There are many unsatisfactory things that one might experience when visiting a restaurant, but I’m not sure that one of them has ever been “everyone is wearing clothes in here – disgraceful”. But be that as it may, those of you with a burning desire to see fellow diners in the nude while also displaying your flesh to all and sundry are abut to have your dream come true.
The Bunyadi is advertised as “London’s first naked food experience” – and who are we to argue with such a bold claim? Working on the idea of getting back to nature, the restaurant boasts no electricity, phones and clothing (though apparently, there will be a clothed area for people who want to go to a naked restaurant but don’t want to undress, which sounds rather like a vegan going to a steak house to me).
You sit on uncomfortable-looking wooden stumps, eat off handmade clay plates with edible cutlery and enjoy a candlelit ambience – while presumably trying to ensure that you don’t drop any of the “natural, home grown” (and, one fears, vegetarian) food on your lap. And you do it all naked. The restaurant boasts that the candle light and bamboo partitions will make it ‘discreet’, but let’s not beat about the bush – you are going to be naked, in a room full of naked people, and at some point, you might have to get up to visit the toilet. Let’s hope that they are all aesthetically pleasing (or perhaps not, given the potential embarrassment that sudden arousal might cause). No word on whether or not the staff will also be naked.
I’ll admit that eyebrows were raised when it turned out that the Bunyadi is not the dream of some eccentric hippy or naturist group, but rather the latest venture from Lollipop, whose last effort was ABQ, a Breaking Bad themed cocktail bar. So this return to the natural seems more a cynical ploy to tempt hipsters out of their money (and clothes) than a committed effort to strip away the modern world. Still, there are apparently 3,700 people on the waiting list for the three month pop-up, which seems to guarantee its success when it opens in June. It also suggests that we won’t be going along to review it, which is doubtless a relief for Mrs Reprobate.