The Travel Journal
There may be only five working days left until Mother's Day, but that doesn't mean you have to fall back on uninspiring gift ideas.
According to analysts at Mintel, in the UK we spend over half a billion pounds on gifts and treats for our mothers. In general, Londoners and men spend more on their Mothers, and Mother’s Day knocks Father’s Day spending out of the park (Sorry Dads).
And these days it's not just flowers and chocolates that we are treating our mums to. Not only are we recognising the value of a good quality gift, we are being more creative with our ideas for presents.
Our Luxe Sleep Mask is our most popular product. Handmade with only the finest fabrics, the products attention to detail will enhance Mum's sleep with natural lavender scents emanating from the soft bamboo silk fabric. Ideal for mums who are frequent travellers, wearing for long-haul flights, light sleepers and mums who suffer from insomnia, headaches or fatigue.
If mum is a frequent traveller, she will benefit from the finest quality Luxury Inflatable Neck Pillow made with a natural cotton outer. Natural fabric outer keeps neck cool while travelling. The outer is removable and can be machine-washed like a normal garment making the maintenance of the item easy.
A front fastener ensures the Neck Pillow stays in place and does not slide or slip around the neck while sleeping aboard an aeroplane, a train or on a long car journey.
When fully deflated the neck pillow is flat and folds into the carry pouch provided which protects the neck pillow in-transit and easily fits into a handbag, briefcase or large pocket. No more carrying bulky neck pillows through airports security and check-in.
Given that a third of our life is spent asleep, why not make sure mum can enjoy a luxurious Mayfair experience every time.
All our products are beautifully packaged too, making them ideal gifts.
With ever increasing research supporting the notion that Sleep is not only good for you're wellbeing but can improve weight loss and productivity its never felt more important for us to get a good nights sleep. Thats why at Masters of Mayfair we have scoured the internet to find some of the best sleep articles to support you in you're quest for better sleep.
Better Sleep Equals Better Health: Nurse Practitioners Encourage Better Sleep Habits by Lauren Santye.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is calling for individuals to make sleep a priority to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on the body and can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, weight gain, and an impaired immune system.
In a recent study, the National Sleep Foundation revealed that more than 4 in 10 Americans reported that poor or insufficient sleep at least once in the past 7 days had significantly impacted their daily activities.
Getting enough sleep can improve memory, boost the immune system, reduce hunger, increase productivity, and strengthen the ability to focus and learn.
“With more than 80 million people suffering from sleep deprivation and another 50 to 70 million with a sleep disorder, patients need to prioritize quality sleep and seek out their health care provider if they are struggling to sleep,” Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, president of the AANP, said in a press release. “Sleep affects everything from chronic pain, to recovery from diseases, weight management, and the risk of heart disease.
“As health care professionals who see and treat millions of patients, we recommend establishing a sleep schedule, avoiding nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, getting regular exercise, and taking steps to manage stress. AANP encourages efforts by the National Sleep Foundation to advocate for better sleep so people have the tool they need to live healthier and more productive lives.”
The latest effort to improve sleep habits is in recognition of Sleep Awareness Week, which takes place April 23-30.
“Research consistently shows that adequate, quality sleep directly and positively affects mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing,” Max Hirshkowitz, chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, said in the press release. “NSF’s #SleepBetterFeelBetter campaign shines a light on the importance of sleep health toward improved productivity, mood, and overall health.”
Further Reading at: http://contemporaryclinic.pharmacytimes.com/preventive-care/better-sleep-equals-better-health-nurse-practitioners-encourage-better-sleep-habits
5 Mind Tricks to Convince Yourself to Sleep More by Serhat Pala.
Many an entrepreneur has stayed up late into the night working, believing they can squeeze more production out of the day. If that's you, tell yourself these five things (or get your spouse to tell them to you so it seems more natural).
