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Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord

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Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord

Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord

Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord who offers no welcome or WiFi, makes all customers including Prince Harry serve themselves and has a cat - called HITLER.   Steve Cotten, 59, runs the Poltimore Arms in a remote part of Exmoor in Devon - and  insists all punters pull their own pints.He took over the pub seven years ago and for a long time says he was perfectly happy drinking on his own every night - until eventually people found out it had reopened.His boozer has no phone, television or mod cons and is fully off-grid and become a favourite among royals and celebrities who frequent the area for shooting and hunting.Among the clientele are artists such as Damien Hirst, film producers, billionaires, royalty, formula one stars and business heavyweights.But landlord Steve said it doesn't matter who comes through the doors - he is equally rude to everyone - and tells all customers to serve themselves.Steve, 59, saved the historic  pub seven years ago - but after a career in precision engineering admitted he had no idea how to run a boozer.He initially told no-one he had opened and enjoyed getting drunk alone by the fire - but his brash and unorthodox manner created a buzz and the crowds began to flock back.Inside the pub itself there are several rooms adorned with bizarre decor including multiple pianos and a dead ferret stuck to the wall - but it is the unique welcome that stands Steve out from the rest.He models himself on famous outlaw Dick Turpin as he travels on horseback and often sports full attire including jacket, hat and gun.

He has also been raided six times by HMRC who believe the pub is more profitable than it is.Steve said that while he has never made any money from his venture he believes he has created something special - despite the nearest neighbour being a mile away.And all visitors are also greeted by the resident ginger moggy named Frederick Albert Hitler after Steve requested the "nastiest" cat they had at a rescue centre.He said: "I was running the village shop seven years ago when the chance to take over the pub came up. ''This would have gone if I hadn't stepped in.

I waited for the last day and then thought I will do this."Everyone around me said it was a bad idea and I shouldn't touch it.

But I thought that's even more reason to give it a go. "Most pubs are closing as they try and turn into restaurants and have electricity on 24 hours a day. "I can live without electricity.

I had no customers at the beginning.

It was fantastic and I sat by the fire every night getting drunk. ''Then people started coming in.

I never told anyone I was open.

I said to the first one 'what do you want?'

But they kept coming."Steve, who stood for Parliament in the general election got the second highest number of votes for an independent - 580 - despite a 'bonkers manifesto'.The pub is in an area popular with hunting groups and he said in the shooting season a lot of his clientele are royals.He said: "Everyone knows there is only one rule in the pub and that is everyone is equal. "We have had the richest people in the world here during shooting season, literally billionaires who land their helicopters on the field and I treat them all with the same disdain and disapproval."They all love it though.

No-one else talks to them like crap like I do.

Everyone pours their own drinks and I often get them to work behind the bar."Once we had a chap, the Duke of this or that, at the end of the bar who was being a bit rude that he wasn't being served. ''I walked round the bar and he said 'do you not know who I am?'

I told him I didn't care. ''He said he was the Duke of whatever, so I physically got down on all fours and licked his boots. "I called him all sorts and he absolutely loved it. "Prince Harry was a really nice chap.

He used to come in with his friends before he ran off with Megan Markle and I would make them pour their own drinks. ''They had never done a day's work in their lives until they came in here.

But they loved it."Damien Hirst was another regular visitor.

He didn't drink though but his ex-wife Maia  used to join him and she would knock back 8-9 pints of the strongest ales."The pub which occupies a 13th century building that was once a sheep counting house, is completely off-grid with no phone, television or mod cons. Steve said he can no longer drive due to issues with his eyesight but gets around on horseback.He added: "I am definitely the greenest pub in Great Britain and I defy anyone else to tell me anything different."We just run the generators for four to five hours a day and the total electricity bill is £37 a month."I don't shut.

