Real-life rural France

In the tiny village of Berneuil, the locals know what’s important in life – good food, a stiff Pineau and a DJ and his donkey.

These images are from Berneuil, a sleepy town in a rural region in South West France called Charente.

The Charente department doesn’t attract as many tourists as its Dordogne neighbour, or have the glamour of Bordeaux to the south.

It’s not even a wine-making region.

Charente is all about Pineau, a delicious aperitif blended from grape juice and brandy (the town of Cognac isn’t far away).

These shots were taken in Berneuil as it celebrated its local produce and the traditional methods used to make them. For some this extended to traditional dress.

It wasn’t a tourist event though. It was just the locals celebrating what they do best. Despite the 40c heat.

Main image: A young girl running out of a bar in Berneuil (© Richard Helyar)

About Author /

Richard is a researcher and strategist in media and advertising for his own consultancy, Goldstone. He is also the resident photographer for One Hand Clapping, enabling him to explore his life-long passion for photography.


  • Sonia
    6 months ago Reply

    Beautiful vibe in these photos. I guess French countryside is many people’s dream. Great post!

    • The Editor
      5 months ago Reply

      Yes, Richard certainly captured the vibe of this part of France. Goes to show what awaits if you step off the beaten path, even in a popular destination like France.

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