Bedtime story

An anonymous author once quipped, ‘Money will buy you a bed but not sleep.’  This little adage is something that Madame ‘Veuve’ Cliquot knew only too well, having been known to suffer crippling bouts of insomnia.

Nearly 150 years since her death, French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has paid a rather opulent homage to her restless nights in the form of the Once Upon A Dream sleep pod, which will be on show at The Andaz Hotel Lounge from 21 – 23 September, to celebrate the London Design Festival.

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur

Lehanneur’s invention allows the user to control their sleep environment, based on research conducted by sleep specialist Alain Nicolas.

Once the user is inside the pod, a curtain isolates them from the outside world to prepare them for dreaming. Then the pod gradually gets darker, while the temperate reduces to 19°C – apparently the optimum temperature for sleeping. For the next 15 minutes, a humming ‘white noise’ isolates them from the outside world, while they are rocked by ‘The Island’, which discharges sea-air into the room.

The Once Upon a Dream pod

Through encapsulating the snoozer in a pod wholly designed for sleeping,Once Upon A Dream aims to revitalise them mentally and physically in preparation for the next day.

And if this wasn’t enough, the dream capsule will also play host to design luminaries as they read excerpts of their favourite books aloud.  All, of course, while imbibing of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Amongst those reading will be designer Martha Freud, who will recount selections from Paul Gallico’s The Man who was Magic.

After its appearance at The Andaz Hotel Lounge, the Once Upon A Dream bed will take up residence upon the reopening of the Hôtel du Marc in Champagne, France, from Spring 2011.

The Once Upon A Dream Reader Series run at 4pm daily from 21-23 September at The Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, London EC2M.

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