I have never left here for more than a couple of hours in seven years. "I am not allowed to drive because of my eyesight and if I am going to be marooned it might as well be in a pub."Despite all the well-known faces that have graced the pub over the years, Steve says there is only one genuine star - his cat Hitler. The pet has become so popular he even has his own facebook page.Steve added: "In the last week alone he has picked up a further 500 followers.

When I rescued the pub I went in the rescue centre and said can I have the nastiest, most hostile cat you have. "He was feral and totally insane.

He would rip me to shreds every night and attack anything that moved but has calmed down over the years.

He is fine with customers now but still scares off a lot of the dogs."Typical of his pub, the Poltimore Arms has no card machine and is cash only - but Steve  has no idea of the prices and takes whatever the customers offers. This can vary from regulars building a huge tab to returning customers coming back to settle up a bill for a few pounds years later. He says he sells just one gin, one whiskey, a few spirits and a few beers.He added: "This has never been financially successful.

It is virtually impossible to do that."Everyone pours their own drinks and brings their own food.

You can basically do what you like."We serve one plate a week.

An Egyptian lady comes in and cooks chicken and rice."Another customer, known as "Dangerous Dave" brings his tiny two-seater aircraft and lands in the field next to the pub. Once a year, they turn the pub into an airport and customers wait in the 'departure lounge' before being taken up in the air.The pub has also been raided six times by HMRC and Steve says he has been declared bankrupt once. Such is the remoteness of the pub, they once followed the postcode into the middle of Exmoor and had to call the pub to for directions for their supposed surprise and unannounced raid. He added: "I was declared bankrupt as they thought I owed about £300k.

But I had no money and was already pretty much bankrupt so it didn't make much difference to me."I never had any ambition to run a pub.

I was categorically the most useless landlord in the world and I still am.

I have no idea what is going on but I know what is wrong with every other pub, so that's a start. "All pubs are about people.

I let them have some beer, they give me some money.

They normally give me more than the cost of the round. "HMRC really think I am Dick Turpin so I like to play that character a bit."

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Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord

Meet Britain's grumpiest and most eccentric pub landlord who offers no welcome or WiFi, makes all customers including Prince Harry serve themselves and has a cat - called HITLER.

Steve Cotten, 59, runs the Poltimore Arms in a remote part of Exmoor in Devon - and  insists all punters pull their own pints.He took over the pub seven years ago and for a long time says he was perfectly happy drinking on his own every night - until eventually people found out it had reopened.His boozer has no phone, television or mod cons and is fully off-grid and become a favourite among royals and celebrities who frequent the area for shooting and hunting.Among the clientele are artists such as Damien Hirst, film producers, billionaires, royalty, formula one stars and business heavyweights.But landlord Steve said it doesn't matter who comes through the doors - he is equally rude to everyone - and tells all customers to serve themselves.Steve, 59, saved the historic  pub seven years ago - but after a career in precision engineering admitted he had no idea how to run a boozer.He initially told no-one he had opened and enjoyed getting drunk alone by the fire - but his brash and unorthodox manner created a buzz and the crowds began to flock back.Inside the pub itself there are several rooms adorned with bizarre decor including multiple pianos and a dead ferret stuck to the wall - but it is the unique welcome that stands Steve out from the rest.He models himself on famous outlaw Dick Turpin as he travels on horseback and often sports full attire including jacket, hat and gun.

He has also been raided six times by HMRC who believe the pub is more profitable than it is.Steve said that while he has never made any money from his venture he believes he has created something special - despite the nearest neighbour being a mile away.And all visitors are also greeted by the resident ginger moggy named Frederick Albert Hitler after Steve requested the "nastiest" cat they had at a rescue centre.He said: "I was running the village shop seven years ago when the chance to take over the pub came up.

''This would have gone if I hadn't stepped in.

I waited for the last day and then thought I will do this."Everyone around me said it was a bad idea and I shouldn't touch it.

But I thought that's even more reason to give it a go.

"Most pubs are closing as they try and turn into restaurants and have electricity on 24 hours a day.

