into Bond’s well-polished shoes, you will almost certainly need to work on your appearance, starting with a new suit. In his novels, Fleming declined to name 007’s tailor, but he did specify that Bond favoured lightweight, single-breasted suits in navy serge. For a golfing weekend in the country, he would pack a hound’s-tooth check jacket.
Since Pierce Brosnan took over the role, Bond’s suits have been made by Brioni, a family-run Italian tailor. The Brioni look is sharp — wide in the shoulder and narrow in the waist, but lighter and softer than you’d get in Savile Row. (No mention of James Bond's black silk Bow Tie).
The suits aren’t cheap. You can buy off the peg at the London branch in Bruton Street (020 7491 7700, www.brioni.it; from £1,900), but if you want bespoke, you’ll need to fork out several thousand and spend at least two weeks in Milan kicking your heels between fittings.
A more alluring option is to jet off to Hong Kong and be measured up by one of the world’s most famous tailors. Manu Melwani — known to everybody as Sam — will not only kit you out with a superb handmade suit in high-quality fabric within 48 hours, he’ll do it for a bargain £250. Sam’s satisfied customers include Brosnan and Roger Moore, so you can rest assured that you’re getting James Bond quality at M&S prices. Sam’s (00 852 2367 9423, www.samstailor.com) is at 94 Nathan Road, Kowloon.
You shouldn’t have any problems filling your time in Hong Kong. Stay at the Philippe Starck-designed JIA (00 852 3196 9000, www.jiahongkong.com), in Causeway Bay, which has sleek designer studios for a bargain £135, B&B, then chow down with local office workers for some of the world’s best dim sum at Maxim’s Palace, a startlingly cacophonous red-and-gold dining room beside the Star Ferry terminal.
At night, the lights come on. Hong Kong’s neon-drenched skyline is never short of spectacular, but now, every evening at 8pm, a high-tech synchronised light show is projected onto the sky from 30 skyscrapers on both sides of the harbour. Watch it from the top deck of the Star Ferry (the fare is a mere 15p) or from Felix, a super-swanky bar on the 28th floor of the Peninsula Hotel, where you can sink cocktails until 2am. More...