1. Morning is the most productive time of the day.
2. Consider what the alternative to sleeping actually is.
3. Remember how amazing it felt the last time you woke up early, rested and full of energy.
4. Recognise or change the best times you get actual work done.
5. Ask yourself if all those people and studies can be wrong.
Further reading at: https://www.inc.com/serhat-pala/5-mind-tricks-to-convince-yourself-to-sleep-more.html
I Tried 3 Methods for Better Sleep, and Here's What Worked by Perri Blumberg.
Like many people, I struggle with falling asleep and getting enough rest each night. With all the background noise in modern times, it’s no surprise that roughly one in three American adults don’t get enough shut-eye. There's my inbox, nagging me to finally attend to my 38,113 and counting unread emails. Then, those did I pack lunch/call the dentist/renew my library books? moments join in on the fun. And shoot, did I double-book coffee dates Thursday?
Luckily, we're in 2017, when there are smart pillows designed to deliver the sleep of your dreams, a literal app for counting sheep, but also a huge focus on wellness and all things "natural." I decided to test out technological and "alternative" tactics for getting better sleep. Hippie teas? Herbal concoctions? Tart cherry juice? Where’s a gal to start?
Ultimately, I settled on three straightforward and readily accessible methods: Apple’s Bedtime Alarm, yoga, and meditation. After trying each strategy for a week straight, followed by spending the past two weeks “going rogue” with whichever combination of methods I desired, I may not have my summer camp bunkmate's magical ability to sleep through a volcanic eruption, but I'm much closer to bedtime Zen. Here's what I learned during my experiment.
1. I have no excuse not to use Apple's Bedtime Alarm.
2. Even five minutes of nighttime yoga made a major difference in my sleep.
3. But in the end, nighttime meditation was the real game-changer.
Further Reading at: http://www.self.com/story/3-methods-for-better-sleep-experiment.
A Night in the Life of a Sleep Study Patient by Phillips.
You arrive by 7 p.m. ready to tuck in for the night. No, it's not a luxury hotel suite with room service, but it's also not a sterile room where you're hooked up to numerous gadgets and leered at while a team of medical experts poke and prod you and listen to you snore.
If that's what you envisioned when you think about having a sleep study, we're here to ease your mind. While granted, it might not be the best night's sleep you've ever gotten, having a sleep study is a crucial way to help diagnose sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which can not only help save your life but can put you on the path to a good night sleep every night.
“There are very few outpatient medical tests that require a patient to be connected to wires, wear pyjamas, and sleep in a medical facility. While a sleep study is different than other medical tests, it does not have to be intimidating," says Dr. Neil Kline, D.O., internist and sleep physician and representative of the American Sleep Association.
Patients don't realise that sleeping in a sleep centre is very much like sleeping in a hotel—well minus some of the luxuries. However, sleep study rooms are designed to look like hotel rooms. The biggest difference though is that you'll have wires attached to your body.
Further Reading at: http://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-hs/better-sleep-breathing-blog/better-sleep/life-of-a-sleep-study-patient
Ageing Makes Deep, Restful Sleep More Difficult to Achieve by Zawn Villines.
harms the brain’s ability to trigger deep and restful sleep, according to a review published in the journal Neuron. As a result, seniors often have more difficulty falling asleep and tend to wake more frequently during the night. This sleeplessness is linked to physical and mental health issues.
Why Seniors Sleep Less
The study was a literature review that explored previous research on age and sleep. Researchers suggest, beginning in the fifth decade of life, many people go to bed later and wake earlier. They may take longer to fall asleep, sleep for shorter periods of time, and wake more frequently. They are also more likely to be awakened by external stimuli. They typically spend less time in slow wave sleep cycles, have shorter sleep cycles, and spend more time awake during the night.
These changes in sleep patterns can produce many behavioral changes. Ten percent of adults ages 55-64 report napping during the day. For those ages 75-84, that figure rises to 25%.
The study’s authors suggest these sleep changes are not due to scheduling issues or to a decreased need for sleep. Instead,brain circuits and neurons linked to sleep degrade with age, making it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. This trend can accelerate and play a significant role in the ageing process.
