Adele’s Skyfall James Bond Theme!

Adele’s soaring, swooping new Skyfall song, the theme to the latest James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, is out in all its glory. The release marks Global James Bond Day, the 50th Anniversary of the first Bond film, Dr. No.

Adele teamed up with producer Paul Epworth to write the theme song, who she also worked with on her 2011 album ’21’. The theme was recorded with a 77-piece orchestra in London’s Abbey Road Studios. Adele said of the experience: “When we recorded the strings it was one of the proudest moments of my life!” The song was released at 0:07 am UK time, early Thursday evening in America.

Great isn’t it? Now, here are snippets of the other James Bond songs from the 22 films until Skyfall. There are some classics in there we’d almost forgotten about, but some absolute shockers too!

It’s a difficult decision, but we think we like Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die song the best! He performed it at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace don’tcha know? The biggest shock to the system though might be the news that James Bond is actually 50! But having seen a few of the pictures from Skyfall, it looks like he hasn’t aged a bit. Here’s our favorite:

Lastly, could we be celebrating James Bond without a nod to some sort of parody? British comedy legends Adam Buxton & Joe Cornish recorded separate versions of the theme to 2008 Bond film A Quantum of Solace for their radio show, and listeners picked the winner. Both are hilarious, but which do you think won the public vote?


Queen Liz is a Lovely Lady!

The Queen has generously invited Team GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes to a star-studded event at Buckingham Palace in late October. Tracksuits are reportedly allowed at the reception, held to say thanks for a golden summer that surpassed all of our expections.

To celebrate this (and in the hopes of one day getting our own Royal invitation!) we thought we’d share with you a few lovely pins of Her Maj, from our Pinterest account. You can follow all of our boards here.

Peek a boo! A game of hide-and-go-seek will not be on the itinerary.


QEII in 2007. And she hasn’t aged a bit!


Annie Leibovitz portrait. Bet you thought it was only rock gods and Hollywood A-listers who get their photos taken by her!


And how could we forget her acting debut alongside James Bond at the Olympics opening ceremony? God save the Queen!

Prince Phillip: A Life in Photos

There’s bittersweet news today as Prince Phillip was discharged from hospital. It follows a number of recent check-ins for the husband of The Queen that leave all at Tea & Sympathy concerned for his general well-being. However, our thoughts are with him, and we’d like to celebrate the good innings he’s had to date with these superb photos taken throughout his life. Chin up Phil, show us that stiff upper lip!

Newlyweds. Prince Phillip & The Queen on their wedding day, 20 November 1947.

Family man. With a young Prince Charles & Princes Anne and The Queen.

All hail The Queen… and her husband! Coronation day, 2 June 1953.

Proud father. On the way to the wedding of Prince Charles & Princess Diana.

Heads up! Inspecting an RAF flyover aboard HMS Britannia.

A sad day. Inspecting flowers following the death of Princess Diana.

Sharing a joke with Pippa Middleton at Prince William & Kate’s wedding.

It’s Prince Phillip to you Mr President. With the Obamas, 2009.

With the family!

Ageing gracefully. Attending a state banquet last year at Dublin Castle.

Nicky’s Dad Ted Perry MBE

We’ve got a piece of family history for you today on the blog. Here’s a picture of our dear owner (matriarch to the British expats of NYC, unofficial consular-general and shoulder to cry on for these missing home), Nicola Perry with her sister Louise and her dad Ted on the day he received his MBE.

Check out that handbag!

Ted was a truly remarkable man. After a successful career in the music industry, he founded Hyperion Records in 1980, a classical music label that went on to great success. Here’s an excerpt from his obituary in the Guardian:

“Ted Perry, who has died aged 71, was one of the most industrious and admired characters in the recording industry… [Hyperion Records] became one of the most important of independent companies, adopting an adventurous policy entirely inspired by Perry’s intuition as regards making rare repertory popular. Many thought that his enterprise was foolhardy, but right up to his death, he proved them wholly wrong; there was and is a public for the unusual when presented with discernment.”

He was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 1990 for services to music. Let’s see if Nicky will one day follow in his footsteps to Buckingham Palace!


New Yorkers Cheer On Royal Wedding From Afar

England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton officially tied the knot Friday before millions of viewers across the globe, including many here in New York.

Their public displays of affection on the balcony of Buckingham Palace were well received with cheers and screams from the crowd of thousands who gathered outside to share in the wedding celebration.

The two were joined in an hour long ceremony at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests.

