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Daniel%20Craig%20steps%20out%20of%20DB10-largeCars from the latest James Bond film join the popular Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum.

While Ian Fleming may have died over 20 years ago, his Bond franchise continues to thrill cinema-goers well beyond the shelf-life of his original fourteen novels . From today onwards, fans of SPECTRE can head to the London Film Museum to check out the props, costumes and cars used in the making of the latest film including the Aston Martin DB10 driven by Daniel Craig as well as the Jaguar C-X75 and Rolls-Royce Wraith driven by the villains Mr. Hinx and Franz Oberhauser.

“The Cars of SPECTRE” is part of the ongoing Bond in Motion exhibition, which features artefacts and cars from all 24 Bond films.

“James Bond was delighted. He had had many assignments in Jamaica and many adventures on the island.” –The Man with the Golden Gun

James Bond creator Ian Fleming has been given a nod of recognition in Jamaica. The island’s newest airport (for private jets and small aircraft) bears his moniker.

While working as a British naval intelligence officer during World War II, Fleming visited and fell in love with the Caribbean island. In the late 1940s, on a cliff overlooking the aquamarine waters of Jamaica’s north coast, he built a secluded retreat among the lush surroundings and called it Goldeneye. Here Fleming entertained Noel Coward, Truman Capote and other notables and penned all 14 of his 007 novels. Portions of three of them—Dr. No, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun—are set in Jamaica.

Today Goldeneye is a hotel and resort owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, and a stay in Fleming’s paradise doesn’t come cheap. Rates start at $448/night in the off season. Literary buffs with really deep pockets can stay as long as they’d like if they buy their own beach cottage at Goldeneye.

[Photo © Goldeneye Hotel and Resort]

This week marks the centenary of Ian Fleming, the man who gave us the world’s most famous secret agent. The first stop for 007 fans should be London’s Imperial War Museum, which is hosting a major exhibition, illuminating both Fleming’s life and that of his famed spy, whose worlds were more intertwined than one might imagine. Admittedly, my husband had to drag me to the exhibit (payback, perhaps, for last year’s trip to Brontë Country) but I came away glad that I went, despite having only ever seen one Bond movie.

Much of the material on display is on view for the first time ever, including Fleming’s writing desk, a military jacket he wore while serving as a Commander in the British Naval Intelligence Unit, and the manuscript for his children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang (who knew this multi-faceted military man, journalist and adventurer was also the imaginative force behind this children’s classic?!)

Film buffs like my husband will appreciate all of the exhibit’s movie memorabilia, like Daniel Craig’s bloodstained shirt from Casino Royale, Halle Berry’s bikini from Die Another Day and Goldfinger’s golf shoes. After leaving the museum, head across the river to swanky Dukes Bar in Mayfair, a one-time haunt of Fleming and home to the best martinis in London, which are served tableside and interestingly enough, are neither shaken nor stirred.

Hardcore fans should also make the 90-minute trip south of London to the National Motor Museum, which is home to many of the vehicles used on-set in the Bond films, like the Lotus Submarine Car from The Spy Who Loved Me and the Jaguar roadster from Die Another Day.

Having been so taken in by our Bond adventures over the past weekend, this Saturday I’ve agreed to accompany my husband to Borders on Oxford Street, which is holding a James Bond Day to celebrate the publication of Devil May Care, the new Bond adventure commissioned by the Fleming Estate and written by bestselling author Sebastian Faulks. In addition to in-store roulette wheels and quizzes testing our 007 knowledge, James Bond abseilers dressed in tuxedos are reportedly going to be scaling the store’s facade. Should be interesting! — Joni Rendon

[Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum] 

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