We only had one thing planned on Sunday, and that was the walking tour with London Walks called Magical Mystery Tour, which obviously represents the Beatles! Yep, it was Beatles time. But that wasn’t until 11am, so we were able to sleep in quite a bit, which was nice. We then headed a block or so from the hotel to a Cote Patisserie for breakfast, and it was wonderful. French, and we no longer cared about making it British. :-).
Our French breakfast was here
Our room is behind this crazy sculpture on the hotel exterior
Something was getting filmed in SoHo Park today
The Magical Mystery Tour London Walk
Another cool thing after going back to the room was realizing the meetup point was the Tottenham Court Road station, which was walking distance and one we’d been to many times. SoHo is a great place to be. We met there and immediately saw a few cute guys also in the group, and all was well. There was one who looked so much like Liam Hemsworth, but cuter. Hard to believe, but yes. There was also a hot guy that looked a bit like David Schwimmer, but way hotter. Anyway, so the tour! We immediately learned that we had been staying and walking amongst music history while being based in our SoHo hotel. We learned that as the tour first went back to SoHo Park as that’s where Paul McCartney’s music offices are. HOLY SHIT. Then around the corner from our hotel is Trident Studios, where a large part of the 60s and 70s music was recorded, including a big part of the White Album, David Bowie’s awesome stuff, Queen, Elton John, Carly Simon, Genesis….etc. Lots of awesomeness.
We met our Beatles Walking Tour outside our regular Tube station
Walked back to SoHo Park
As this is where Paul McCartney has his offices
Outside Trident Studios
A superstar list of 60s and 70s recordings
The tour then took us over to the Palladium where Beatlemania was born, Carnaby Street where the Swinging 60s epicenter was, Savile Row and where the previous Apple HQ was and also the site of the last Beatles performance on its Rooftop, as well as the alley area that has both the hottest club where Keith Moon asked to be in the Beatles along with the art gallery where John met Yoko. CRAZY.
A mural for SoHo
That’s our tour guide
Where the Swinging Sixties Scene really took off
The London Palladium was where Beatlemania exploded
Larry caught Beatlemania!!!
So did I!!!
One of the legends associated with the Beatles
Some ridiculousness was happening at Hamleys
Making our way to Savile Row
A fancy as fuck shopping street
And also where Apple Records had its offices
And that’s the rooftop where the Beatles performed their last concert
It’s now an Abercrombie kids office
Fortnum & Mason, which is known for their tea
This gallery is where John met Yoko
Once the hottest club in London
All of this was right in this little corner area
Off to Abbey Road!!!!!!!
But the absolute best was yet to come, as we all then took the Jubilee line a few stops north to St John’s Wood, which is the closest Tube stop to Abbey Road!!!!!
Yep, we ended the tour at Abbey Road Studios, which of course is where most of the Beatles output was recorded as well as the location of the crosswalk best seen in the Abbey Road album cover.So yeah, after the tour ended there, we all took pictures on the crosswalk.Larry & I got a few good pictures solo, but I finally asked someone if they could take our picture together on the crosswalk and it turned out fantastically. Yay!We then went into the gift shop at Abbey Road and ended up buying most souvenirs there that we’d bought the entire trip.It was a magical place and a great gift shop.
We took the Tube to the St John’s Wood station near Abbey Road Studios
THE ABBEY ROAD CROSSWALK!!!!
Yes, it’s an unending stream of folks taking this picture
Abbey Road Studios!
I’m pretty sure this was Isabella Rossellini
Larry does the walk
I’m totally chill, obviously
We got some help to get this shot – worth it
We made it to the Studios
You can’t go into the studios but you can go to the gift shop!
It was an AWESOME store – and we bought plenty
It gets more crowded as the day goes on
Outside the St John’s Wood Station
Once ready to leave, we then returned back into London. Larry had noticed a restaurant that indicated it had afternoon tea on our walk to the Tube station, and that was one thing I’d wanted to do. So we had filed that away and so came back to it, having afternoon tea! The tea was very good, but there’s a lot to it that I’m not sure about. Finger sandwiches really weren’t to my liking and most of the cakes were not something I’d like. But happily, there was also chocolate cake and a glass of prosecco. I’m glad to have done it. May not need to do it again, although the tea was great.
We got tea at Richoux as the other places are insanely priced
Um, that’s a ton of fucking food
You need to have like 8 people there. Champagne is always great.
