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CBeebies' daydreams, dog dining and the & Other Stories lounge shirt

This reporter invites you to grab your favourite teddy bear, guzzle up your warm cup of milk, snuggle down under the blankets and get ready for a bedtime story. If you are lying comfortably, she will begin...

Once upon a time in a land far away, accessed only by a button on the TV remote, there was a children's television channel called CBeebies. Home to a hodge podge of colourful characters with funny names like Yakka Dee, Boj and the Twirlywoos. This children's TV channel was a godsend to many a time-poor, life-frazzled parent but the equivalent of a shot glass of e-number laced fizzy pop to the goggle-eyed, bullish monsters it had been sent to earth to entertain.

Station masters behind CBeebies realised this sort of stimulus could not go on. Parents had reported having to go to drastic measures, such as shovelling chocolate buttons down their children's throats, to deal with the inevitable pick-me-ups and crashing lows of the channel's televisual output and so they came up with Daydream.

Described as an 'ambient' TV experience especially for youngsters, the hour-long show - available for now only on the iPlayer - is described by its makers as a procession of gentle sounds and colours designed to calm your children down. It features footage of rivers, trees, flowers and bubbles and the occasional directional voice over from actor Olivia Coleman.

The end state for both child and parent viewer is one of catatonia - the equivalent of the lulling effect of the shot of brandy in the milk bottle or the good old days when Calpol included alcohol.

ARE YOU STILL AWAKE? Good, because this reporter wants to voice some feelings. She is suspicious about the subliminal messages this Daydream nonsense may be trying to imbibe. Is the plan to ease us all into half sleep and then start the brainwashing? Is this why we now all like avocados and the colour pink?

But then this reporter is still a little distrustful of what In the Night Garden is all about.

Another pinch yourself to see if you are awake moment has come courtesy of the Evening Standard which has published a definitive list of the top dining outlets in London for dogs. Whilst some restaurants boast simply being pooch friendly, ensuring your dog will get plenty of fuss and a bottomless water bowl, others are claiming to lay on a full three course menu.

Doggy afternoon tea is served at The Egerton House Hotel including three courses of meatloaf, biscuits and ice-cream. M Bar and Grill in Victoria Street provides visiting dogs with their own brunch menu. There is a choice of Bacon and Peanut Cookies or Dried Chicken Livers and the chance to brush tails with the restaurant's resident Labradoodle, Hudson.

Duck and Rice in Soho is the only Chinese restaurant in London to welcome dogs (perhaps for good reason). They will be provided with a bowl of water, a generous amount of treats and plenty of attention. As an aside, this reporter urges you not to become too distracted by the dim sum.

Once pooch and owner have eaten their fill, this reporter advises ambling over to Swedish retail emporium, & Other Stories and purchasing their Striped Jacquard Lounge Shirt. The perfect attire for our future residence in this dreamland between sleep and waking. If you feel particularly lathargic, they do trousers to match the top.

Sleep tight.


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