Revealed: your Olympic sleep plan

No doubt sport loving Sybarites will be glued to their TV screens this weekend, in the hope that Mo Farah will go the distance and grab his third Olympic Gold Medal in the men’s 10,000 metres race.

But if you want to watch Mo go for gold in real time, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to play it when it comes to sleep - as the starter pistol fires at 1.25am on Sunday morning. Ouch!

Fortunately, for Sybarites, we asked Dave Gibson BSC, expert sleep advisor at bespoke bed-maker Warren Evans, for his 10 top tips for staying awake. You can thank us later…

1. Adjust your body clock. Go to bed later on Friday night and get up later on Saturday morning so it’s easier to stay awake up to the time the event is over on Sunday morning (it’s better for your mind and body to do it this way, rather than setting your alarm clock for race time). Make sure that your blinds or curtains are pulled tightly, blocking out the light on the morning after the event so you think it’s still dark outside… it’s Sunday, you can relax!

2.    Take a nap during the day, stores up your sleep for later.

3.    Don’t overdo it in the day, take it easy, don’t burn yourself out with exercise, try to postpone it until the day after the event.

4.    Don’t eat starchy sugary foods in the run up to the event or during, they will give you an energy / sugar burst too early and you will crash later as the event is on.

5.    Keep your room as bright as possible at night and as you watch the event to keep you awake as your body clock will think it is still daytime.

6.    Watch it with a friend, as it’s easier to stay awake with company.

7.    Drink caffeine in a small amount just before the event starts, and then in small amounts during. This will keep you awake for longer.

8.    Eat high-energy food, which is harder to digest such protein during the event. Protein bars and fruit such as apples are good, so is tuna, cheese and eggs.

9.    Don’t drink alcohol it will send you to sleep quicker.

10. Open windows and doors to keep fresh air circulating, if it’s too hot and stuffy you could nod off.


And if you’re eager to watch Usain bolt-it in the men’s 100 metres final in the early hours of the 15 August- after all the Olympics are only every four years - you’ll just have to grin and bear being even more tired and grouchy in the office on a Monday morning, than usual.

Lastly: be sure to go to bed nice and early on Monday night so you can catch up on your sleep!


Marylebone magic

The Sybarite reports on the rise (and rise) of Marylebone

Circa 2000, Notting Hill was considered London’s chicest neighbourhood, thanks to the eponymous rom com which saw a London bookseller (Hugh Grant) fall for a fabulous film star (Julia Roberts) against a backdrop of pretty pastel townhouses.

10 years later, Notting Hill was over. Dead in the water. If you wanted to experience hip London, you needed to head east. 

Make no mistake: in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games that took place primarily in the sparkling Stratford Olympic Park, east London changed beyond recognition to become the capital’s coolest spot. Run down warehouses were replaced with quirky shops and independent cafes packed full of spiky haired, skinny jeans clad trendy types.

But cool, by its nature, never stays cool for long. Fast forward to 2016 and the focus is now firmly on Marylebone (pronounced mar-le-bone) - a good looking, affluent neighbourhood north of Oxford Street.

So why has Marylebone become the hottest playground in the world, right now? The answer, can be attributed in part, to The Chiltern Firehouse (www.chilternfirehouse.com).

Located, as its name suggest, in a former fire station, Chiltern Firehouse - the brainchild of Andre Balazs - has certainly helped shift the spotlight to Marylebone and is arguably the biggest reason why we’re all flocking to NW1.

The fire station turned hotel and restaurant has been the celeb hang out du jour since opening just over two years ago. A-listers like David Beckham,  One Direction, Cara Delevingne, Bradley Cooper and Kate Moss have all been spotted slipping through its doors….

But while Balazs’ celebrity hotspot may have dominated the headlines to date, it faces competition in the shape of the newly opened Zetter Townhouse (www.thezettertownhouse.com/marylebone) over on nearby Seymour Street.

This boutique property - the Zetter group’s second townhouse hotel - encompasses a chic rooftop apartment and terrace, plus a hip cocktail lounge in addition to 21 bedrooms and two studio suites each uniquely decorated by Russell Sage.

The acclaimed designer has drawn inspiration from the tales of the Townhouse’s fictional former resident - the loveable if eccentric ‘Uncle Seymour’ (look for his portrait in the parlour) - resulting in a space crammed full of colourful furniture and objets d’art

Yet while the Zetter, together with Chiltern Firehouse, have without a doubt helped make Marylebone hot once more, it’s not only hotels that have put NW1 back on the map.

