Blades was a fictional gentlemen's club situated on Park Street off St James's Street, in central London. The location first appeared in the Ian Fleming's 1955 James Bond novel, Moonraker, and was subsequently featured or referenced in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), You Only Live Twice (1964) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1965). The location also appeared in the comic strip adaptations of Fleming's novels which ran in The Daily Express newspapers.
Blades is situated on “Park Street” (correct name Park Place) off of St James's Street, at the approximate location of the real-life club Pratt's. Blades was founded between 1774 and 1776 and is of a calibre equal to or greater than that of any other club. Blades’s annual closings, its members have to “pig it” at the prestigious White’s or Boodle’s. It excels in terms of member accommodations, staff, food, and furnishings, and its members include some of the finest card players in the world. The club has a limit of 200 members, and there are only two qualifications for being elected a member: behaving like a gentleman and being able to “show” ₤100,000 in cash or gilt-edged securities ant any time. Another Blade's Club rule dictates that every member must win or lose at least £500 a year at cards on the club premises.
M is a member of Blades, and James Bond, though not a member, is an occasional guest of his. M often lunches at Blades, usually eating a spare meal of grilled Dover sole and "the ripest spoonful he could gouge from the club Stilton." As a favour to M, Blades also stocks a very bad Algerian red wine, to which he is partial, which he calls "Infuriator", but the club refuses to put it on the wine list.
Blades plays a prominent role in the novel Moonraker. M, along with the club chairman Lord Basildon, suspect another member, Sir Hugo Drax, to be cheating at bridge. Because Drax is involved in a nuclear missile project crucial to national security, M and Basildon wish to avoid a scandal. Because of Bond’s skill at cards, M invites him to Blades to discern Drax’s method of cheating. When Bond finds that Drax is using a shiner (i.e., a highly-polished silver cigarette case that allows him to read the cards as he deals), M. and Basildon go along with a plan of Bond’s to teach Drax a lesson and discourage him from further cheating. During a very high-stakes bridge game, Bond switches in a cold deck, making Drax believe he has an extraordinarily good hand that in reality allows Bond to achieve a grand slam, costing Drax ₤15,000.
Years later M has lunch at Blades with Sir James Moloney and talks about Bond's state of mental health after the death of his wife, Tracy. Moloney says that Bond is in shock and needs a wakeup call to return him to liveliness. M says he is going to fire Bond, though Moloney pleads him not to. He suggests Bond get one last chance, but on a seemingly impossible, yet crucial, mission as he needs some motivation and a task big enough to take his mind off Tracy.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (mentioned)
- You Only Live Twice
- The Man with the Golden Gun