Further Reading at: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/aging-makes-deep-restful-sleep-more-difficult-to-achieve-0420172
- Don’t drink copious amounts of alcohol
As tempting as it is to fully utilise the free drinks trolley try to stick to just one drink. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy however “Deep sleep is when the body restores itself, and alcohol can interfere with this," explains Dr John Shneerson, head of the sleep centre at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. "As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That's why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you've been drinking”
- Don’t watch TV
Blue light from led screens whether it’s the tv in the seat in front or your phone stops the brain from producing melatonin which is a natural hormone that your body creates throughout the day to help you sleep. So its best to avoid all screens up to an hour before you’re hoping to sleep.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal
Having a large meal before getting ready to sleep kick starts youre metabolism and can prevent you from both falling asleep and staying asleep. Eat enough to stop you from being hungry but don’t go overboard so that you are uncomfortable.
- Don’t drink caffeine
Coffee, Tea, Coca cola, avoid it all on the day of your flight if you are serious about catching some shut eye! Caffeine is a stimulant and the effects of caffeine can be felt for as long as 6 hours after consuming. There is also no nutritional benefits so your best to stick to the tomato juice on board!
Whether it’s the inevitable lack of leg room, the baby kicking and screaming behind you, the constant whirring of the engine or the sun light beaming in on you from your neighbours window, its hardly surprising that so many of us find it impossible to get any shut eye on a long haul flight. But don’t panic that’s where we come in, we have come up with the 5 most important dos and don’ts to ensure you arrive at your next destination with enough beauty sleep, fresh and ready for anything. This week we are focusing on the Do's!
- Select your seat wisely.
Your choice of seat is possibly one of the most important factors in ensuring you get some shuteye on a long haul flight. Take the time to pick your seat online prior to arriving at the airport. A window seat is best as it gives you something to lean on. It is also best to avoid the back row!
- Be smart with you’re travel accessory choices.
Whilst it’s advised to travel as light as possible, there are a few travel accessory essentials for ensuring some sleep on the flight. A neck pillow and eye mask should most definitely be on your list. As light signals to your body to wake up, an eye mask blocks out this light and can therefore increase levels of melatonin helping you to drift off and stay asleep.
- Invest in some sound cancelling headphones
The repetitive drone of the aeroplanes engines can most certainly keep you awake, whilst earplugs provide some relief from this you’re best option is to invest in some noise cancelling headphones. Soothing music can help to send you to sleep but also try out some sleep podcasts. If all this fails you can simply just place the headphones on and they will completely cancel out any light background noise.
- Stay hydrated.
It’s important to stay hydrated during a long flight but try to not drink too much to avoid disturbing your sleep. Caffeine free herbal teas can be successful in aiding sleep. Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus tea is a caffeine free Victorian recipe tea available at Holland and Barratt.
- Wear loose fitting clothes.
Wear loose fitting clothing to make sure you are comfortable throughout the flight. Except from around the calves where you should wear something tight. Anti DVT socks are a must!
Today we are flying First Class (or Royal Silk) with Thai Airlines from London to Bangkok. Our journey begins in Heathrow where the comfortable departure lounge fully equipped with private charging stations for electronic devices also provided ample space to work or relax as well as offering complimentary drinks, snacks, magazines and newspapers.
Upon boarding and being seated, champagne and tropical juices were offered as well as throughout the flight, followed by various gourmet courses of both Thai and Western foods. Each dish was enjoyable, as well as carefully and beautifully presented however there could have been more vegetarian options for the starters and mains, as well as more choice for the dessert as only two different choices were provided.
