Brits Don’t Miss Friends Here, They Miss ‘The Pub’

This may come as a surprise to some…. but not me! The pub has been named as the thing most expats miss about Britain, after the British countryside and British humor. According to a recent survey of Lloyds TSB International, 41% of the 1,034 expats interviewed noted that they missed the pub. The participants were asked to pick the top three things they missed most about home, and a ‘traditional English’ watering hole, topped the list!

A few years ago, the results from an identical survey were very different. Top of the list was missing family and friends and being able to easily contact loved ones. These days however, the tidal wave of social networking, Facebook, Twitter and Skype, to name a few, has meant that living abroad does not mean being isolated from loved ones. In fact, in my experience, I actually communicate more with my relatives and friends now I live abroad than when I lived in England. I thoroughly enjoy my ‘Skype dates’, with my mates and family. Online photo sharing and status updates ensure I am never ‘out of the loop’, so to say, in fact sometimes when bored I am more clued up on what my friends and family are up to than when I lived in the same country as them!

Hence, upon reading these survey results I was in complete agreement! Many a Sunday, during my time in Slovakia I have longed to call a mate and meet for a good old English roast and a pint. The gravy, yorkshire puds and beer would flow while the rugby played in the background. Of course the rugby would not really be watched and the conversation would mainly focus on what happened in Eastenders or X Factor that week! Yet, it is a tradition the English enjoy and look forward to as their weekly ‘time out!. Husbands use it as an excuse to escape the ‘wife and kids’, women use as a chance to meet up with girl friends and be able to drink copious amounts of beer without being accused of being ‘un-ladylike’, due to the fact, ‘it’s Sunday at the pub!!!’
The ‘Sunday Rules’, in England are most certainly at the top of my list of ‘things I miss back home’.

Can't beat the local (c) Joseph Mischyshyn

Unsurprisingly, the least missed aspects of life in the UK are politics and the weather…to which i say….here here!

Nicholas Boys Smith of Lloyds TSB International said in regards to the survey, “Many expats have an element of the adventurer about them, but they still long for certain aspects of British life that some people here might take for granted.”
This is true! I never would have expected to miss the things I miss now after years away from England.

Bearing this in mind, there are always alternatives! Bratislava has some fantastic pubs, right up there with some of my favourite in London. The English comedy and stand up nights are becoming increasingly popular with the expat community here, and short of not serving a Sunday roast, I have no complaints!

Though, saying this, I would perhaps occasionally trade in my right arm for a Carvery, a pint of good British ale and the sound on the television of a group of men with cauliflower ears beating the hell out of each other and throwing an egg shaped ball over a tall bar!

Long Live England…..and Long Live The Pub!


  1. Go home, George M.

    1. George M. doesn’t miss his home /I’m quite sure they don’t miss him either as he complains and lies the same about everything in the UK/.
      He misses the pub and TV programmes.

      Ask a retard to go home and he will go to your home 😀

  2. No need for a meter wide dish… a modest subscription to a VPN supplier like Banana for example and you can get basic channels throught the internet.
    Anything else…available on youtube or elsewhere. Entire backlog of Are You Being Served available. Entire seasons of Frasier on another website. Anything else download via Vuze.

    1. My favourtie programme of the week…politics programme This Week with Andrew Neil. Question Time really old hat after Robin Day went.

    2. David – Unfortunately, out here in the sticks, we are still waiting for the high speed cables to be laid in our street. Its only been three years so far, so we may have to wait a bit longer! The existing cables have a bit rate measured in months for just browsing – my T-Mobile is faster – just!

  3. Never let it be understated – the Brits are as dull as dishwater. Zzzzzz

  4. Well the fact is I dont actually miss British TV, as I refuse to stick a meter wide dish on my houses. But I do just miss a few of the programs , such as Question Time and real News Channel , that can give me local news, without having to resort to showing ( or in some cases actually trying to interview ) some near dead drunk driver, or show a body and blood splatter of the car driver, who somehow managed to hit the only tree,in the entire street .

    As for M&S …yes it is nice to see some variety, rather than rows of producer choice, of tinned pineapple chunks !

  5. David – The food section in Marks n Sparks in Kosice has been a god send.
    British TV – no problem, with the right LNB and a 80cm or bigger dish you can pick up all the UK channels on FREESAT, clear as a bell.
    As for the Mng,Ing,Eng and other labels the SKs love using, they all get very upset when they find out they mean jack everywhere else in the world. My dearly beloved is an Eng. in Biomechanics which I thought was pretty cool – artificial hearts, life support machines etc – in reallity she assembled hospital beds and dentist chairs at the state factory ( now closed). But, in a country where the local barman studied for three years to qualify for his Mng. in glass washing, it is easy to see why SKs put their non qualifications on everything.

  6. Two things have happened to make Bratislava more survivable –
    the arrival of an M&S with a food section (bizarre that the one in Avion didn’t use to have one and Nitra did) and
    secondly, the ability to hook up to the BBC Iplayer via a VPN (and also ITV Player, but not much used by me).
    Slovak pubs – I hate those large groups around tables.
    Slovaks take themselves too seriously – they do things in an ‘affected’ way, make a meal of things and the way people put Ing and Mgr in front of their names. I have a BA and MPhil etc but putting it on a mailbox…..!!

  7. Has you never thought that there is just not `community village life ` in Slovakia like there is in the UK ? The Pubs here are all about small groups of people getting utterly plastered drunk, fighting each other over some tart and planning their next robbery of someones pig, goat , sheep, hen or some city owners weekend house …rather than chatting about the local game of Sunday morning soccer, playing crib, domino`s or having a Quiz night and planning the next school, church, hospital fete . We expats have a different IQ scale .

    1. I have wondered why there appears to be this lack of community spirit in the SK. I actually miss the church bazaar, the school open day and gala, the kids fancy dress, the scarecrow competion and “Its a Knockout” at the sports club. Then again, there are no charity shops in the SK either, maybe looking after number one is so ingrained in the SK psyche that they have forgotten how to act as a community.
      As for pubs, we do have one shining light locally, the Irish Bar. A few brews from home – all bottled, Guinness and Caffreys on draught!, a proper pool table, two dartboards – doubles and triples, which confuse the locals. The owner is trying to get a bar billiards table ( that will end in tears!) and is hoping to build a skittles alley – there is a league in Saris. He runs a quiz night which is quite good unless the dickheads come in shouting and carrying on. Domino’s is a black art to the locals, especially 5s and 3s but I live in hope!

  8. I would kill for a pint of Harp or better still a hand pulled pint of best bitter!
    I agree, I don’t miss the the politics or the weather but I do miss my local Battlecruiser. Many have tried, in vain, to replicate the British Boozer – its almost unique. The Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English got something right with the local. The “pubs” in the SK are cold, there is no community, no “esprit de corps”, they are not centres of social interaction.
    As for the carvery – Mmmmm……..roast beef, yorkies, onion gravy, roasties, cauliflower cheese etc. – I just put on a stone! We treat or friends and family to a traditional Sunday roast now and again – the Slovaks love it!
    Rugby – Oh Yes! I am a Hullite, the home of Rugby League ( Cum On U Ull”) but I still enjoy the girls game ( Union).
    A good article, making me home sick – cure Hull FC v Hull Kingston Rovers on the TV and a smuggled can of Tetleys best!

  9. Awh jesus, I see a Harp tap at the bar in that picture!! Fantastic

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