5 minutes with … Camilla Swift, Assistant Editor at The Spectator


We’re back with our regular series of Q&As being published with friends, clients and other ‘culture vultures’ that we admire to shine a light on their interests and lives.

As the Cultural Comms team is well in the spirit of Qatar Good Wood Festival, we caught up with our good friend Camilla Swift, journalist at The Spectator, who is taking part in the Magnolia Cup race on 3 August, raising funds for the Place2Be charity.

  • One place everyone should visit in their lifetime? – The Darvaza crater in Turkmenistan, aka ’The Door to Hell’. It’s a huge natural gas crater that was set on fire in the 80s and has been burning ever since. You can camp overnight beside it, and the glow overnight is an amazing sight to see. I’m not sure Turkmenistan could cope with the influx of the entire world, though
  • If you weren’t a journalist you’d be…? Probably something to do with horses, though I worry I wouldn’t be good enough. I love what I do most of the time, but I do sometimes still wish I’d gone to Cirencester (RAU) and studied something that would have helped me down that route.
  • What is the one thing you always forget? To find matching socks. This sometimes happens with shoes, too, which is far worse.
  • If you had to relocate for one year, where would you go? Cowboy country!
  • Everyone needs to pay more attention to…? The provenance of their food (boring, but true). And by everyone I include me – I should definitely be better at leading by example!
  • Name one book you wish you’d written. Jilly Cooper’s Riders
  • Most recent theatre / cinema you attended and what you saw? Kinky Boots at the Adelphi.
  • Favourite London location/ building/ landmark? Royal Hospital in Chelsea. If I can ever make it, their Sunday morning services are lovely, too.
  • What are you looking forward to this year? I’ve been in training for the Magnolia Cup, the ladies charity race at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, ever since I rode in it for the first time last year, so it has been a long time coming! It’s such a fantastic race to take part in; all the ladies taking part have specially designed one-off silks, I’m up against some incredible competition including the likes of Dido Harding and eventer Izzy Taylor, and we are all raising money for the charity Place2Be, who do amazing work for children’s mental health. There is definitely a fair bit of pressure on my back… but I suppose at the end of the day it’s all good fun, and for an excellent cause.