Upscale, independent shops and restaurants have recently arrived on Marylebone High Street. Here’s looking at cult Parisian cake shop, La patisserie des rêves (www.lapatisseriedesreves.com/en), the relaunched Michelin starred restaurant, Trishna (www.trishnalondon.com) - not to mention Chris Corbin and Jeremy King’s latest outpost.

That’s right: the duo behind Brasserie Zedel, The Delaunay and The Wolseley have chosen to open Fischer’s (www.fischers.co.uk), a restaurant “evocative of early 20th century Vienna”  in the area.

Marylebone is also becoming known for its chi chi boutiques offering one-of-a-kind items - a breath of fresh air after the retail purgatory that is Oxford Street.

Subsequently fashionistas are skipping along Marylebone’s gorgeous Georgian squares and streets for shops such as Suzannah (a couture designer whose high profile customers include Pippa Middleton), Les Senteurs, Ronen Chen,  Mouki and Prism and, as of last week, Equipment X Kate Moss.

La Moss has launched a line for Equipment - and tellingly, the supermodel has chosen to showcase the capsule collection at a pop up shop in none other than Marylebone….

The Kate effect aside, Marylebone offers culture: The Everyman (www.everymancinema.com) is a charming cinema that’s a million miles away from the mega multiplexes (think Vue, Odeon et al).

Elsewhere the Wallace Collection (www.wallacecollection.org) - home to one of Europe’s finest collections of works of art, paintings, porcelain, furniture, arms & armour and more - is only a short walk way…

Even better? Unlike east London which (unless you actually live there) is a complete ball ache to get to, the parish of Mary-le-bone is enviably central making it much more accessible…

Whisper it quietly: Marylebone may just be the capital’s most charming district.

London's top five hotel pools

The Olympic Aquatics Centre – which saw Ellie Simmonds win four medals and Tom Daley win bronze in the 10-metre dive during summer 2012 – reopened to the public last Saturday (1 March).  But if practising your front crawl with the plebs holds little appeal, panic not. Haute Living has the low-down on five hip, hotel pools where you can make a splash this spring

The Berkeley
This much loved local icon is the first word in luxury, the last and most of those in between boasting sizeable rooms and top notch restaurants (Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, anyone?) Of course there’s more to this high-end hotel, than its restaurants and rooms. Up on the seventh floor you’ll find the spa and health club - where the piece de resistance is the heated rooftop swimming pool, offering stunning views across Hyde Park and Knightsbridge. If the weather refuses to play ball, the specially redesigned roof slides to cover the pool.
The Bulgari
The legendary Italian jeweller opened this boutique hotel back in 2012. Situated in the salubrious environs of Knightsbridge, The Bulgari's 85 rooms personify la dolce vita. The spa is a similarly luxurious affair. Set over two floors, it’s home to a relaxation room, ice fountains, cooling showers and a 25 metre, three lane swimming pool complete with columns and cabanesques and surrounded by Vicenza stone (best known for its use in Palladio’s architecture).
Knightsbridge is not short of swanky five star hotels – including the aforementioned Berkeley and Bulgari - where you can lay your head. It’s a bit of a Bradley Cooper/George Clooney scenario – whichever property you end up in, you won't be disappointed. But if you want to follow in the footsteps of tennis ace, Andre Agassi, check into the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. Take an elevator up to the ninth floor where you’ll find a 20m stainless steel pool lined with palm trees. Go for leisure or pleasure, but do go.
The grand old dame of London hotels is home to a 15-metre, heated swimming pool - a rare find in the heart of the city. Pleasingly the pool is also chlorine free so you can take the plunge without worrying about the side effects of chlorine. At The Landmark’s pool, a peaceful atmosphere prevails – a combination of the low lit lighting and the fact that the pool is for the main part, a child free zone. After a work out in the pool, relax in the whirlpool: you’ve worked hard and deserve it.
The Langham
If you’re looking to do a few laps in central London, then The Langham’s pool is the place for you. Located in the Chuan Health Club, the 16-metre indoor swimming pool was, in a previous incarnation, a large bank vault. But the best bit? The Langham has designated children’s swimming hours meaning adults can enjoy the pool in peace. After all that exercise, seek out the salt sauna and steam room – guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for the world.