And of course, tea
Strolling to Buckingham Palace and into the Churchill War Rooms
It was a great break though. At this point, with it being our last full day in London, we only had a limited time left to do stuff. So we decided to do a swoop of Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and end it with the Imperial War Rooms. We tried to walk by the St James Palace and see the Palace Guard you can take pictures with, but the entire place was fenced off. FEH. We did stop by outside Buckingham Palace for pictures (no inside visits), then to the Queen’s Gift shop off to the side of the Palace to pick up Oliver!! We have a new Corgi puppy now. Ralphie will be pleased, I’m sure. After that, we walked through the park until we got to the War Rooms museum. It is amazing. I went there back in 2002 and remember it a little, but kind of get it confused with the Imperial War Museum, I think. So it was a lot of fun and it’s very informative of a museum. I really do want to get some WW2 books into my collection and read about it more – Churchill is such an amazing figure. There really were some ‘right people, right time, right place’ situations. It’s hard to believe.
We then walked into Green Park
Made it to Buckingham Palace
The Royal Gates
This is the Victoria Memorial outside the Palace Gates
St James Palace – Closed today! FEH
Walking along The Mall towards the Admiralty Arch
Looking back toward Buckingham Palace
And then towards Admiralty Arch
Ah, the parks. So relaxing.
Looking at St James Park Lake
This is where the Churchill War Rooms are located
We closed the place down
Walking towards the Horse Guards Building
Back through Trafalgar Square to get some Indian food at Kishoom
After that, as we were there until it closed, we walked back through town, through Trafalgar Square, and then Larry navigated us to Dishoom, a fantastic Indian restaurant in London. There was a line outside, and it’s worth it. We probably had to wait an hour or so, but again, so worth it. The first stop after getting out of the line outside was downstairs to the bar, where we did chat with a solo black woman from Bermuda. That wasn’t too long though as we then had our table back on the main level. The food was amazing, the wait staff were so helpful, there was a super hot waiter that wasn’t ours but biceps for days, and was a wonderful way to wipe out the memory of the disappointing Ippudo. Larry was happy!!!
Back at the Trafalgar Square
Big ass lions
Outside the National Gallery again
Waiting in line for Dishoom, a really great Indian restaurant
Once inside, waiting some more at the bar
Finally at a table to EAT
Then it was time to walk back to the hotel through our wonderful SoHo neighborhood. We were done with bars and food at that point and it was time to go back and relax. Yay! Sleepy time and a nice and great end to a wonderful trip.
The Palace Theater – where Les Mis was back in 2002
This was a fun day.We were able to sleep in a little bit (not much), as we had tickets to the London Film Museum’s exhibit “Bond in Motion” – a collection of Bond cars and vehicles from throughout the movies.Started at 10am, which was our window (although from having visited there now, I don’t think it was quite necessary to buy the tickets in advance; better safe than sorry).So we got a quick breakfast in at the nearby Starbucks, then walked over to the museum.Yeah, walked, as our hotel is so centrally located.Walked through the West End, seeing the theaters for Aladdin and Harry Potter on the way there.It was also raining slightly, which was about time as London is supposed to have some rain! It also was nice for it to be cool a little as it’s been pretty damn hot/warm here and in Paris!
Anyway, we got to the exhibit and it was absolutely amazing.Everything was laid out in a great fashion and there were so many important cars to the series present, from the Aston Martins, the Rolls Royces, Jaguars, etc.Quite amazing, and I took lots of pictures.Larry bought lots of cool things too, including the guide book.We also got a few shots with the life size Connery mannequin up front.Just spectacular the whole thing.Well worth coming to London for!!!!
So….let’s try to break these pictures down in some kind of order…first, getting to the London Film Museum via the route shown above:
A rainy start to our day in SoHo
The walk to the museum took us through the West End – and next to the show we’d see the next day
Rainy conditions won’t stop us from taking a pic
Didn’t make it to this sold-out show
Our destination – the Bond in Motion exhibit
The Foyer of the Exhibit:
Awaiting us in the lobby – a Sean Connery Bond mannequin
Pretty good likeness
There were great clips being shown throughout
Barnes, Hobie Barnes
Now we’re talking
MI:6 Mock-up from The World Is Not Enough:
The MI:6 mockup used when planning The World Is Not Enough’s opening scene
The part of the building where the boat launches from
You Only Live Twice:
The “Little Nellie” autogyro from You Only Live Twice
Little Nellie from below
The boxes that held Little Nellie in You Only Live Twice
Heading down into the main exhibit…
The main floor of what was shown was simply spectacular. Almost every vehicle you’d expect to see was there, seriously.
