WWKD Contributor C.C. is an American girl who loves to shop. Through her experiences in London, she shares Kate’s favorite places to shop, and the best of London’s shopping secrets. Read on to learn more…
London buses are iconic, especially when you are shopping! There are many lines that stop all along King’s Road (11, 19, 22, 211, 319)—take one that is heading toward Sloane Square (ask the driver if you aren’t sure). You’ll need an Oyster card to take the bus—you can’t pay with cash and you can’t buy a card on the bus. (You can get one at any subway station.) Even for this short ride, I think it’s worth the fun to sit upstairs on any London bus, but pay attention, because you’re only going one stop to Chelsea Old Town Hall, where you’ll head into…Waitrose: the grocery store (196 King’s Road).
Why the grocery store? Well, Kate has certainly shopped here. We’ve seen her with Waitrose bags full of William’s rumored favorite, roast chicken. And even if you don’t buy food, half an hour in Waitrose’s aisles will reveal the small cultural differences that distinguish Kate’s daily life from our own.
Check out how many different kinds of milk and cream they sell, the unrefrigerated eggs (just sitting on a regular shelf in the middle of the store!), and the cleaning products that look and smell radically different than in the US– bright purple laundry pods, anyone? Also marvel at the fact that, in London, grocery store flowers are beautiful. This is actually a city-wide phenomenon; you’ll see more than a few brightly-bloomed, street-front kiosks on King’s Road—no wonder Meghan Markle buys so many.
Waitrose also gives you an easy, inexpensive way to try traditional British comfort foods like Scotch Eggs (hardboiled eggs rolled in sausage and breadcrumbs), Battenberg cakes (small, pink and yellow checkered confections wrapped in white marzipan), and Bendick’s Bittermints (After-Eights on steroids). But my favorite aisle at UK grocery stores is the baking aisle—a big part of my “emergency” suitcase was filled with baking mixes for chocolate caramel mug cakes and donuts, along with inventive cupcake holders, cake decorations, and sprinkles in much more interesting colors than I can find at home. You’ll also find party cakes like the ones below, adorably covered in fondant decorations, unrefrigerated, good for a month. Of course, Kate probably bakes her own cakes from scratch, but the quirky convenience of these ready-made cakes delights me.