How pubs can capitalise on the Tour de France

By Phil Mellows

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tour de france Public house

Pubs on the Tour de France route are hoping to capitalsie on the event
Pubs on the Tour de France route are hoping to capitalsie on the event
Pub operators are moving through the gears as they prepare to make the most of the Tour de France, which gets underway in Yorkshire on July 5.

Three million spectators are expected to cheer on the world's top cyclists over the opening two stages – and they'll be needing refreshment.

The Farmer's Arms at Muker in the Yorkshire Dales is on the route through the Buttertubs Pass, and is preparing for a crowd of 40,000.

“It's hard to imagine what it'll be like,” said licensee Emily Abbey. “We're 12 miles from the next pub and we've only got 50 seats inside and 40 outside.”

Traditional fare

The Farmer's is planning a slimmed down menu for the weekend, focusing on the traditional pub dishes it does best.

“It'll be the same food, just more of it,” explained Abbey. “We're just going to have to be as efficient as we can be, and the menu certainly won't be French-themed. We're here to showcase Yorkshire.”

Individual Inns has three pubs on the route, and plans a series of events in the run-up to the Grand Depart.

A cycling weekend in mid-May aims to give a group of average riders a taste of the Tour, lodging and feeding them at the Wheatley Arms at Ben Rhydding.

Sex, drugs and cycling

In June the Wheatley will be the scene of a three-course dinner and debate titled Sex, Drugs and Cycling, and on the eve of the race paralympic cyclist Mark Colbourne is guest dinner speaker.

Over the weekend itself, buffet breakfasts will be provided for campers, and the pubco will be running a beer festival on the site at Ben Rhydding.

“We haven't decided on menus yet. We'll focus on what we can produce at speed and in volume,” said Individual Inns marketing manager Sarah Brookfield-Brewis. “We might try French-Yorkshire combos, like coq au beer.


“Everyone is very excited. We've all gone cycling bonkers!”

The third day of the tour takes the race from Cambridge to London, right past Innventure pub the Cross Keys in Saffron Walden, Essex. Manager Liz Gouldie is planning to keep spectators well fed with a hog roast in the street, while serving the usual menu inside.

"I'm not sure exactly how many to expect, but all our bedrooms have been booked on the Sunday night by people who want to make sure of a good spot when they come past on the Monday," she said.

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