Since Meghan Markle moved to the UK, the California native has been carving out her own path in London. Instead of the traditional royal haunts, the former actress favours buzzy eateries, stylish shops and modern pampering spots. If you’re heading to the city, here’s how you can bring some of that Markle sparkle to your trip.
Where to stay
Dean Street Townhouse
Meghan is a big fan of the private members’ club Soho House, which boasts a number of boutique hotels in London. You’ll find the glamorous Dean Street Townhouse in the beating heart of Soho, with just 39 rooms for an intimate stay full of proper English character. Meghan is said to have had her first date with Prince Harry in the hotel’s plush dining room, and the couple loved the chic interiors so much they are believed to have hired Soho House’s interior designer, Vicky Charles, to decorate their new home in Frogmore Cottage. Rooms from £250 per night.
Grosvenor House Suites
On the luxury end, Meghan has described this Mayfair hotel as 'my favourite property I've ever stayed at'. The spacious serviced apartments overlook Hyde Park and are a short hop from Kensington Palace, where Meghan and Harry used to live. The hotel offers 130 rooms, including four suites and four penthouses, along with an on-site fitness centre and spa services, so it’s no surprise the new royal was smitten. Make the most of the apartment’s kitchen with a grocery trip to the nearby Whole Foods, where Meghan has been spotted browsing the aisles. Apartments from £795 per night (penthouses from £9000 per night).
Where to shop
Fortnum & Mason
Established in Piccadilly in 1707, this fancy department store is known for its speciality teas, decadent hampers and signature turquoise bags, and it’s a must-visit for any royal fan. It holds royal warrants from the Queen and Prince Charles, which means it’s earned the royal seal of approval after supplying groceries to the family for many years. Meghan and Harry gifted Fortnum & Mason’s Royal Blend tea to a local family during their Australian tour last year, and an Instagram snap from Meghan’s makeup artist Daniel Martin revealed she serves the brand’s chocolate truffles to guests.
Before her wedding last year, Meghan picked up some designer swimwear from the King’s Road flagship of UK label Heidi Klein, which counts Sienna Miller and Jennifer Aniston among its clientele. Located in Chelsea’s posh shopping strip, you’ll find a host of upmarket boutiques and a number of Meghan’s preferred high street brands, including Reiss, Jigsaw, All Saints and & Other Stories.
As she prepared for the birth of her first child Archie, Meghan made a visit to this Notting Hill store to browse the organic skincare and wellness products. From hand creams to eye serums and face scrubs, there’s plenty of beauty treats to choose from for women and men. All are made using natural ingredients, with a focus on healing and combating stress. In store, there are also a number of treatments to choose from, including mother-to-be massages and digital detox facial therapy.
Where to pamper
Nails and Brows
This trendy Mayfair salon offers bespoke nail and brow styling, and became a grooming go-to for Meghan during her time in London. Prices start at £25 for a file and polish and £30 for a brow tidy, while Meghan’s preferred 'Audrey Brow' will set you back £50.
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Clinic
The facialist behind Meghan’s wedding day glow is highly sought-after, so expect a long waiting list before seeing her yourself, but her team of therapists at the clinic in London’s upmarket Sloane Square are are on hand to provide a range of facials, peels and eye treatments. The Skinesis technique involves a unique massage featuring 'tapping, pinching and knuckling' to brighten and lift the face (from £150). If you’re on a budget, try the LED light therapy to rejuvenate skin and alleviate damage (from £40).
Where to eat
Bocca di Lupo
This popular Italian has been serving rustic regional food for over 10 years, and it’s a favourite among West End theatre-goers and foodies alike. Meghan was regularly seen dining here before becoming a royal, and since joining the Firm, she has reportedly visited in disguise. Bocca di Lupo’s elegant marble bar and mood lighting give it a romantic feel, and the acclaimed wine list and menu draw long queues of walk-ins (it’s worth booking in advance if you can). With pastas, grills and seafood, there’s something for everyone, and you can choose between small and large portions for most items on the menu (ranging from £6-£29 per dish). If you can’t make it inside, check out the restaurant’s delicious gelateria Gelupo across the street, famed for its unusual selection of flavours.
Another Italian, Chucs is a West London group of restaurants with outposts in luxe department store Harrods, the Serpentine Gallery and Notting Hill, where Meghan enjoyed a rare lunch meeting with her new press secretary earlier this year. The interiors recall a yachting holiday on the Riviera, and the garden terrace makes a fine spot for al fresco dining on sunny days. The menu combines rich pastas, classic pizzas and hearty meat dishes with some lighter, healthy options, and although the price tag can be steep (pasta mains start from £18, and you’re looking at £33 for a truffled pizza), if you’re after a royal meal that isn’t too formal, here’s your answer.
The American baker Claire Ptak got the gig of a lifetime last year when she was selected to create Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding cake. The couple eschewed the standard fruitcake for a fresh, springy lemon and elderflower sponge with fluffy buttercream icing. You can get a taste of Ptak’s seasonal flavour combinations at her bakery in Hackney, which serves savoury dishes and brunch alongside baked treats including banana breads, butterscotch blondies and Ptak’s famously indulgent cupcakes.