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High society London: Shop, eat and party like William and Kate

By Laura Allsop for CNN
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Royal couple's favorite hangout
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The royal couple like to party at exclusive London hot-spots
  • Mayfair and Chelsea are their preferred areas to hang out
  • Money and connections are necessary for getting into royal haunts

London, England (CNN) -- Prince William and Kate Middleton may have met in Scotland while they were at university, but their relationship, with all its ups and downs, has been played out across London's Chelsea and Mayfair areas.

Exclusive bars and clubs with prices to match; elegant eateries with discreet door policies and designer stores on the upscale King's Road are just some of the places the royal couple like to patronize in their down time.

It's an enchanted life, and if you have the cash, you can enjoy it too. CNN brings you the lowdown on where the royals and their coterie like to party, shop, and eat -- and who you need to know to get in.

SEE: In 2007, Kate Middleton curated an exhibition of celebrity photo-portraits at The Shop at Bluebird, an upmarket store on the King's Road in Chelsea. Both art lovers -- Kate has a degree in Art History from the University of St Andrews -- these two are likely to patronize galleries around the King's Road. Drop in on Michael Hoppen gallery for the latest in contemporary photography, and the Saatchi Gallery, located close to Sloane Square.

Gallery: Young, royal London

EAT: Kate, William and others in their set have been spotted dining out at some of London's most fashionable eateries. The couple are not ones to stray far from the Chelsea/Mayfair fold, so favored restaurants include C London in Mayfair, Scott's seafood restaurant in, yes, Mayfair, and Brinkley's in Chelsea, where a minimum spend of £15 ($24) between the hours of 8p.m. and 10p.m. makes it a more affordable dinner option.

SHOP: Prince William may not push the boat out style-wise, preferring to keep it casual in chinos and blazers. But, if you would like to ape Prince William's look, places to shop include Hackett on Sloane Street, Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street for shirts and Gieves & Hawkes at 1 Saville Row for suits and formalwear.

Kate Middleton is increasingly being feted as a style icon. If you want to shop in her footsteps, the King's Road is the first place to go. A Mecca during the Swinging 60s, it is now the preserve of the rich, well-dressed, well-bred men and women -- like Prince William and Kate Middleton -- who live in or near the area.

It's an enchanted life, but if you have the cash, you can enjoy it too.
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Shops to stop in on include Jigsaw, where Kate worked as an accessories buyer and Reiss, where she purchased a white "Nannette" dress for her engagement photos. To perfect your Sloane Princess look, drop into Brora for cashmere twin sets, LK Bennett for boots and shoes and stake out the area's well-stocked charity shops for an antique strings of pearls.

Don't miss opulent Knightsbridge department store Harvey Nichols, which stocks dresses by Issa, her favorite designer.

PARTY: Thoroughly modern, the royal couple like to party, and in the last few years have been caught on camera leaving some of London's most exclusive clubs. No mere mortal may pass through the hallowed doors of establishments such as Boujis and Mahiki, though. Frequented, in addition to royals, by celebrities and the super-rich, regular joes are likely to balk at the drinks prices -- if they manage to get past the doormen, that is.

At Boujis in South Kensington, tables carry a minimum spend of £500 -£1000 ($800 - $1600), and a strict door policy is in operation. If you do get in, try a Crack Baby cocktail -- a heady mix of vodka, passion fruit, Chambord raspberry liqueur and champagne. Apparently, Kate's a fan.

The most famous club on the royal couple's radar is Polynesian-themed, Mahiki in Mayfair. Prince William and Kate, along with Prince Harry and on-off girlfriend Chelsy Davy have all been spotted leaving. For around £160 ($260), you can order a Mahiki specialty: a treasure chest of drinks for eight, brought to your table by girls in grass skirts wielding sparklers.

PEOPLE TO KNOW : If you want to breach the walls of certain royal enclosures, you'll need more than just money. Moving in the right circles is the key. Important people close to the royal couple include: club entrepreneur and so-called "court jester" Guy Pelly; polo-playing pal and party-planner Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe; party promoter Henry Conway; Richard Branson's children, Holly and Sam; and the owners of Boujis and Mahiki.

But Prince Harry and Philippa ("Pippa") Middleton are probably the royal couple's closest party-going companions; friendship with either would guarantee access to the inner sanctum.

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