London is an amazing city – and you’ll never be short of things to do and see here. But sometimes, whether you’re a tourist or an expat, you just need a taste of home…
Of course, you can get a uniquely American experience on any street corner with McDonalds, KFC, or Burger King – but if you want to experience something that is uniquely from home, you have to look a little further.
So, with that in mind, here’s our list of 10 American things to do in London (and some of them – especially number 10), are pretty damn cool, if we do say so ourselves…
1. Go to a drive-in movie
Alexandra Palace is the location for the typical American experience of a drive-in movie. For a couple of weeks each year, the big screen goes up and some great movies are shown – and you can watch from the comfort of your own car.
In addition, you can purchase popcorn, candy, hotdogs, and other street food delivered to your car by skaters. The 2015 movie list is finished, but you can sign up to the mailing list to be the first to hear about the 2016 programme.
2. Visit the JFK bust and memorial
There’s a great memorial to John F. Kennedy on the Marylebone Road. The bust was sponsored by 50,000 Sunday Telegraph readers and installed in 1965.
This memorial was opened by The Queen on 14 May 1965, and is a wonderful, tranquil place to visit and remember.
3. The American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a wonderful place to visit, but for Americans it has a particularly poignant significance. The American Memorial Chapel is an honour to the American soldiers who gave their lives fighting alongside the British in World War II.
It holds the Roll of Honour of the 28,000 men who died in combat.
4. Visit Bubba Gump
Yep – Bubba Gump has made the journey across the pond and can now be found in London’s Trocadero, near Piccadilly Circus. And the shrimp here is just as good as ever (even if the Brits do call them prawns).
5. Shop as if you’re at home at The American Food Store
Situated in Ladbroke Grove, The American Food Store is a one stop shop for all things US. From Lucky Charms to Aunt Jemima Pancake and Waffle mix, it’s just like popping out to the local grocery store back home.
You can purchase online for home delivery too.
6. Visit the Benjamin Franklin House
The world’s only remaining Franklin home, Benjamin Franklin House is a must see for both US citizens and anyone else interested in US and UK history.
Between 1757 and 1775, the Founding Father of the USA lived here, and you too can tread the very same fabled floorboards.
You can visit for an architectural tour on Monday (at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:15, and 16:15), or for a Historical Experience on Wednesday through Sunday (at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:15, and 16:15).
Pre-booking is recommended, and this can be done by telephone (+44 (0) 207 925 1405) or online.
7. Worship at the American International Church
Proud to reflect the diversity of its surrounding community, The American International Church is centered on Jesus Christ and welcomes both US citizens and those who hail from anywhere else in the world.
Services are held on Sunday at 11:00. There’s also a Sunday School for adults and teenagers at 09:45, and a Sunday School for children aged 2-10 years during the 11:00 service.
8. Get a “proper” sized steak
Sometimes, only a proper, US sized steak will hit the spot, and there’s nowhere better in London to do this than renowned steakhouse, Hawskmoor.
So popular has it proven to be, that there are now several locations around London including Spitalfields, Seven Dials, and Knightsbridge.
With a passion for producing only the best quality beef, the menus also feature some pretty good lobster and other seafood (top tip – try the oysters).
Good sized steaks are the super popular Porterhouse, T-Bone, Bone-in Prime Rib, and Chateaubriand. Of course, you can also enjoy Fillet, Sirloin, Rib-Eye, and Rump – in fact, pretty much every type of steak you could hope for.
9. Go all misty eyed at The American Car Centre
Yes, we know that British cars are better for the environment, cheaper to run, and easy to park in the crowded streets of London.
But sometimes all you want is a huge, powerful, muscly car that screams “I’m from the USA” at ya!
So, the only thing for it is a visit to The American Car Centre.
The centre sells both new and used cars, and has a wonderful showroom in trendy Fulham where you can view their current new and used stock.
From Chevrolet Corvettes to Hummers, Shelby Mustangs to Lincoln Navigators, there’s everything a motor fanatic could wish to choose from. They also have a great selection of trucks and SUVs.
The American Car Centre is an easy walk from Parson Green Tube Station, and if you’re genuinely in the market to purchase a vehicle, they can import cars from their tax free European hub into London in a matter of a few days…
10. Purchase genuine US postage stamps
The Mayflower Inn, in Rotherhithe Street, Bermondsey, is the only public house in the UK where you can buy US postage stamps.
This is because this restored 16th century public house was reported to have been the place where The Mayflower ship’s captain, Christopher Jones, used to drink before making his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to America with the Pilgrim Fathers.
And even more excitingly, The Mayflower left right from the wharf outside the pub. Because of this wonderful link with the Pilgrim Fathers, the pub has been granted licence to sell stamps from both nations.