This weekend, the biggest cycling race on the planet will come to Yorkshire for the very first time.
For the travelling fan, this is both fortunate and unfortunate. Fortunate because the place the locals like to call “God’s Own County” is beautiful and its rolling hills will provide a stunning backdrop to “Le Grand Depart”.
“It’s a foreign country to other Englishmen, let alone to travelling French fans.
Unfortunate because, Yorkshire is… (how to put this?) a peculiar place. It often feels like a foreign country to other Englishmen, let alone to travelling French fans.
Thankfully we’ve compiled this fool-proof guide to help French folk find their feet. De rien Frenchies, de rien.
1) Remember their saints are different to yours
In France you have Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the rest of the Catholic crowd. In Yorkshire, the saints are called Jarvis, Joe Cocker and Saint Alex of Turner.
If you learn a few of their more famous verses it’ll go a long way with the locals.
2) You’ll feel at home in Harrogate
OK so the high street where the first stage finishes ain’t exactly the Champs Elysées but Harrogate is one of the prettier places in Yorkshire.
It will probably be pissing it down with rain of course, but get this: In 2013 Harrogate was actually voted third most romantic city in the world – above Paris! So if you’re looking for a bit of oo la la, you’ve come to the right place.
3) Learn to love warm beer
Tetley’s, John Smiths, Sam Smiths, Timothy Taylor’s and Theakston are all from the land of the White Rose, so park your Kronenbourg at the pub door and get stuck in.
You’ll find warm beer tastes surprisingly good after a few pints. And anyway, keeping it cold is more expensive…
4) You’d best learn the difference between standing a round and standing around.
“A Yorkshireman,” the old saying goes, “is a Scotsman with all the generosity squeezed out of him.” The locals are famously tight. Not only that, they’re proud of it.
As the ‘Yorkshiremen’s motto’ puts it: “Ear all, see all, say nowt; Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt; And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -Allus do it fer thissen.” Which roughly translates as “never, under any circumstances, buy a round.”
5) Don’t order a pudding
If you’re expecting creme caramel, or something similarly sweet and delicious, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
In Yorkshire a pudding is a stodgy, tasteless creation designed to fill you up so you eat less of the hosts’ expensive meat (see point #4).