With the recent release of the much anticipated Spectre, James Bond should certainly be on your radar right now. And while you spend your weekend dissecting the new film and deciding how it stacks up in comparison to the others, we’ve decided to check in on one particular character from the iconic James Bond canon.
Remember On Our Majesty’s Secret Service? The one with the one-time-only Australian Bond George Lazenby? The film features our handsome spy face off against Blofeld and (spoiler) eventually lose the love of his life Tracy in a drive-by shooting. Before the untimely demise of Tracy however, we meet another young Bond girl who, in recent years, had made quite the name for herself as a classy interior designer – a far cry from the B-grade sidepiece she played beside Bond here.
In the film, Anouska Hempel played an Australian girl getting treatment for her allergies alongside 11 other “angels of death” at the clinical allergy-research institute atop Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps.
Following the release of the film and a few other acting jobs, New-Zealand born Hempel decided to up and quit acting to pursue her real passion – interior design. The apple of her creative eye is a luxurious boutique hotel in London, Blakes. Opened in the late ’70s, the hotel is known for its swanky, opulent style – something you might expect from a former Bond girl.
Entering Blakes Hotel is a little like stepping into a different world – it’s rife with Eastern influences and there’s a certain sense that everything you’re doing could be construed as espionage. Word has it that when it opened almost 40 years ago, the intimate property was often frequented by famous rockstars who enjoyed Blakes’ discreet service and multiple private entrances (all the better for secretly sneaking in for the occasional illicit affair). Ooooh.
Nowadays the hotel oozes class, comfort and functionality. Each of the 47 guest rooms take inspiration for a different exotic land, and are fitted with all the necessities to make your room function as a self-contained hideaway in west London.
Pretend you’re a spy on a covert mission – prices for Blakes start at around £240 ($513AUD) a night. MI6 will cover that, right?
(All images: Blakes Hotel)