London’s first nude restaurant hasn’t even opened and it’s already so popular the waiting list has topped 29,000 names. Expect queues when it opens later this month.
In its quirky way, the Bunyadi (described as a “clothing-optional, pop-up restaurant”) is helping shine the global media spotlight on Britain, along with more orthodox events like the Queen’s 90th birthday, the recent visit of US President Barack Obama and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Nudity will not be obligatory at the Bunyadi, but it’s encouraged. Fully clothed patrons can choose to change into a robe before dining inside the clothing-optional eatery.
The man behind the concept, London restaurateur Seb Lyall, eats his breakfast bare-bottomed each morning as long as he’s not cooking with hot oil, the Washington Post reports.
Lyall describes naked dining as liberating.
The restaurant rejects any artificial colours or chemicals and refuses to let gas, metal or plastic in the kitchen – or electric lights, smartphones and clothing in the dining area.
Lyall says it is natural to strip naked before dining, although discreetly placed bamboo and wicker partitions will give nude diners some privacy if they desire it.
Photography is banned and waiters will wear “minimal covering for hygienic purposes”. A five-course meal will cost somewhere between AUD 100 to AUD 120 and you get to keep your robe.
Meanwhile, quite apart from naked dining, VisitBritain is hoping milestone events like the Queen’s birthday and the focus on Shakespeake will boost visitor numbers.
“As the world’s media turns its attention to these significant events and to some of our most iconic sites including Windsor Castle, where President Obama will dine with Her Majesty The Queen and Stratford-upon-Avon as we mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard, we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to showcase Britain as truly the ‘home of amazing moments’ with experiences that visitors – including the President – can only get here,” VisitBritain marketing director Joss Croft said.
During President Obama’s recently concluded UK visit, VisitBritain put out a call for President Obama to tweet during his visit using #OMGB (Oh My Great Britain) – the hashtag at the heart of the organisation’s marketing campaign for 2016 to promote Britain as the ‘Home of Amazing Moments’. President Obama has the highest number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any world leader with more than 73 million followers and 48 million fans respectively.
The 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, hailed as the UK’s greatest cultural export, is being used to promote the best of UK culture globally with concerts, plays, exhibitions and other celebrations underway throughout the year, making it a great time for visitors to come and explore the home of one of the world’s greatest playwrights. Shakespeare’s death is commemorated rather than his birth, because nobody knows which year he was born in.
Latest figures from VisitBritain show that overnight tourist visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, more than doubled in the four years from 2010 to 2014 from 70,000 to 144,000 visits respectively.
To find out how Britain is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bard through the #shakespearelives campaign, VisitBritain invites agents and prospective visitors to download its media guide to Shakespeare here.
Overall, 2015 set a new record for tourism to the UK with 35.8 million visits, 4% up on 2014 and the fifth consecutive year of growth.
Written by Peter Needham