London for the MW ceremony

For the last 10 years I have dreamed of entering Vintners Hall in London and becoming a Master of Wine. Ten years. In times of doubt or anxiety I would envision myself walking up to the podium, in an effort to give me the motivation I needed to continue the journey.

Well, it finally happened. And it was the highest level of euphoria I have *ever* felt in my life. Walking in from the back of the room to thunderous applause was an absolutely incredible experience.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before all the MW ceremony stuff we had a bunch of other things to do! First thing was a little touristing of this fantastic city!

Emma found an old school telephone booth to horse around in …

And we went on a double decker hop-on hop-off bus tour, always a great way to see a city…

… and that included a boat ride on the Thames too …

London is really a beautiful city! As I see it, the only other city in the world that can compare with London is NYC.

Then it was time to get the celebrations started! We started with a dinner at 67 Pall Mall, but on the way Emma spotted the pop-up window display (actually Berry Bros & Rudd wine merchants) for the tailor shop in the movie, Kingsmen! Super fun!

Then it was on to the club for dinner with the family!

I need to mention how special this was for me to have my entire family there. My family from Barcelona, and my parents flew in from Toronto for this, and my brother flew up from Switzerland. If I hadn’t had all their love and support through this entire MW journey, I don’t think I would have made it through to the finish line. It was so special to have dinner with them all the night before the ceremony.

The next day it was all about the ceremony!

As the Brits would say, I got all “suited and booted” …

… and off to Vintners Hall!

Where the places were arranged and ready to go …

Including this one!

Before the festivities there was picture time, where all us new MWs had our picture taken with the current Chairman of the Institute, Jane Masters (yes that’s her real last name – Jane Masters, Master of Wine!) …

And we had opportunity for family portraits too! Again, I have to say how great it was to be able to have my family there for the ceremony.

And then the most important picture was set to be taken, the group shot of all the new MWs, though I couldn’t help but ham it up with a selfie before hand …

And here’s the real one!

And then it was on to the ceremony!

I actually don’t really remember walking on stage to get my MW. It’s all sort of a hazy blur, but I do remember feeling a sense of relief!

There was a fantastic after party at Vintners Hall, during which the Bollinger flowed and flowed!

With still more selfies, this one with my honey …

(I’ll save the pictures of the raucous after-after party for private viewing on request!)

The next morning was a little rough, to be sure. I needed a little (non-vinous) reinforcement while I stared longingly at the piece of paper I’ve been pursuing so hard all these years!

But that wasn’t the end of the celebrations! My brother took us all out to the famous River Cafe for lunch the next day! What a fantastic spot! I’d never eaten there before and it lived up to its lofty expectations!

Where he got the sneaky idea to make a shortcut to getting his MW …

And then it was off to the airport for the flight home to Barcelona, with framed MW under my arm!

With that ceremony the journey to the MW has come to an end. But now a new journey begins, one with me as an actual MW.  A journey where I can continue to learn, can add value to the world of wine, and can contribute to the Institute of Masters of Wine!

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