Mike reflects on traveling to the United Kingdom on an assessment trip for Arthur Segel's London IFC: Beyond the "Square Mile"; Investing, Private Equity, & Real Estate.

ANY ADVICE FOR MINIMIZING JET LAG WHEN TRAVELING TO THE UK?

Jet lag in London makes it really hard to go to sleep early and also to get out of bed in the morning. We had very packed schedules every day of my trip, so I would say on average I got 4 - 5 hours of sleep per night. The one thing that saved me was taking the daytime flight from Boston to London. I was able to get some decent sleep in a hotel bed the night before we started our assessment.

HOW WAS THE TRAFFIC IN LONDON?

The daytime traffic in London city center is pretty brutal, so we often opted for the much more efficient Tube. One day I had back-to-back meetings (one in the far east of London at Canary Wharf and another in the city center near Whitehall) and was able to make it from one to the other in 35 minutes on the Jubilee Line. I was really shocked to make it to the second meeting in time.

HOW WAS THE WIFI IN LONDON / WADDESDON?

The wifi in London is great – fast and reliable. During our one-day excursion to Waddesdon, however, we experienced some really spotty connectivity.

WHAT WAS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU ATE?

During a dinner with Professor Segel and some colleagues I tried some lamb sweat breads not realizing that they were actually brains. It wasn’t so bad!

WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT LONDON?

The most surprising meeting for me was with a potential project partner, Second Home, which is essentially a co-working/incubator space for entrepreneurs in East London. Unlike other co-working spaces I’ve seen (like WeWork), Second Home really prioritizes low-cost materials and versatility with their spaces. It was very artistic, but also practical. Most surprising was their “meditation room” with plants climbing up the walls and a sign that read “No electronic devices allowed.”

WHAT WAS YOUR YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?

For a long time I had wanted to visit the Churchill War Rooms Museum, and on a free Saturday morning I finally got to see it. It was perfectly sized (taking me about 90 minutes from start to finish) and I really liked how it was self-guided with audio commentary provided by the museum. To get there I took a long walk from my hotel through Covent Garden, Trafalgar and Leicester Squares and Buckingham Palace. London is very walkable for such a large city.


Statue of Winston Churchill, on the way to the War Rooms Museum.

Another highlight was when I went for a run within the grounds of the Waddesdon estate (about 60 miles from London). There were lots of rolling hills with sheep and cows grazing in the distance. It was a really welcomed change from the hustle and bustle in London.


Sheep grazing in Waddesdon.

OVERALL, WHAT IS YOUR "ROSE AND THORN" FROM TRAVELING IN LONDON?

Rose: Fish and chips.

Thorn: Cash-only cabs.