This year, Bastille Day, the French Fête Nationale, fell on a Thursday and was a glorious day of sunshine. Unfortunately, le ‘Pont’, the Friday commonly taken in France to extend a Bank Holiday weekend, appeared to take a turn for the not-so-great.
Holiday-makers, locals and passers-by were undeterred by a spot of drizzle and Bistrot Les Tontons continued to exude un petit air de vacances, as the terrace and festivities reflected.
As the evening drew in, the ambience moved inside the wine bar – those choosing full dining residing at the tables, and those casually sharing a glass or two of wine standing at the bar and enjoying a plate of charcuterie.
With an atmosphere accueillante et chaleureuse it was no surprise the evening ran into the small hours!
“Faire le Pont” (to bridge) is quite a tradition in France. It literally means bridging the gap between a Bank Holiday (un jour férié) and a weekend, resulting in a four-day-long break. Whenever a Bank Holiday falls on a Thursday, for instance (like Ascension Day), almost every worker in France also takes Friday off.
This expression appeared during the reign of Napoleon III (between 1852 and 1870) and was used by civil servants, who were the only workers entitled to paid leave at the time: it refers to the fact of moving from one day to the next, like moving from one bank to the other across a bridge.