A View To A Kill:
We found the Rolls Royce from a View to a Kill – poor Tibbets
It’s actually Cubby Broccoli’s Rolls
Goldeneye / Goldfinger:
The Aston Martin DB5s shown here had a model version based off of the Goldfinger one, as well as a real car that was used in Goldeneye.
Us with an Aston Martin DB5 – from Goldeneye, we think
It’s the same model of car that was also in Goldfinger, as you can see in the movie in the background
Another view of the Aston Martin DB5 as well as a model made for Skyfall
The Rolls Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger – what a car
Die Another Day:
Evil Zao’s Jaguar XKR from Die Another Day, with optional machine gun
Bond’s Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day
Larry with the fold-up jet from Octopussy’s opener
Octopussy’s Tuk-Tuk Taxi from the drive through India
The Living Daylights:
The Aston Martin V8 from The Living Daylights – note the cello and case in the background
The World Is Not Enough:
The BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough – this one wasn’t sliced in two
The model King helicopter from The World Is Not Enough with death blades
Quantum of Solace:
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service:
Tracy’s Mercury Cougar XR7 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Another view of the Mercury from OHMSS
Diamonds Are Forever:
Diamonds Are Forever’s Spectre Bath-o-Sub that belonged to Blofeld
The Ford Mustang Mach I from Diamonds Are Forever
Honda ATC 90 belonging to White as Bond escapes in Diamonds Are Forever
Map Tokens for Diamonds Are Forever
The Spy Who Loved Me:
The submersible Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me
Very cool to see this
Clapper from Spectre
Inside the Cars from Spectre part of the exhibit
The gorgeous Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre
The Jaguar C-X75 that tries to catch Bond in Rome in Spectre
The Rolls Royce Wraith the picks Bond up in Africa in Spectre
Another view of the Jaguar
The Land Rover Defender that tries to escape Bond in the Alps in Spectre
Some promotional stills from the latest Bond movie, Spectre
For Your Eyes Only:
The Neptune 2-Man Sub from For Your Eyes Only
What remains of the Citroen 2CV from For Your Eyes Only
The Man With the Golden Gun:
The Man With the Golden Gun’s AMC Hornet X – not corkscrewing through the air at this moment
The really jacked up Aston Martin DBS from Casino Royale
It did a lot of rolls to look like that
Various Odds & Ends:
Pierce Brosnan’s Bond passport
And Daniel Craig’s Bond passport
The faked up IDs from Casino Royale – Stephanie Broadchest was really her spy name
Lots more motorcycles
Ken Adams’ signature – he’s the production designer behind so much of Bond
Props from Moonraker
The lounge down here was pretty nice and we enjoyed a cappuccino
Just saying – this was the best collection of James Bond cars you could ever hope to see.
The James Bond Walking Tour
But that wasn’t the end of our James Bond adventures today.So after the London Film Museum exhibition, we came back to the hotel to drop off the new goodies we’d just bought, then headed back out to Charing Cross Station as at 2pm, we were joining up for a James Bond Walking Tour!!!Holy crap, this is quite an amazing and somewhat grueling walk, as you walk a LOT.Starting at Charing Cross, you get some insight into how the underground sections were used quite frequently, especially for the chase scenes in Skyfall.
We then meandered through London to various locales that were used in Spectre and Skyfall before heading to the National Gallery Museum right near Trafalgar Square.Got a lot of backstory on the filming there as well as the use of art, especially in Skyfall.The use of the various paintings, combined with the accounts of Admiral Nelson in the battle of Trafalgar and how those were analogous to James Bond and M’s demise….holy shit, it was amazing.Then when in the National Gallery (didn’t know we’d be going in there!), we saw not only where Q and James Bond meet for the first time in Skyfall, but also the painting that James Bond notices in Dr. No, which at the time in the 60s had just been stolen. AWESome.
Heading to Charing Cross for our James Bond Walking Tour
You have to take this shot. It’s the law.
