So Mexit has happened; Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have stepped down as full-time working members of the royal family, and will spend their year spilt between Britain and North America. The English capital has brought many joys to the couple; for its where they met, got married and started a family, and where they and millions more have enjoyed spectacular city delights including shows, restaurants, designer labels and historical monuments. In honour of the beloved royal couple, we took a walk down memory lane and enjoyed our own mini farewell tour of London.
First stop; the place where it all began – Soho House on Greek Street. Reports have said that their early, secret dates happened within the walls of this super private, members-only club. If you want to visit, you must be a member, or at least have a friend who is that can invite you as their guest. There are branches all over the world, including Asia (Hong Kong and Mumbai), in case you’re interested in signing up. In terms of sleeping arrangements, royal super fans should check into a Plum Guide home. Known as the Michelin Guide of homes, it’s basically the rich and famous’ answer to Airbnb, and their Earl Of Fitzroy Townhouse only happens to be the very royal manor from Netflix series, The Crown. It’s the closest thing to sleeping like a Queen!
Meghan sure has quite a Victoria Beckham collection, and has sported a range of the Spice Girl’s designs (especially handbags) to numerous royal engagements. We wandered the flagship Victoria Beckham boutique on Dover Street, which almost resembles an art gallery. A few steps away and definitely worth an hour or two, Albemarle Street has House of Garrard – the world’s oldest jewellery shop and the brand responsible for Princess Diana’s (now Kate Middleton’s) sapphire cluster engagement ring.
Wednesday: Royal Eats
Our Wednesday was dedicated specifically to the royal’s favourite restaurants. Meghan has been spotted at Bocca Di Lupo, so of course we set up on the counter for a massive pasta feast (promptly walked off the rest of the afternoon – thankfully there are lots of galleries nearby). For dinner, we headed to Vietnamese grill, MAM, where other grandchildren of The Queen have frequented including Princess Eugenie. It’s located in a quiet part of Notting Hill but still a short walk from all the famous movie sites, Julia Roberts fans. For something a bit different, yet still royally accepted, check out Dans Le Noir? – a restaurant where diners eat completely in darkness and are served by partially sighted waiters. It’s where Will and Kate dated in secret, fellow diners unaware of their royal presence.
Thursday: The Palaces
North America will have a hard time competing with the grandeur of London’s palaces. Meghan leaves behind the greatest of the great – Buckingham Palace being the most iconic. In the summer mere mortals like us can actually go inside – you can book a tour of the state rooms during 10 weeks from July to September. Kensington Palace is another architectural masterpiece – it’s the birthplace of Queen Victoria and has played home to young royals for over 300 years.
Friday: Party Time
Being a relation of Queen Liz doesn’t mean 24/7 best behaviour. Meghan, like us, is a girl’s girl who will surely miss the varied and sheer number of after-sun options dotted all over the capital. We enjoyed an early Friday evening at the very swish 45 Park Lane, next to pretty Hyde Park. It was then an eight-minute black cab ride to Knightsbridge to hit up trendy hot spot Nolita Social and then restaurant/bar Zuma – perfect when you get the late night nibbles. We hear the hipster crowd prefer to party in East London, but we’re royalists, not hipster, so we stayed put in West London.
Saturday: The Spas
London is hectic and all this farewell sightseeing had us drained. We checked into The Spa at Mandarin Oriental London for an anti-ageing Nescens facial (you’re never too young for anti-ageing treatments, right?). The place also has heavenly treatment rooms including an Oriental Suite with two massage beds and a Rasul water temple combining heat, steam and mud for skin condition treatments. For those after a quickie in-between department store shopping, check out FaceGym in Selfridges – a little studio on the ground floor, where experts perform lifting and sculpting workouts to train over forty facial muscles, amplified with high performance products and non-invasive technology. Karlie Kloss loves it, apparently.
Sunday: Photo Shoot
Fabulous skin, whole new wardrobe… why not devote your entire final day in London to photography? Somerset House is the perfect backdrop for your camera roll – book a table at picture-perfect Spring within the building, then enjoy the premises afterwards (you can easily pretend you’re a princess in her castle here!). No visit to London is complete without a whirl of The London Eye, try the VIP Hotel Chocolat Tasting Experience close to sunset, which comes with Processo and DOUBLE the ride rotations; meaning double the time for photos and toasting to Meghan and Harry’s future.