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    Wine & Food

    The virtual pub: how to share a digital pint with your friends

    18 March 2020

    The coronavirus lockdown means we’re under strict orders from the Prime Minister not to head down to our local for a pint and to avoid social get togethers wherever possible. So why not start a new trend and share a digital drink with your friends? Here’s how to pull it off:

    1. Get online

    Google Hangouts is great for group video calls, as is Zoom (free for the first 45 minutes) or, if you have access to it through work, Microsoft Teams. New app Houseparty is also a popular choice with young people and has been picking up users very quickly since lockdown was announced.

    Simply agree a time, send out the invites and off you go. Be sure to use an app with video function rather just audio so that you all benefit from the face to face interaction – there’s nothing like being able to see people to raise spirits and create a sense of camaraderie as we face up to months of being holed up at home.

    2. Make it regular

    Having something to look forward to each week is going to be key to surviving self isolation so why not agree a weekly get together?

    3. Don’t scrimp on the drink

    Whether it’s a new craft beer or a G&T, treat this as a chance to indulge in your favourite tipple. Choosing something different each time will give you luxuries to buy from the supermarket other than loo roll and pasta – and something to talk about with each other as well (it’s either that or coronavirus small talk and we know which one we’d prefer). If you’re short on ideas then here’s our guide to this month’s best wines.

    4. Keep up the humour

    Don a gas mask, create an interesting back drop, have a fancy dress night, organise a pub quiz. There’s no excuse not to go to town given the sparseness of everybody’s social calendars and, besides, when else is that stag do morph suit going to get a second outing?