The flight itself takes just over 11 hours which is rather a long journey, however with the help of the cabin crews usual attentiveness and excellent customer service, as well as the new and upgraded aircrafts, we found the whole experience should be one of enjoyment and luxury. The seats provided in The Royal Silk Class, have a staggered layout, providing privacy and a fully flat recline. There is an interactive touch screen with unlimited channels, wifi, mobile and SMS communications along with an in-seat PC power outlet, all of which are great aid in helping the time pass however most of this flight, for us, was spent asleep.
When it comes to geography and landscapes California really does have it all. Whether it’s a beach holiday, mountains or deserts that you are after you are bound to find some of the best in California. But the greatest thing is, its possible to get all of the above in on just one trip!
The Californian coast is over 1200 miles long however it does mostly consist of rock-strewn beaches and cold waters. However if you head to southern California you can find picturesque sandy beaches and warm surf.
Laguna Beach is located in Orange County, Southern California. In between San Diego and LA there is a seven-mile stretch of sandy beach for you to enjoy!
La Jolla Cove, San Diego is a smaller but unbelievably picturesque cove. Boasting sandstone cliffs and small summer surf and impeccable visibility, making it perfect for both swimming and snorkelling.
Santa Catalina Island is one of California’s Channel Islands and has plenty of options when it comes to beaches. Including Descanso Beach that offers a two-tiered private beach best for swimming. Whilst Two Harbour beaches possess scenic views of the harbour and also the possibility to hike or kayak to explore the surrounding crystal clear waters and array of secret beaches.
Mountains cover over half of California’s land. There are two ranges, The Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges. Between them there are many National Parks in which you can see the best of the US’s Mountains and natural beauty.
Yosemite National park is not only famous for its magnificent waterfalls but also its copious amount of giant ancient sequoia trees huge, lakes, clear streams, mountains and glaciers. Viewpoints are also in abundance including Glacier point that is arguably one of the most breath-taking views in the park. Tunnel View is one of the most famous views of Yosemite in where you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background.
The Santa Lucia mountain Range is situated in costal central California; it is home to Cone Peak, which at 1572 meters is the highest peak in proximity to the ocean in the whole of the lower United States!
There are three main deserts in California each with unique ecosystems and habitats. All based in Southern California offering dramatic scenery and a your very own taste of the Old Wild West.
Surrounded by the Tehachapi Mountains to the North West and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains to the South. The Mojave is also home to Death Valley National Park where you can find yourself at the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level at Badwater.
Starting where the Mojave ends in the North the Colorado Desert runs right through to the Mexico Border. The Colorado is home to some of the most unique plants, animals and insects, which are found nowhere else on earth. Joshua Tree National park is a popular tourist destination found here and Coachella Festival is held here annually!
The Great Basin Desert:
Known as the only cold desert in the USA, it’s also the largest! With much higher elevations and larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow! The Great Basin has trees that are over 5000 years old these Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living organisms in the world. The Great Basin is also home to The Lehman Caves.
Today we find ourselves in one of the best cities in the world, London. Dining at Sushisamba, situated on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower - a commercial skyscraper, currently the 3rd tallest building in the United Kingdom.
The tower itself is a favourite thanks to its phenomenal views of the city, outdoor terraces, impressive sky-high restaurants and scenic glass lift. Although the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque lift may sound off-putting for some, there is something uniquely exhilaratingly that comes with being whisked around 180metres into the air in just under 30 seconds whilst watching the city fall away at your feet.
Sushisamba offers a tri-cuisine fusion of Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese. Its main room has an impressively high bamboo grid ceiling of varying heights and hanging lights but not to be outdone by the 360 view of the city, breath-taking both by daytime and night.
The staff are attentive and informative, and the atmosphere is set off well by the décor and tri-culture celebrating music. Our choice of cocktails for the afternoon on this occasion were the ‘Lychee cooler’, the ‘Nina Fresa’ and the ‘Nashi’ Martini.
