Diners enjoy a meal at O’Naturel
Paris has welcomed its first nudist restaurant, where patrons swap dinner jackets for birthday suits in the heart of the City of Lights.
The fittingly-named O’Naturel opened its doors in south-east Paris last month, serving a menu of classic French cuisine including foie gras, rack of lamb and creme brulee.
But it isn’t the food that has set tongues wagging – at O’Naturel, all diners enjoy their bill of fare in the buff.
Once they arrive at the restaurant, guests are ushered into a changing room with lockers for their clothes and valuables – including mobile phones and cameras, both of which are strictly prohibited in the dining room.
A white curtain hangs over the frontage of the restaurant, but this is almost certainly for the benefit of passers-by rather than diners, many of whom enthused about the freedom to bare all.
The president of the French Naturist Federation, Yves Leclerc, admitted that stripping off in an upmarket Parisian bistro was “a little surreal” but welcomed the chance to live the nudist lifestyle in the city.
“It’s like when we’re on holiday, but it’s even better,” he said.
London’s only nude restaurant, The Bunyadi, closed its doors just a few months after opening, but O’Naturel’s owners, Mike and Stephane Saada are hoping Paris will prove a more fertile ground. “More than 3.5 million people – including two million foreign tourists – practise naturism in France every year,” ABC reports.
Online reviews for the restaurant have been mixed, with one reviewer complaining that the presence of clothed waiters dampened the atmosphere.
Reservations are mandatory, and a list of rules is prominently displayed inside the restaurant to minimise the risk of any visitors getting the wrong idea about the strictly platonic nature of the bare-all dress code.
“We might reject someone or explain to him that if he is looking to hook up, he should go somewhere else,” Stephane told AFP.