Swirl Wine Group is the fruit of collaboration between a small, dedicated band of freelancers who we are greatly missing in lockdown. Call it an excuse to catch up – but we wanted to shine a light on the little team who’re keeping Swirl moving in these straitened circumstances.

We caught up with our graphic designer, Ellie, of Bare Design. Staying with friends in France, Ellie was trapped by lockdown.

Sum up your lockdown in five words

Isolated in a foreign country [France]

Apart from the obvious, what’s been the biggest change for you work-wise during lockdown?

Because of my job as a designer, my work style has been impacted very little by coronavirus. However, my laptop broke end of April due to a coffee accident… and that changed my work situation. After two long weeks, I finally received my replacement, so it’s back to work for me behind a screen!

COVID-19 has obviously had a massive impact on both the on- and off-trade drinks industries, but Swirl has worked hard to keep our brand personality and tone intact. What other drinks brands/ companies do you think have nailed it?

Something that’s really impressed me was how areas of London came together to find ways to be creative. Bermondsey in particular. I follow a couple of the independent coffee/drinks spots around there and they came up with a very cool “cocktails-at-home” kit for anyone who orders drinks from them via Deliveroo. 

The launch of Swirl in the Cloud has allowed us to keep our community (and our clients’) engaged when we can’t host them in real life? What are you doing to connect with your community?

Very little… I’m a tad embarrassed to admit that under times of high stress (like a global pandemic!), I tend to mentally turn inwards. Coupled with the fact I have spent the last two months in lockdown in a different country where I don’t speak the language, I’m not feeling particularly sociable.

Everyone is super focussed on what they’ll do when lockdown is fully lifted. But what will you miss when ‘real life’ resumes?

Absolutely nothing. I strongly believe this period of slowdown could be beneficial to certain people, under the right conditions. This wasn’t the case for me and I think it’s important to acknowledge that this is a very stressful, tragic period for many people, places, and businesses.

Instead, I am looking forward to getting back to London and to be a part of what I hope will be a new green movement to encourage us all to walk and cycle more. I’ve even bought a bike to arrive to my London flat (once I can return). 

But of course, we also what to know the first thing you’ll do when lockdown ends!

Get a haircut and a full head of highlights. I’ve avoided dying my hair pink and cutting it myself, but that’s not to say the thought hadn’t crossed my mind…

Where do you check in for your essential content? 

I have been religiously following a number of Instagram account for health and wellness content, steering clear of the mainstream news. I want content which calms and comforts me. I’ve turned to @motherheart for daily Zoom sound healing sessions and @ariellelorre for easy, healthy recipes and podcasts that I can listen to when I do my hour exercise walk.

What does your daily drinks routine look like? 

When the lockdown first started, I’d say I was consuming wine on a nightly basis. My favourite is a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay with dinner. However, after eight weeks of consistent drinking, my jeans told me it was time to give it a rest – so for the time being I’m not drinking at all.