For those who struggle with what to wear to dinner, The Bunyadi, London’s first – and so far only – naked restaurant, may be the venue for you.
So far, the controversial eatery has proven popular, with its luxury spa-like atmosphere – “candlelight, bamboo everywhere, fluffy white robes, and cocktails named after the elements”, purrs one review – putting diners at ease. Nudity is optional, but restaurant creator Seb Lyall says that “about 80% of customers do de-robe” in the small changing room.
‘Au naturel’ is an ethos which applies not only to the clientèle. The restaurant features a lot of wood, mostly bamboo, and natural finishes on everything from the terracotta plates and cups to the slice-of-a-tree table tops. Even the cutlery is edible.
The food, too, is all raw, and of course served cold to avoid sensitive areas receiving nasty burns in the case of a spillage. This has made many naturally nervous, but reviews have been glowing, claiming that the food is “eye-opening”, and people have been “surprised and delighted by the experience.”
In a further point of controversy – possibly even scarier to a modern diner than being without their clothes – all electronics are banned. However, reviews of this have been largely positive, with one diner saying he “definitely felt more engaged with the company and the waitress” as a result of the lack of smart-phones, adding that the rule is one he would like to see more restaurants adopt.
Currently, the pop-up restaurant has capacity for 42 diners, but is only set to continue service for 3 months. Thanks to its incredible popularity, however, – over 46,000 people have applied for tickets despite the £69-a-head price tag for three courses – many hope that this “interesting social experiment” will continue, and even become a permanent venue.