Magazine article The Spectator

Food Nouvelle Jerk

Magazine article The Spectator

Food Nouvelle Jerk

Article excerpt

Goldeneye is the house in Jamaica where I an F leming wrote James Bond, and spanked his wife; that is why F leming created Bond I think, even as he ran the Sunday Times foreign desk and (some say) spies - to spank the Russians, who have very big bottoms. Ah, for the days when hacks could afford houses in Jamaica and lived exquisite fantasy lives in which they got loads of sex, and killed people (usually foreigners) to pay the mortgage.

(As I never tire of pointing out, James Bond was a civil servant. ) Goldeneye is a hotel now, smooth, twinkling and monetised, with a line of wooden villas stretched along a raked beach, dotted with flippers, because tourists love, for some reason, to impersonate fish.

F leming's cold white house stares over it, open to those with $5,500 a night to spend - that is, presumably, Bond villains.

Goldeneye is only semi-themed, because anything else would be tasteless; there is nothing as frightening as Rosa Klebb's arse, or even face. There are photographs of Ursula Andress, who was a very improbable fisherman in Dr No (she was a fisherman like Karl Lagerfeld is a fisherman), in the Bond Bar, and there is a pool in the shape of an eye, which is prettier than the people who paddle in it, but none of this amounts to themed leisure, being too subtle, and lacking guns and cars that do strange things, such as swim or write books. The room key wallet, however, is thrillingly suicidal; it suggests you burn after reading.

A says this message is written in the font used by the diplomatic service.

(He failed an interview with a certain government department, being so discreet that he neglected to speak. ) But there are neither sharks nor lairs here, although we never entirely lose our fear of the lagoon - just a processional of fragile American tourists, tanned into latte, aching under their own expectations of pleasure. …

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