Makan

It's curtains for Paris' first nudist restaurant

The first nudist restaurant in the French capital is being forced to close because it cannot put enough bums on seats.

O'Naturel will draw the curtain on nude fine dining in Paris next month after a little over a year despite rave reviews from diners who shed their clothes to slurp oysters and feast on snails, foie gras and asparagus.

Twin owners Mike and Stephane Saada urged the curious "wanting to experience a last nude dinner in Paris" to continue patronising the eatery before they bring down the shutters on Feb 16.

"We are counting on you to support us," they wrote on Facebook. "We thank everyone for taking part in this adventure."

O'Naturel opened amid a blaze of publicity in November 2017.

Clothes must be left in the cloakroom along with mobile phones, to prevent people from sneaking a photo of other diners.

They are then provided with slippers, although women - who make up 40 per cent of the clientele, according to the managers - may keep their heels on.

O'Naturel - a play on the French phrase for naked - was seen as a sign that naturism was becoming ever more mainstream in a country which is the world's top destination for nude tourism.

Four million people holiday "au naturel" in France every year. With a new summer nudist zone in Paris' biggest park, naked stand-up comedy nights and museum visits, activists did not hide their naked ambition to make further inroads for naturists.

Unlike the nude London restaurant The Bunyadi, which opened briefly in 2016, the Saada brothers keep their clothes on as they serve customers.

"Our role is to put people at ease," said Stephane, who insisted French law demanded they stay dressed.

The restaurant's black chair covers are changed between sittings, with diners shielded from prying eyes outside by a white curtain.- AFP

Food & Drink