Martin Finn's dead-ball skills steered London home in Ruislip. Finn struck 1-7 for the hosts, who led from start to finish in atrocious conditions. Meath trailed 1-7 to 0-3 at half-time after Finn found the net with a 28th-minute penalty.
The Royals were reduced to 14 men nine minutes after the break when Ger O'Neill was dismissed, but that buoyed the visitors, who hit three points in as many minutes to reduce the gap to four points.
Michael Cole capitalised on an error by London 'keeper Aidan Ryan to goal but a late trio of points from Cork native Finn ensured an opening-day win for the Exiles.
Scorers -- London: M Finn 1-7 (1-0pen, 4f, 2 '65'); R O'Connell, S Ryan 0-2 each; P Sloane, N Healy (f) 0-1 each. Meath: N Hacket 0-4 (4f); N Kirby 0-3 (3f); M Cole 1-0; T Durnan 0-1.
London -- A Ryan; B Mulcahy, M Ryan, A Hogan; C Forde, N Healy, M Walsh; K Walsh, N Forde; S Ryan, R O'Connell, P Sloane; S Richardson, M Finn, H Vaughan. Subs: M Callinan for Richardson (h-t); J McCarthy for K Walsh (51); T Twomey for O'Connell (59).
Meath -- S McGann; W Mahedy, P Fagan, D Donoghue; M Horan, S Clynch, D Kirby; J Boyle, G O'Neill; J Keena, N Hackett, P Geoghan; D Doran, N Kirby, T Durnan. Subs: P Keogh for Boyle (30); B Slevin for Hackett (44); M Cole for Keena (61).
Ref -- P Casey (Waterford)