We kicked lunch off with starters of Edamame, the raw ‘Crispy Yellowtail Taquitos’ and then the standard favourite order of salt and pepper squid. These were followed by a delightfully fresh ‘Tiger Maki’ samba roll, the flavoursome ‘Mushroom Tobanyaki’ – albeit they could have eased up slightly on the garlic – followed by the personal star of the show, the ‘Moqueca Mista’. Complete with jumbo prawns, mussels, clams, squid, sea bass and topped off with coconut milk curry and chimchurri rice. After a short resting period of another cocktail each we decided to finish with the ‘Passion Fruit Cake’ (which we shared, as yes, all of the above was consumed by 2 people) and it was nothing short of delectable as well as beautifully presented, although definitely too small to share.
We were impressed with the understated, easy going atmosphere of the restaurant and the visually innovative décor, food and drink. A perfect venue for lunch or dinner, daytime or evening drinks.
When travelling there is nothing better than relaxing at the end of the day watching the sun creep away to enlighten another continent. Even better when on a far flung beach without any Blackberry signal we may add. The perfect partner to these glorious moments is ones favourite tipple as we say here in Great Britain. The choice of many Brits is the classic Gin and tonic of course.
In this journal entry we wanted to share 5 of the best bars to discover while in our hometown of London. In no particular order as all have there own individual charm.
1. Aqua at The Shard
In the newest addition to the London skyline sits its tallest building The Shard. Aqua is a little jewel nestled into this towering building near London Bridge Station.
2. The Chinese Room & Bar at Blakes Hotel
Sublime design and a very cool atmosphere make this a bar very much worthy of a drink or two...
3. The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
If arriving into London on a late train from Paris or elsewhere in Europe head for an evening drink in this classic timeless bar.
4. The Dandelyan Bar at the Mondrian Hotel
Located on the southbank of the river and within one of London’s coolest new hotels The Dandelyan Bar offers views of St Pauls and the City. The perfect stopping point for your walk along the Thames river.
5. The Connaught Bar at The Connaught Hotel
And finally a regular for all at Masters of Mayfair, our ‘local’ is a go to quaint bar in Mayfair for impeccable service and classical London-feel.
The moment at which a business idea flashes through your mind is normally followed with one of two secondary thoughts. One being 'that is the daftest thought' and I am ever so grateful the strangers around me cannot possibly know what I was thinking otherwise they would report me and cart me off to the looney bin. Or two, a twenty second pause of self evaluation of the the idea. This occasionally results in concluding that actually once back at my desk it may need more online exploration.
The latter happen to me on my flight from Heathrow to our honeymoon destination of Thailand. I had no intention of having a business making sleeping masks. In fact I had barely used them in my thirty years. I had thought it would be a good idea to buy two for our journey as a little special touch to add to the exciting journey we had ahead. To my horror the luxury sleeping masks were poor quality, overly priced and presented in just an awful poly-bag. My wife agreed my little treat wasn't the best!
On landing in Thailand I was thirsty for exploring further (after the first dinner, cocktails and spa visit naturally!). It left me wanting to make my own sleeping masks for our own travelling. I have to travel regularly and wanted a sleeping aid that would offer myself a better flight. Katie my wife agreed. The ball was in motion.
With a background in production I took the reins while Katie gave me feedback and planned our marketing in the background. I was not in a rush to get the sleeping masks to market, I had personal deadlines sure but no investors breathing down my neck wanting a return on investment. Our sole aim was to make the most beautiful mask on the market which also had to be 'Made in London'. I looked at every possible detail of the product. I experienced many frustrating set backs in that fabrics or other raw materials were simply not up to the job. After sixteen months of exploration, sampling and trialling we were ready. The product was perfect.
The sleeping masks are in our mind more than simply fit for purpose which is how I would describe the free sleeping masks the major airlines such as British Airways give away on flights. Masters of Mayfair sleeping masks don't slip. They blackout entirely and ease you into a state of relaxation with the dried Yorkshire lavender which is infused within the mask.
Both my wife and I hope you love them too. If you do, do let us know. It makes our day. In the meantime sleep well, travel well.
Jamie & Katie Smalley