Hundreds of thousands around the world are believed to have tuned in to watch the couple exchange vows.

In Times Square, hundreds turned out for one of the many viewing parties being held around the city.

Those who spoke with NY1 say they’ve been looking forward to all the pomp and circumstance and that it’s history in the making. Some even got into the wedding spirit by dressing like royalty.

Many say the couple’s down to earth nature make them an easy pair to root for.

“They’re associating with the common people of Britain than Charles. He’s still not well-liked,” said one onlooker.

“It brings some realness to their family. Most common people want to feel they can relate to them. If she brings that to the mix then people are a little more excited about it,” said another.

A few dozen blocks away on Greenwich Avenue, British restaurant Tea and Sympathy hosted a wedding party too. For many, the love story is an escape.

“My 7-year-old has been enwrapped in the whole thing. It’s nice to have a nice piece of news and for everyone to celebrate a really lovely story instead of all the disaster that’s reported in the media,” said one wedding watcher.

“Everyone seems to be excited about it: Americans, Brits, everyone. I think a great deal of that is because William’s one of Diana’s boys and everyone loved Diana. I think it’s nice to see everything come full circle,” said another.

Kate’s dress was an elegant long sleeved lace gown designed by Sarah Burton for the Alexander McQueen label.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams officiated the ceremony.

The couple emerged from the abbey to thousands of onlookers waving British flags.

The two then headed to the palace in an open-topped horse drawn carriage.

Thousands lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the royals as they made their way back to the palace.

The prince and princess — now also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — are attending two parties: one hosted by the queen, and an evening dinner dance for close friends.

The Telegraph – coverage of Tea & Sympathy’s Royal Wedding festivities!

For your perusal, the very kind words of UK newspaper The Telegraph on our Royal Wedding celebrations:

Do New Yorkers care about the Royal Wedding? You bet. Nicky Perry of Tea and Sympathy leads the charge
By Melissa Whitworth | April 20th, 2011

Having a cuppa with Nicky Perry, owner of Tea and Sympathy (Circe Hamilton)

Nicky Perry has been serving Sunday roasts and cream teas to homesick Brits in NYC for the last 20 years. Her restaurant, Tea & Sympathy, is a beloved expat institution, here in Greenwich Village. In fact, it’s the only place in the city where you can get a decent cuppa.

“I’ve done more for British food in America than Jamie Oliver – where’s my MBE?” she asks. Local rumour has it that when the British Consulate here gets a call they can’t deal with, they redirect it to Perry.

My friend, Circe Hamilton, a British photographer who has been living in NYC for 19 years says, “Perry is the local mayor, her reputation precedes her and she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s never afraid to shout at her punters and get them all in line. I love a woman where you know what she thinks immediately. It’s very comforting knowing there’s a little bit of England around the corner.”

On the 29th April, Perry and her friend, fellow-Brit Penny Bradley, will be hosting the street party to end all parties in celebration of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  They plan to close down part of Greenwich Avenue outside their restaurants, and have the celebrations spill out onto the streets.

Bradley is the co-owner of Lyon, the French restaurant next-door to Tea & Sympathy. Her business partner, François Latapie, has agreed to be British for the weekend (as long as Penny helps him celebrate Bastille Day later in the year with a few games of Pétanque).

The restaurants will be serving full English breakfast, kedgeree, Spotted Dick, Eton Mess, Brown Windsor soup and Pimm’s. Perry has been trying to hunt down the menu they’ll be serving at Buckingham Palace on the day, so she can recreate it for her New York customers. In the meantime, she has her chef baking Prince William’s favourite pudding, a kind of  chocolate biscuit cake with raisins.

Next door, Nicky is selling Royal wedding memorabilia: tea towels, football scarves, teapots, cups and saucers (alongside Marmite, Walker’s crisps, and the city’s biggest collection of Cadbury’s chocolate).

Nearby shopkeepers will be decorating their stores with Union Jacks and bunting. In fact, at the moment there is a huge Andy Warhol-style painting of the Queen in the window of the local chemist. A charity raffle will include a return trip to London courtesy of Virgin Atlantic, and clothing donated by Elizabeth Hurley. A Pearly King and Queen will perform songs in the evening; there will be Morris dancers. Perry has spent $1800 on bunting.

At Lyon there will be two large screens where live coverage of the Royal wedding will commence at 6am (because of the five-hour time difference).

“It’s going to be a right Royal knees-up,” says Perry.

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