Making our way back into the West End
I’m everywhere – as is my name
The starting point for our Bond Walking Tour was the Charing Cross Underground station
In Charing Cross’ Tube Station & Outside Rules
Charing Cross Station was used a lot in Skyfall
although of course it will be changed for whatever the movie needs it to be
This staircase is featured in Skyfall
This upscale restaurant is where the team regroups before the final act in Spectre
Off to Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square was our next stop
and we were about to go into the National Gallery
Us in the Square
rude photobomb, dude
And Inside the National Portrait Gallery
This portrait is one of the items that Dr. No stole in Dr No
This Joseph Turner painting, The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, holds meaning and was in Skyfall
The museum interior is beautiful
After leaving the museum, we walked through Trafalgar Square and over to the Admiralty Gate which faces Buckingham Palace. These were the scenes of other M:I6 locations in the movies, which was a lot of fun.The guide was just such a great source of knowledge and energy!
We then walked over through the Whitehall street area which is a huge place for Skyfall, passing 10 Downing Street too.After getting a great shot in the middle of the street that matches Bond’s chase of Silva down the street, we all then hopped on a red London Bus (which I’d been wanting to do!!! Score!) and rode the route down to a station right across the Thames from where the MI:6 building actually is and what you see in the movies.That was where the tour ended, and it was just a blast to have gone on it.Seriously.Amazing!!!
Through Trafalgar Square to the Admiralty Gate
Bond exits this way in Skyfall
One of the lions in Trafalgar Square
Nelson, a little bit clearer
We’re outside what has been used as a facade for MI6 in certain movies
Looking towards Buckingham Palace
This is Admiralty Arch – and has been used in various establishing shots throughout the series
Walking Around the Whitehall Area:
Here we are in Whitehall
which is very much a government-focused area
More movie magic – this is NOT an actual Underground exit like it was in Skyfall
Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue
Who’s driving that?
Can’t remember what this exterior was used as
Oh – that’s the rooftop from the end of Skyfall
They’re the Horse Guards
And then near 10 Downing Street, with some Action Shots:
This is 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives
so now we’re in the middle of the street
and it’s where Bond is running after Silva through London in Skyfall
and so of course, we had to recreate the pose
I’m totally running here
The double-decker red bus took us down the Thames so we could get the across-the-river view of MI:6. It was awesome.
MI6 along the Thames
We got to ride a double-decker bus to the next location!
So exciting – I’d wanted to ride one
Our destination was across the Thames from the MI6 building
It’s obviously been made famous in the Brosnan and Craig Bonds, up until Spectre that is
Those apartments are insane looking
Levene, Larry Levene
Our tour group got a workout that day – they were so much fun
That loft up top was used in Get Him to the Greek
I coudl totally enjoy that living space
After the tour, we were on our own to get back
ooo, the Shard from a great distance
Such a striking building – want to visit it one day
Closer to MI6
You can see we’re a bit of a ways away from the main tourist part of London
Look at these places – kind of over the top
On the Vauxhall Bridge as we get closer to the other side of the Thames
The day wasn’t over yet!
We walked across the Vauxhall Bridge to the Tube station there, taking it back to the Westminster area as we had a Champagne Experience on the London Eye at 7.But that wasn’t for a few hours, so we ended up finding a place called Slug & Lettuce to eat at, which was a bit of a more corporate looking place to eat.It worked for us, although the food wasn’t anything special to write home about.After that, we got checked in at the London Eye for the Champagne Experience, which was okay.The time was good as the twilight was ending and the lights were coming on, and we got a glass of champagne and the host was very helpful with taking pictures of us.It was a good time but we were definitely getting tired.
Heading Back to the London Eye Area
After a brief tube ride north, we were back at the Westminster area
And the London Eye was our next destination
I like this picture
We had time to kill and were hungry – and there’s not a lot of places to eat in this area
ooooo, dramatic shot of the London Eye
The Champagne Experience on the London Eye at Sunset
About to board our Champagne Experience pod
Looking towards Charing Cross Station
The London Eye has a spectacular perspective of London
We were enjoying the time, but it was a bit packed in there
The Charing Cross Station and Golden Jubilee bridges
Pretty cool shot of Parliament and us
Parliament, Big Ben
You can see in the distance on the Thames where the MI6 area is where we just were
The walkie-talkie building
Inside our Champagne pod
We’d been on our feet most of the day, but that didn’t stop us from walking back to see what’s what.We crossed the Golden Jubilee Bridge and then meandered through the West End and SoHo again, finding Chinatown this time as well as the gay bar area.
Oh yeah, also found a gelato place that made the coolest rose formation of ice cream in a cone for you.It was delightful, and Delicious.