Meet the team: Lily Patching

Meet the team: Lily Patching

Lily, our Visitor Experience Manager, will usually be your first point of call when you visit or contact us at The Distillery here in Kirkwall. When she’s not busy processing your online orders or replying to customer queries, you can find her leading guided tours and sharing the story of Kirkjuvagr in the distillery visitor centre!

When did you first join the Kirkjuvagr Team?

I joined Orkney Distilling in September 2019, with over 7 years’ experience in the tourism industry.  I had previously worked at a Prehistoric tomb and visitors centre and was delighted to be offered a position at the Distillery, still within the tourism sector.  I feel that the work here is so variable, each day brings new opportunities and challenges so it keeps my role interesting!

What does a typical day at The Orkney Distillery look like for you?

I usually start my day with a coffee and managing our online enquiries in relation to the store, tours, and general enquiries.  Followed by the processing and dispatch of personal consumer orders.

My afternoons are spent setting up and leading guided tours of our Distillery.

This is my favourite part of my day, I can spend my time entertaining and enlightening our visitors, telling them the saga of Orkney Distilling. 

How have the ongoing effects of COVID-19 affected your role and what are you most excited about now that restrictions are beginning to ease?

At first, I was sadly furloughed due to a pre-existing health condition, it was hard to spend such a long time away from work not knowing when I would be back again.

After 3 months of furlough, I was back.  Although it took quite a while to settle into a new ‘Covid-friendly’ routine here at the Distillery.  The tour layout has had to change to abide by Scottish Government guidelines, we currently utilize the front bar and gift shop as the tour area, as we cannot allow for visitors to travel through the working Distillery during an ongoing pandemic.

This did impact on my tours quite drastically, but we were optimistic and thankful that we could still welcome visitors on occasion.

I am looking forward to being able to run guided tours of the Distillery again, taking visitors through the working Distillery and showing them all there is behind-the-scenes here at Orkney Distilling.

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin bottles

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