A Random Search for an English Pub in a Field in Slavonia

Total Croatia News


October 7, 2019 – What else would you expect to find in the middle of Slavonia than a British phone box in the middle of town and an English pub in the middle of nowhere?

It is many years since I have had a routine, and I am not sure that I could fit back into one these days if I had to. Running TCN requires a certain amount of flexibility, and living in Croatia has taught me to take each day as it comes, and to expect the unexpected around every corner. 

Some days, the unexpected is rather more surreal than normal, even by Croatia’s impressive standards. 


My first visit to the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe took place on my trip to Slavonia last week. I was keen to learn about the considerable history of Vinkovci, but the first thing which confronted me was something altogether familiar from me – a bona fide British telephone box. 

Rather surreal. It was explained to me that it had been brought to the town by a man from Leeds who was a local legend, having arrived in 1991 as a volunteer to defend Croatia. Now a Croatian citizen, he has been here ever since. 

And he had opened a real British pub in a village outside of the town. 

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Now I really was losing the plot. I typed ‘The White Boar, Vinkovci’ into Google, and sure enough, images of men in a pub appeared. Never having heard of this chap or the pub, I endeavoured to pop in and say hi. A good job I had some of that TCN flexibility built into my schedule.  

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With the aid of modern technology, going off to discover things is a lot easier than it used to be. 

Or so I thought. 

As I came to the top of the road Google had decided was my route to The White Boar, the road ran out of houses, and there was still no pub. 

In fact, all that was left was… 

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A field of Shetland ponies, just what you would expect to find wandering around Slavonia looking for an English pub.  

People were fairly hard to find but eventually one local told me that yes indeed, there was an English pub, and it was close to the train tracks and there was a path of sorts to drive along. 

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I found the road that went over the train tracks, and my first clue! A weathered sign for The White Boar!

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 I will confess I was dubious as I set off up the rough path next to the railway track, even more so after a couple of hundred metres with no sign of a pub. And then the path veered to the left away from the train tracks and towards a field. I was literally in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Slavonia. 

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And then I saw it – the magnificent White Boar, which looked VERY inviting and reminiscent of a country village pub back in Blighty.  

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And, checking out the information about the landlord and the rules of the pub, it seemed to be rather a fun place indeed. 

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Sadly it was closed. I called the number on the board, then texted, but owner Steve had popped back to the UK for a few days and would be back on Tuesday. A pity, as I was very curious to interview him, as well as seeing what he had to offer inside. 

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From the Facebook page, there seemed to be quite a selection of bottled beer, as well as a couple of beers on draught.  

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The White Boar was developed from a derelict cottage near the River Bosut close to Andrijaševci. It was opened as a pub and clubhouse for campers and visitors and the small British community that is growing locally.

While we have a good selection of local beers, we also brew our own bitter and have monthly British Beer & Cider tasting. We have many events, including the bi-annual Metal Detecting Rally, which attracts visitors from all over Europe. The area is known for its abundant wildlife, it’s ancient history, fishing, hunting, and local folklore. The White Boar is also a new cider farm and our intention is to make it the main outlet for our produce. 

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There is even cricket apparently!

We are returning to Slavonia in a couple of weeks to explore further, and so I will try again, but it seems that poet Rupert Brooke was right:

There is a corner of a foreign field that is forever England.

Why not seek it out for yourself? Perhaps you will even find it a little easier than I did. Follow The White Boar on Facebook

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