Skyfall -- the recently released James Bond film -- has sparked a flurry of 007-themed travel offerings.
FROM LONDON WITH LOVE
London's Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel has a "From Seven Dials With Love" menu through November.
Influenced by Ian Fleming's iconic novels and subsequent films, and using rich British ingredients, the menu showcases some of the memorable dishes enjoyed by 007 over the past 60 years. Flavoursome delights include:
-- A creamy scrambled-eggs-and-caviar starter with steamed asparagus, melba toast and whipped bacon butter. Scrambled eggs were Fleming's favourite food, and Bond has been known to serve them when entertaining female companions for breakfast.
-- Grilled lamb cutlets in red-wine sauce with mint-buttered peas and garlic-roasted potatoes, similar to a Moonraker meal shared with M at a private London club.
-- Vodka-marinated strawberry jelly and cream, reminiscent of a vodka-strawberry pairing served in Diamonds Are Forever.
And the perfect pre-or post-meal libation? A 1953 Casino Royale Vesper Martini, of course.
Located in the heart of funky Seven Dials Village, the Mercer Street Hotel is steps from shopping, restaurants and theatres. The three-course menu ($48 per person) is available in the Dial restaurant, which is popular with theatregoers. See radissonblu-edwardian.com/mercerstreet.
007'S TOP SEVEN
Thomas Cook Travel has packages that make it easy for James Bond fans to visit the glamorous places that have served as settings for 007 films, including:
ISTANBUL: (Skyfall, From Russia, With Love, The World is Not Enough): Beautiful architecture and an aura of mystery keep the 007 crew coming back to Istanbul. Many civilizations have left their marks on this historic city, which straddles two continents and is a fascinating blend of east and west. Air Transat Holidays has packages for eight nights in Istanbul, including air, for $1,149 (plus $469.76 taxes and fees) and accommodations with daily breakfast at the four-star Grand Yavuz. Flights leave from Toronto on Air Transat (June 8) .
JAMAICA: (Dr No, Live and Let Die): The setting for one of the most iconic Bond girl scenes, this Caribbean island even has a James Bond Beach along with natural beauty -- forested mountains, breath-taking waterfalls, superb white sand beaches -- and friendly locals. Sunquest has a seven-nights deal for Ocho Rios, including air, for $679 plus $389.81 taxes and fees. Flights leave from Toronto on WestJet (Dec. 9) with accommodations at the four-star, all-inclusive Sunset Jamaica Grande.
LAS VEGAS: (Diamonds Are Forever): The destination of choice this year for royalty and celebrities, Vegas is the ultimate adult playground and setting for many blockbuster movies. Diamonds Are Forever features some of the city's most famous landmarks. WestJet Vacations has three nights in Las Vegas, including air, for $349 plus $134.98 taxes and fees. Flights leave from Toronto on Dec. 9 with lodging at the three-star Circus Circus Hotel & Casino.
THAILAND: (Man With The Golden Gun, Tomorrow Never Dies): Phang Nga, Thailand, aka James Bond Island, made a huge impression in Man With the Golden Gun. To visit the setting, head to Phuket, one of Thailand's most popular islands with kilometres of pristine beaches and excellent diving. Exotik Tours' Thailand Splendours has 12 days in Thailand from $2,549 plus fees and taxes. The deal includes round-trip flights from Vancouver to Bangkok on China Airlines (year-round departures), tours of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, plus a three-day beach stay in either Phuket, Cha Am or Koh Samui, first-class accommodations, and some meals.
MEXICO: (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Quantum of Solace): From mountains to deserts to rainforests, Mexico's dramatic landscapes have played host to many 007 classics. Popular year-round, Mexico offers the perfect combination of culture, cuisine and coastline plus excellent hotels and resorts. Sunquest's seven-night Los Cabos package includes WestJet flights from Vancouver and a stay at the all inclusive four- star Melia Cabo Real for $1,109 plus $356.60 fees and taxes.
MIAMI: (Thunderball, Goldfinger, Casino Royale): Greater Miami and the Fontainebleau Hotel have been the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. Famous for its beaches, Art Deco architecture and celebrity visitors, the city offers culture, upscale shopping, exciting nightlife and a near perfect climate year-round. WestJet Vacations has an air-inclusive five-night package leaving Toronto Dec. 2 for $479 plus $148.76 fees and taxes, with lodging at the three-star all-inclusive Ocean Sky Hotel.
MONTE CARLO: (GoldenEye): Synonymous with wealth, glamour and sophistication, Monte Carlo is a perfect fit for the Bond mystique. Famed for the pink Palais Princier, Grand Prix racing, the casino and of course the yacht-filled harbour, it's a perfect city break and sunshine getaway for both jet-setters and ordinary folk. Air Canada offers regular service out of Toronto to Nice, France, about 30 km from Monte Carlo.
For more on Thomas Cook packages, see thomascook.ca.
BOND ON BAY
Toronto's Trump International Hotel & Tower has a Shaken Not Stirred: Bond On Bay package lavish enough for the sophisticated spy himself.
Priced at $17,007, the over-the-top deal includes: A two-night stay in a 30th-floor executive suite with the highest views in Toronto and "Trump Attache" service. Access to a Continental Bentley GT during your stay. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for two with Champagne at Stock Restaurant both days. Admission for two to the Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style exhibition and two movie passes to a Bond film at TIFF Bell Lightbox, with return limousine service. A designer cocktail dress and Hugo Boss tuxedo (yours to take home) with private fitting at The Room at the Hudson's Bay Co. Couples massage and beauty session at Quartz Crystal Spa. Martini "Shaken not Stirred" lesson at the hotel's Suits Lobby Lounge. In-room cigar box, fruit and bespoke chocolate from Stock's Chocolate Lab.
The deal can be booked until Jan. 20 using promo code PKG007. Contact 855-88-TRUMP (87867) or visit TrumpTorontoHotel.com.