England

Tiny pub The Little Prince with room for six people opens in Margate

Andy Barrett, 68,
Image caption Andy Barrett wants to be known as the pub's creator rather than its landlord.

A tiny pub in Margate with room for just six people standing up is preparing to open its doors for the first time on Friday.

Andy Barrett, 68, who wants to be known as the pub's creator rather than its landlord, said he was hoping for a "bumper weekend".

He believes The Little Prince, which measures just 11ft by 6.6ft (3m by 2m), is one of the UK's smallest.

And he is hopeful the quirky bar will soon turn into a tourist attraction.

"I came across an empty unit, which used to be a sushi bar, and the idea came to me - there was no pub around and I thought it would be quite novel," Mr Barrett said.

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Media captionTake a tour around what could be the smallest pub in the UK

"Margate is busy, it has so many attractions, the beach, Dreamland, carnival weekend, there will be lots of people dropping in."

Mummified cat

The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds has up until now claimed the record as the UK's tiniest. But manager Jack Burton does not mind if he loses the top spot.

"We've had a good run of it," he said, "but I'd be interested to see what [The Little Prince] has done with the space."

Image copyright The Nutshell
Image caption The interior of the Nutshell is plastered with numerous quirky and historical items

The Nutshell has been serving customers since 1867. It measures just 15ft by 7ft (4.5m by 2m) and "comfortably holds 20 standing up".

Mr Burton said the tiny Victorian establishment became a tourist attraction after it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records during the 90s as the smallest pub in the world.

Its interior is plastered with historical items, photos and memorabilia, including a mummified cat.

Mr Burton said the limited space never presented a problem. "It draws people in, becomes a tourist attraction, and provides a cosy atmosphere which is lacking in many pubs."

Image copyright The Nutshell
Image caption Mummified cats were once commonly-used to ward off evil spirits

However, one pub that would dispute The Little Prince's claim is The Signal Box Inn in Cleethorpes, which claims it is the "smallest pub on the planet".

Open for 10 years, it operates on the site of the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway and was created from a genuine Victorian signal box.

The box was being used as a garden shed until a young couple came up with the plan to turn it into a bar.

Image copyright The Signal Box
Image caption The Victorian signal box was originally from Scunthorpe and then used as a garden shed

It measures just 8ft by 8ft (2m by 2m) although it does also have a beer garden.

Manager Andy Cawood said the box, which sits four to six comfortably, once managed to squeeze in 35 Cleethorpes rugby players.

"It has a wonderful atmosphere. It just emits enthusiasm. People can see it is a genuine Victorian signal box. It is such a fun place," he said.

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