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Casino Royale = Estoril Casino

Listed under Literary Locations in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Not the best respected of genres, Ian Fleming’s novels about debonair British spy James Bond have had a massive influence on what people now think of as cool (whether you like your martinis stirred, as god intended them, or shaken and bruised ah la James). The location and title of the first Bond book (recently re-made on film.), Casino Royale refers to a fictitious casino at fictitious Royale les eaux, France rather than the Casino Royale Montenegro, as in the recent film or the Casino Royale Monte Carlo where many people (myself included) seemed to think the story was set until they read the book.

Bond-philes argue that Fleming based Royale on both Cayeux-sur-mer, which is arguably on the right spot and has a casino, though not a particularly flash one, and Deauville, but the important location, which for me is the casino itself is based on Estoril Casino in Portugal which Fleming visited while in the navy, and as he later told it was taken to the cleaners by German spies playing baccarat. While the story definitely comes from the Estoril Casino, which was a known hang out for espionage agents, the description of the décor may have more to do with Monte Carlo (where later films have been shot.).

Most people will know this book without having read it - if you did read it you will be able to play baccarat at the casino tables, if not you may have to stick to Black Jack.

Written by  Sophie Edgerton.

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