A favorite restaurant of Ian Fleming while in London was Scott’s. During Fleming’s time it was located at 18-20 Coventry Street in Piccadilly Circus in Westminster. Four years after Fleming’s death, the restaurant moved to its current location on Mount Street in Mayfair.
Fleming went to Scott’s for lunch for many years, including during WWII when he was working for Naval Intelligence. It was the site of one of his more humorous plots. Fleming took captured German U-boat officers to Scott’s to try and get them drunk so that they would perhaps spill some intelligence.
The waiter heard the group talking in fluent German and telephoned Scotland Yard. The incident caused much amusement among the British Intelligence community. Fleming’s boss, Admiral Godfrey however, was not among those amused.
When Fleming began writing the James Bond stories, he made several references to Scott’s, putting his character in the very same table which Fleming preferred himself.
In Moonraker, Bond has a date to meet Gala Brand in the city. He heads to Scott’s and waits:
Bond sat at his favourite restaurant table in London, the right-hand corner table for two on the first floor, and watched the people and traffic in Piccadilly and down the Haymarket.
In Diamonds Are Forever, Bond is talking to Chief of Staff Bill Tanner and offers to take him out:
“I’ll take you to Scotts’ and we’ll have some of their dressed crab and a pint of black velvet.”
In You Only Live Twice, Bond is happy to have finally gotten an assignment from M, and as he exits M’s office (with his new number; 7777) he has a request for Miss Moneypenny:
Bond said, ‘Be an angel, Penny and ring down to Mary and tell her she’s got to get out of whatever she’s doing tonight. I’m taking her our to dinner. Scotts. Tell her we’ll have our first roast grouse of the year and pink champagne. Celebration.’
Originally an Oyster House, Scott’s remains one of the top seafood restaurants in the city
25 thoughts on “Scott’s Restaurant, Piccadilly, Haymarket”
Excellent (like all your articles)! Fleming wrote an article on London’s Best Dining for the April 1956 issue of Holiday, and Scott’s gets the biggest mention, as noted here:
I was head Head Waiter there, 1965..Fleming´s favourite table ther was No. 3 , second floor and Baker was allways his waiter…..he mentioned him in one of his books, don´t remember which one right now…..
My dad Stanislaus Paciuszko was the chef there.
Stan Was no Sous chef….he later went to the Heybridge Moat House in Brentwoo, Essex where we met again as I Was F&B MANAGER There.
I was an apprentice chef in 1963,I remember Stan, Norbert Dietch was chef,Harry Slack sous chef!
i remember picking dad up many a time from work going up to the kitchen to wait in his office, ps Paul you left the S out even in the advert for the fishers board with Haddock Monte Carlo they left the S out
Sorry about the S,along time ago but your dad will always be part of my fondest memories,do you remember your 21st. Birthday party?
I worked as an apprentice for Norbert Dietch at his “bistro” in Bromley, La Rendezvous. This would have been 1972. Many a mention of Scotts.
My grandfather was head waiter at Scotts in Piccadilly but I’m not sure when. He was Harold Lawrence. My father was a waiter there as well for a spell. He was Derek Lawrence.
What years?i was there 1963 -1967
Hi. Is there someone who could help me to recreate the inside of Scott’s in Piccadilly? I’m designing a restaurant game and need some ideas how it looked in the past. Thanks a lot.
also mentioned in The Great Escape between two characters: “See you in Piccadilly”.. “Scott’s bar”
Looking this place up today as have just watched Great Escape for the 10th time perhaps, but this time noticed the refs to Scott’s Bar. Next time in London I’m off to find it.
Maybe this has already been noted a number of times, but happen to be watching ‘The Great Escape’.
From the movie and script of the movie ‘The Great Escape”, ss the actual escape starts;
David McCullum’s character says,
– See you in Piccadilly.
David Attenborough’s character ‘Big X’ replies:
– Scott’s Bar.
Right You are, in fact he mentions Baker who Was vos Walter at tablet No.3….second floor, not “the corner Hablé” as someone David.
Scott’s did not have a bar as such, it has an Oyster Bar ay the entrante, right hand an Sam, far Sam, Was de supervisor.
American bar upstairs, dive bar downstairs!
I’ll add that CHURCHILL Was a asiduos visitar to the Oyster Bar where he has a dozen Oysters And a pint of Black Velvet…Guinness with champagne.
All these comments are so great! If anyone has photos from these time periods I’d love to see them!
I have on my Facebook page
How I came to know this place as an American child of the eighties who routinely watch WWII movies with his grandpa is that When Ashley pit is leaving the trench and he & Mac have the following exchange:
Mac – See you in Piccadilly.
Ashley Pitt- Scott’s Bar.
That line ALWAYS stayed with me, sop today decades after it first resonated I googled Scotts Bar Piccadilly and here i am. Someday if i am lucky I’ll float across that pond like my grandfather before me and have a beer there at the place neither Mac nor Ashley Pitt made it back too. Scott’s Bar in Piccadilly.
I just came across my mom’s travel journal from her honeymoon to London in may of 1967. As a New Yorker she was thrilled to be sitting in a 300+ year old restaurant with a great view of Coventry and Piccadilly from the 2nd floor. Cool to think some of you may have been there that night. Also makes me wonder if it had anything to do with how I was named.
I worked at Scott’s 1963-1967
The late Canadian novelist, Ethel Wilson includes Scott’s in her novella, Hetty Dorval. It is the main setting for Chapter 11 in which the young protagonist, Frankie Burnaby unexpectedly encounters the enigmatic Mrs. Dorval – whom she had first met in Lytton, British Columbia – at Scott’s.