Keeping Happy at Home – Ben Pundole James Bond Bulldog


Elle Decor

For our new series “Objects of Affection,” ELLE Decor is asking designers and others from an array of fields to tell us about an item in their personal space that is bringing them comfort and solace as they stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. (And here’s what’s keeping the ELLE Decor team happy at home.)

Ben Pundole is about as experienced a hospitality and travel resource as you will find. He began his career at the Groucho Club in London, then spent 11 years working for Ian Schrager at the Morgans Hotel Group. In 2010, he opened Ruschmeyers in Montauk, New York. Pundole is now the vice president of brand experience at Ian Schrager/Marriott’s Edition hotels group and the founder of the editorial travel site These days, he has been hosting live conversations on AHotelLife’s social-media channels with fellow grounded travel lovers such as Marie-Louise Sciò, of the cult favorite Hotel Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole, Italy. Most of all, Pundole is keeping sane at home in New York, with a little help from a porcelain canine friend gifted to him by his mother.

Royal Doulton British Bulldog

“My (very British) mother bought this for me in August or September of last year. I became a U.S. citizen in 2019 after living in the States for 21 years. (I need to be able to vote!) And my mother didn’t want me to forget my roots, so she got me this replica of a British bulldog that the character M (played by Dame Judi Dench) leaves to 007 (Daniel Craig) after her death in the film Skyfall. It holds pride of place on top of a speaker in my living room. Absolutely everything in my apartment is either an antique or from a flea market. This bulldog is the only new object in the room. Growing up in London, I watched all of the James Bond movies with my family, so it’s a fun memento of my family and of being British. My bulldog reminds me to ‘Keep calm and carry on,’ to have levity in this worrisome situation—and that an entertaining Bond movie is only a streaming service away if I need a distraction.” —Ben Pundole, VP of Edition hotels