Dukes Hotel | Fleming’s Drinking Hole

Entrance to Dukes Hotel
Couldn’t get the black cab to move.

Address: Dukes Hotel 35 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NY

I have made a video from my visit to Dukes Hotel in 1st October 2023. In the video I review the Afternoon Marteani Experience and drinks from the bar itself.

With thanks to someone in the comments video we know about the origins of the Vesper.

From the Andrew Lycett bio on Ian Fleming “ Vesper Lynds name came from an incident Ian had experienced with Ivar [Bryce] on Jamaica’s north coast. They visited a large mansion, met by an old butler who ushered them into a dimly lit drawing room. The butler returned carrying a tray with three glasses.

“Vespers are served,” he announced. This turned out to be a mixture of iced rum, fruit and herbs which their host drank at 6 o’clock every evening. They invented their own gin-based cocktail, the one ordered by Bond and called it Vesper. When Ian wrote his novel, he appropriated the name for his heroine.”

Harris Thomas with head barman Alessandro Palazzi

James Bond photos inside Dukes Hotel

There is a small collection of James Bond memorabilia in the main bar. And the menu is replete with James Bond themed cocktails.

Dukes Hotel cocktail menu
Fleming inspired Cocktail menu

But it’s unsure if Ian Fleming even frequented Dukes Hotel. There is no evidence on record to support this, although I welcome anything to counter that in the comments. When I asked one of the bar staff they confirmed there was no written record of Fleming ever staying or drinking in Dukes Hotel.


I’ve heard back from the PR Team at Dukes have written to say,

There isn’t any documented proof that the hotel have themselves, they believe the information has been passed through from customer to customer and owner of the hotel over the years.

Dukes Hotel long pour
The long pour

Nearest Bond Location: Buckingham Palace, Die Another Day, 5 minute walk.

Closest Pint: Golden Lion, 25 King St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6QY

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