10 reasons to love London

From the BAFTAs to the Brits, London Fashion Week (LFW), NME Awards and Prince popping up to play a secret gig at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, the capital was fabulous fun in February.But London is a city that looks the part all year round. Here’s 10 reasons why we love London – feel free to share your suggestions in the comment section below


Park life
Thirty  per cent of the capital is given over to green space so wherever you find yourself in the city, a park is never far away.


The cosmopolitan mix
London is one of the most diverse destinations in the world: 37 per cent of the population were born outside the UK and over 300 languages are spoken.


London’s theatreland is the best in the world. Whether you want to see a straight play such as War Horse or a musical like Book of Mormon or Jersey Boys, you’ll be spoilt for choice.


The food scene
London caters to every pocket and palette. Blow the budget at a Michelin starred restaurant or spend a fiver at a food truck - it's your choice.


Retail heaven
From Harrods and Harvey Nichols  to the shopping mecca that is Selfridges and markets like  Spitalfields and Portobello, London’s shops rock. Get ready to whip out the plastic.


Musuems and galleries
The capital boast some of the world’s greatest museums and art galleries. Treasures such as the Tate Modern and Natural History Museum are both free (if your conscience permits).


London knows to how throw a helluva good party
Take your pick from – in recent years –  the Royal Wedding, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or London 2012 Olympics – celebrations that were enjoyed by people all over the planet.


And a world class carnival
The Notting Hill carnival – aka Europe’s largest street party – takes place annually over the August bank holiday. It's a colouful riot of reggae and rum - and everyone is invited!


Escaping is easy
Should you need to leave London, it’s easy to do so. The capital is home to five international airports and the main Eurostar terminal. Paris in two hours? Yes please.

When a man is tired of london

Londonconstantly surprises
Or in the words of Samuel Johnson: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

Are ‘healthy’ doughnuts the new cupcakes?

Paul Hurley, creator of Dum Dum Doughnuts – which are freshly baked (not fried), handmade and contain only 6g of fat compared to the 17g found in their American counterparts – is hoping so. The health conscious artisan pastry chef, 32, spoke to Haute Living ahead of the launch of London’s first Dum Dum Donutterie

Why do you think that Londoners will love Dum Dums doughnuts? Dum Dums are doughnuts that are designed for 2014.  Londoners these days appreciate artisan products that are made by independent British companies.  All our products are hand made using natural ingredients.


Which Dum Dum doughnuts do you think will sell well? Each time we have shown the public our rage of doughnuts, we have sold out of every variety.  In fact we sold 1600 doughnuts in 3.5 hours last time we [had a pop-up Donutterie] at Westfield Stratford. That said, the ‘Zebra’ does seem to be particularly popular.  It has layers of croissant dough AND layers of chocolate croissant dough that make a black and white zebra effect through the doughnut.

The Zebra


What is your own personal favourite Dum Dum, Paul, and why? I love the ‘Crème Brûlée’, which has custard in the centre and is coated in a hard clear caramel.  It’s unlike any other doughnut and a product I’ve wanted to make for some time.


How many Dum Dums do you eat in a week? Normally I’ll have a couple per day, but when we are developing new products it can be much more.  I try to taste a selection of doughnuts each day either way to check on quality (well that’s my excuse).


Any celebrity fans? We’ve only just started presenting our doughnuts recently but we have already had tweets from [Olympic diver] Tom Daley and [TV personality] Peter Andre.  I met them both and designed something special for each of them, as they loved the doughnuts.  We invented the Yum Yum Dum Dum for Peter and will be supplying it to his New York Coffee Club cafes.

Dum Dums Fan Tom Daley with Creator Paul Hurley
Dum Dums fan Tom Daley with creator Paul Hurley


How do you respond to critics who claim that you’re jumping on the cronut (the croissant-doughnut hybrid) bandwagon? A doughnut made using a croissant dough has been available in the UK for decades – we just call it a Yum Yum.  The name Cronut is a trademark like Coke or McDonalds.  Dum Dum doughnuts are truly unique because they are made in such a unique way.  In fact we received a patent for the baking process. In saying that, Cronuts, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are all great for the industry as [they help make] people more aware of doughnuts.  Hopefully this will encourage them to try the artisan alternative, Dum Dums.


Where can Londoners get their Dum Dum fix? We open our first Donutterie in Box Park Shoreditch on 25 February 2014.  We also will be popping up at Westfield Stratford one week of every month. And we have some really exciting news coming soon for doughnut lovers in south west London. Watch this space!

For the full low-down on Dum Dum doughnuts, visit www.dumdums.co.uk