Drink a beer while you're naked in this London pub

The Coach & Horses, a London institution located in the bustling Soho district of the city, officially received a nudist license.


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The only thing to do: the pub has a nudist license, which encourages customers and bar staff to do everything. (Credit: Kmart)

(CNN) - For many it is a first-rate London experience: sitting at the bar of one of the oldest and most lively pubs in the British city, with a pint of beer in hand, being part of the atmosphere.

Only there is a particular twist: you are totally naked. If this image sounds like something of a feverish dream, it may not be for you. But for the prosperous naturist community of the city, it is an exciting step forward.

The Coach & Horses, a London institution located in the bustling Soho district of the city, officially received a nudist license, allowing customers and bar staff to show it all.

Owner Alastair Choat says it's all part of the community atmosphere he's fostering in his pub, which he may be about to lose.

London landmark

The Coach & Horses, which was once famous for hosting the "rudest owner of London", Norman Balon, is managed by Choat since 2006. For the past 13 years, it has turned the establishment into what it says is the London's first vegan and vegetarian pub.

Choat and his daughter Hollie also revived the traditional singers of the London bars and have struggled to maintain what they call "the bohemian atmosphere so loved by writers, journalists, actors and artists."

Now that has been extended to welcome the naked guests. It began with a bare calendar, produced by Choat and his staff to help raise funds for his campaign to fight an upcoming acquisition of Fuller's, a London brewery that owns the pub since 2011 and does not plan to renew the lease of Choat . Fuller wants to take his own management.

The pub is also selling a nude calendar.

Speaking with CNN Travel, Choat Namechecks mentions the British films "The Full Monty" and "Calendar Girls" as inspiration for the nude calendar.

"There is this, in times of real need and despair and trying to defend something of value, the great British tradition is to undress," says Choat.

Both staff and regular customers got involved and the pub produced a 16-month calendar, with 10% of the proceeds for the British charity Centrepoint, a non-profit organization.

In order for his naked project to be viable, the pub had to ask permission from the local authorities.

"You must request a special notice," explains Choat, who says it is similar to the license needed for adult entertainment establishments.

When the calendar was launched, Choat was inundated by calls from naturists around the world who asked if the pub now welcomed the nudists.

"We are going to plan, for June, a night of nudes," he says. "We still do not have the exact date, but that is what is going to be happening, so that all these people who want to be naked and take a pint in the center of Soho can do so."

Choat says that any nudity will be pre-established, in a consensual environment.

"You have to have the right personnel, because obviously the team has to be comfortable with that," he says. "But to be honest with you, when you do these things, after 10, 15, 20 minutes, nobody notices. It's a bit like going to a pub where there's a band playing and you do not care much, after a while it's just background music.

"If everyone is naked, it will be fun, it will be fun".

The owner Alastair Choat and his daughter Hollie, in the photo, run the pub.

Fight for independence

Choat describes The Coach & Horses as "an old traditional boozer".

When CNN Travel visited the pub, there were no nudes on the show. In the interior it has a traditional and discreet atmosphere: wooden bar, piano and people from Soho who converse in cozy corners.

It's not glamorous, but "that's what people love," says Choat. He says that Fuller's plan to fix the interior would not be welcome.

"They will make it glorious in terms of their painting and decoration, but it has never been like that. And that's why people come here. "

Nude pub: London pub The Coach & Horses, in the Soho district of the city, is now friendly with nudists.

As part of the campaign, Choat and his team are organizing a play, "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell" by Keith Waterhouse, which takes place at the Coach & Horses. He says he has been very successful with audiences that include the British announcer Stephen Fry.

Fullers says he intends to retain the character of the pub when he takes over.

"We have been waiting patiently since we bought it to have the pub under our care," said a spokesman. "It's an amazing and historic pub in Soho and, when the lease reaches the agreed-upon end, it will become one of the gems in our Pubs and Managed Hotels business.

"We intend to preserve everything that is great about this pub and protect its future for locals and tourists who visit Soho equally, and we look forward to meeting and listening to the local Soho community when we have the pub in June."

Meanwhile, the Choat team has launched an online petition, gaining the support of more than 10,000 people. There is also an internal petition that, according to Choat, has 5,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to have a drink in their birthday suit should monitor the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Coach & Horses for more information.

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ref: cnnespanol