"I can live without electricity.

I had no customers at the beginning.

It was fantastic and I sat by the fire every night getting drunk.

''Then people started coming in.

I never told anyone I was open.

I said to the first one 'what do you want?'

But they kept coming."Steve, who stood for Parliament in the general election got the second highest number of votes for an independent - 580 - despite a 'bonkers manifesto'.The pub is in an area popular with hunting groups and he said in the shooting season a lot of his clientele are royals.He said: "Everyone knows there is only one rule in the pub and that is everyone is equal.

"We have had the richest people in the world here during shooting season, literally billionaires who land their helicopters on the field and I treat them all with the same disdain and disapproval."They all love it though.

No-one else talks to them like crap like I do.

Everyone pours their own drinks and I often get them to work behind the bar."Once we had a chap, the Duke of this or that, at the end of the bar who was being a bit rude that he wasn't being served.

''I walked round the bar and he said 'do you not know who I am?'

I told him I didn't care.

''He said he was the Duke of whatever, so I physically got down on all fours and licked his boots.

"I called him all sorts and he absolutely loved it.

"Prince Harry was a really nice chap.

He used to come in with his friends before he ran off with Megan Markle and I would make them pour their own drinks.

''They had never done a day's work in their lives until they came in here.

But they loved it."Damien Hirst was another regular visitor.

He didn't drink though but his ex-wife Maia  used to join him and she would knock back 8-9 pints of the strongest ales."The pub which occupies a 13th century building that was once a sheep counting house, is completely off-grid with no phone, television or mod cons.

Steve said he can no longer drive due to issues with his eyesight but gets around on horseback.He added: "I am definitely the greenest pub in Great Britain and I defy anyone else to tell me anything different."We just run the generators for four to five hours a day and the total electricity bill is £37 a month."I don't shut.

I have never left here for more than a couple of hours in seven years.

"I am not allowed to drive because of my eyesight and if I am going to be marooned it might as well be in a pub."Despite all the well-known faces that have graced the pub over the years, Steve says there is only one genuine star - his cat Hitler.

The pet has become so popular he even has his own facebook page.Steve added: "In the last week alone he has picked up a further 500 followers.

When I rescued the pub I went in the rescue centre and said can I have the nastiest, most hostile cat you have.

"He was feral and totally insane.

He would rip me to shreds every night and attack anything that moved but has calmed down over the years.

He is fine with customers now but still scares off a lot of the dogs."Typical of his pub, the Poltimore Arms has no card machine and is cash only - but Steve  has no idea of the prices and takes whatever the customers offers.

This can vary from regulars building a huge tab to returning customers coming back to settle up a bill for a few pounds years later.

He says he sells just one gin, one whiskey, a few spirits and a few beers.He added: "This has never been financially successful.

It is virtually impossible to do that."Everyone pours their own drinks and brings their own food.

You can basically do what you like."We serve one plate a week.

An Egyptian lady comes in and cooks chicken and rice."Another customer, known as "Dangerous Dave" brings his tiny two-seater aircraft and lands in the field next to the pub.

Once a year, they turn the pub into an airport and customers wait in the 'departure lounge' before being taken up in the air.The pub has also been raided six times by HMRC and Steve says he has been declared bankrupt once.

Such is the remoteness of the pub, they once followed the postcode into the middle of Exmoor and had to call the pub to for directions for their supposed surprise and unannounced raid.

He added: "I was declared bankrupt as they thought I owed about £300k.

But I had no money and was already pretty much bankrupt so it didn't make much difference to me."I never had any ambition to run a pub.

I was categorically the most useless landlord in the world and I still am.

I have no idea what is going on but I know what is wrong with every other pub, so that's a start.

"All pubs are about people.

I let them have some beer, they give me some money.

They normally give me more than the cost of the round.

"HMRC really think I am Dick Turpin so I like to play that character a bit."




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