One of London’s most famous pubs has become the first in the city to be granted a nudist licence.
The Coach & Horses – once infamous for having “London’s rudest landlord,” Norman Balon – first opened its doors in 1847.
The pub’s current landlord, Alistair Choat, took over in 2006 and has since been looking for innovative ways to attract customers.
He has turned the venue into what he says is London’s first vegan and vegetarian pub, then he revived traditional London pub singalongs and now he offers patrons the chance to enjoy a pint of beer or glass of wine fully naked.
Well, you can’t turn up naked any old time. Nudity must be pre-arranged and consensual, and only occur on specific occasions.
“We are going to be planning, in June, a nude night,” Choat told CNN Travel.
“[We] haven’t got the exact date yet, but that’s what’s going be happening – so that all these people phoning up wanting to get naked and have a pint in the centre of Soho will be able to do so.”
The idea was sparked when the pub launched a nude charity calendar, The Beauty and the Beasts of Soho, featuring the pub’s regulars naked in an effort to raise money for a homelessness charity.
But Choat also pointed to great British films including “The Full Monty” and “Calendar Girls” as inspiration.
“There is this – in times of real need and despair and trying to defend something of value – great British tradition of stripping off,” he said.
“You do have to have the right staff on, because obviously the team have to be comfortable with it,” he added. “But to be honest with you, when you do these things, after 10, 15, 20 minutes no one notices anymore. It’s a bit like you go to a pub where there’s a band playing and you not very interested in it, after a while it’s just background music.”