I've Booked An Airbnb.
Yep, I’ve booked it. A place to call home for a week in London. Early June. You’ll never guess why.
A nice place on Lamb’s Conduit St.
It’s this little flat, top floor of some fancy office by the looks of the photos. The dark stained wooden floored living room has fixed gear bike propped up by a fireplace and an ercol coffee table.
I’ve got the place to myself for the week, and my intention is not to spend it eating well, getting suited and booted, picking the perfect pinstripe umbrella or writing an article on my favourite cheese scone.
The reason I’m spending the week in a quintessentially British-posh apartment on this particularly cool street is that it’s just a cool 12 minute walk2 from the Grand Budapest Hotel3 just off Russel Square, where the Master of Wine exams take place.
Your Host: Brian
According to the listing, this is a relatively recent addition to the Airbnb scene in Bloomsbury, a rare find, and below the average price for the neighbourhood. I’m fine with that. Brian won’t be there
All I was really looking for was somewhere I can hide away for lunch, and dinner. A quiet room to study for the next day. There’s a kitchen, and a separate office, it could sleep three people, but it will only be me.
I have a plan. That's largely, not to talk to anyone4 for most of the week. I wanted somewhere that didn't feel like a hotel so that I could come and go. Settle in. I don't really want any distractions, or frustrations.
You see, it’s quite a mammoth week I’ve got coming up.
Eight exams. In four days. Two exams each day.
Did you read the below piece about my Stage 1 prep? It’s that, but for four days instead of one.
Honestly, I’m not stressed about the process, the repetitive nature, the practical > theory > repeat, process, go again. So long as I’ve got a plan.
Your Upcoming Trips: Greater London, 2 Months.
It’s now just about April, and my stay on Lamb’s Conduit St is in early June, about two months away.
I’m yet to write anything about my recent 3-day practical exam course days in London a few weeks back, because others are still due to sit the same mock. But, suffice to say, I got my mocks in early. I think I did OK, but I’ve got a bit of time to reflect on them.
I’m probably not going to taste much in the run in from now on.
My main concern for the next two months is Theory prep. I’m spending a couple of weeks on each paper between now and June, condensing all my notes, yes, multiple years worth of this and that. Condensing them into bullet point, memory jogger, distilled notes paper by paper.
One big ‘Mega Doc’ for each Theory Paper5, effectively building my ‘day before’ reading for each evening.
Summary of key topics
Key people, wineries and examples to reference
A quick reminder to stay on topic
The constant worry is that I haven’t learnt or remembered enough. Even with the ‘Super Massive Doc’ of things to remember, if I haven’t learnt them once already I can’t remember them later.
Send a Message to Brian
“Leave me alone, Brian, I’ve got exams to sit”.
I was going to link here to a Time Out article called ‘18 reasons to go to Lamb’s Conduit Street, but the website was so hideously overwhelming with adverts and pop-ups I thought I’d spare you the pain. Turns out it’s just a lazy collection of Instagram links and not a lot about wine.
I’ve looked that up on Google Maps.
It’s actually called the Royal National Hotel, but somehow that doesn’t feel right.
Not too much of a departure.
P1 - Viti, P2 - Vini, P3 - Handling, P4 - Business, P5 - Contemporary Issues.