08/02/2012 05:44 GMT | Updated 08/02/2012 05:59 GMT

Dame Judi Dench Admits 'Love Affair With India' At 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Premiere (PHOTOS)

Dame Judi Dench said she enjoyed a "love affair with India" while making her latest film, as freezing central London was spiced up for its world premiere.

The capital's Curzon Mayfair was decked out with floral garlands and traditional music for the screening of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which the Oscar-winning actress plays a widow who travels to the country with a group of English pensioners to check into a seemingly luxurious retirement home.

She was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel and Celia Imrie, who wore a colourful sari.

Dame Judi said: "I wouldn't call it a culture shock, it was like a love affair for me with India.

"Before it, although I had family who had been out to India, I really didn't have a great desire to go and then it came up and within a day or two days I was not just bewitched by it, but I was completely addicted to it.

"I can't wait to go back and I hope that what comes out of this film is how incredible it is and how beautiful the people were."

But the actress refused to be drawn on the next Bond film Skyfall, in which she reprises her role as spy boss M. When asked if she could divulge any details, she replied: "No, of course I can't tell you. I would be fired tomorrow morning."

Meanwhile, Nighy heaped praise upon his Notes On A Scandal co-star.

"Once they hear that Judi Dench is going, everybody just goes, 'Yeah' and this was pretty much the case with me. I've had the pleasure of working with her before and if Judi is there, then I will turn up," he said.

The John Madden-directed film, which also stars Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup and newcomer Tena Desae, is in cinemas on February 24.

SLIDESHOW: See all the red carpet photos below...