Cinq à sept

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Cinq à sept (literally, "five to seven"; French pronunciation [sɛ̃kasɛt]; English pronunciation /sɛŋkæˈsɛt/ sengk-a-SET) is a Quebec French term for a social gathering that takes place after work and prior to the dinner hours (roughly between 5 and 7 p.m.). It may bring together friends or colleagues or may be organized around a specific event, such as a book launch or vernissage. Wine, beer, and cocktails are served along with finger foods and other hors d'oeuvres. Such a party held later may be named for the specific time (e.g. six à huit).

A cinq à sept can be a formal gathering held in a wide range of public and private spaces, such as art galleries, University campuses, and places of work, but it is also commonly used more informally as a promotion in bars to attract patrons.[1] The English equivalent might be a "wine and cheese" gathering in the more formal usage or "happy hour" in the informal usage.

It may also be written as 5 à 7. In France, cinq à sept was originally used as a synecdoche for a visit to one's mistress, derived from the time of day Frenchmen would make such a visit.[2]


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  2. ^,9171,843018,00.html "Love in the Afternoon," Time Magazine, November 11, 1966.