Whole Foods, J. Crew and Shake Shack: Meghan Markle's Guide to London
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Americans in London will need to source everything from the pumpkin pie to cranberry sauce. Luckily, all these items are fairly easy to find — thanks, in part, to the estimated 197,000 Americans who live in the United Kingdom. Whole Foods is a good place to start, and they can also provide catering too. Markle has been spotted at the store's Kensington location before, which is just a quick five-minute trip from Kensington Palace, where she'll likely be staying with Harry.
Meghan can also find a turkey at Provenance Village Butchers in Notting Hill: They have a specific Thanksgiving order form that includes turkey and ham.
For Americans in London craving their favorite foods from home, there are plenty of options available. Panzer’s Deli and Grocery, in St. John's Wood, has a good selection of American foods like peanut butter, graham crackers and maple syrup, as does Partridges in Chelsea. The latter has a bonus in the form of a royal seal from Queen Elizabeth — which means that she's a customer! And there is always the American Food store in Holland Park, which also has an online store, in case Markle doesn’t want to be seen picking up Hershey’s chocolate or Crisco in person.
A TASTE OF HOME
Born and raised in Los Angeles, chances are high that Markle loves Mexican food. And while there are several subpar options in London (think nachos made with Doritos), there are also a few that are very delicious and authentic. Taqueria in Notting Hill serves up tasty tortilla chips, while Azteca Chelsea is known for their beef tacos. For classic deli food, Markle can find chicken noodle soup and a Reuben at New York-style deli Harry Morgan’s in St. John’s Wood. For a burger and milkshake, there are a number of Shake Shack locations scattered across the city.
SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP
Just like her potential sister-in-law-to-be Kate Middleton, Meghan is known to mix high-end designers with more affordable brands. However, she'll have to get used to some changes when shopping: In the U.K. her clothing size will go up by two (so if she’s a 2 in the U.S., that means a 6 in the U.K.), while shoe sizes go down by two. But the friendly clerks at American stores like J.Crew on Regent’s Street, Club Monaco in Sloane Square and Anthropologie on Marylebone High Street can certainly help her out with that.
Markle is a well-known yoga lover and also has a personal trainer, and she'll be able to continue her active lifestyle across the pond. Living in Kensington Palace, she can enjoy runs through Hyde Park, and there are a number of nearby gyms she can choose to join, too. Prince William and Princess Kate have held memberships at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour Club, which has branches Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill. The club has 12 indoor tennis courts (William and Kate have been spotted playing there), three paddle tennis courts and three pools, plus a number of yoga and spin classes. If she wants something more American style, there is an Equinox close by in Kensington, where she can get a personal trainer and take pilates classes. And for workout wear, she doesn’t have to look further than Lululemon, which has a location on King's Road in Chelsea.
ON THE ROAD
If Markle lives in the U.K. for more than a year, she will need to get a new driver's license. The test entails taking a written exam as well as a 45-minute driving test. There's an urban legend that American drivers always fail the test on their first try because it's said to be very difficult, so it does help to take lessons before your first attempt. Some places like the Automobile Association Driving School (AADS) and British School of Motoring (BSM) have instructors that specialize in helping drivers who already have their licenses pass the exam, with some who work almost exclusively with North Americans.
"People who move to the U.K. and are already fully qualified can continue to drive on their home country's license for one year,” said Margaret Parsons, the marketing manager for AADS and BSM. “All of our instructors are fully qualified in offering this service and we would be delighted to help Markle pass her test here."
USE YOUR VOICE
Markle hasn't opened up about her political views, but she'll still be able to participate in American democracy, even across the pond. Both Republicans Overseas and Democrats Abroad have chapters in London that she can enroll in. She will also need to register to vote from overseas — though since she has been living in Toronto for the last several years, she likely knows the drill. If she needs a refresher, the Overseas Vote Foundation can walk Markle through how she needs to apply for an absentee ballot and what the deadlines are for each state to get the ballots in. However, if she and Harry announce any plans to wed (as many are expecting!), she may want to hold off on any major political displays: Members of the royal family are discouraged from voting and sharing political beliefs publicly.