Paris has long been a dream destination for travelers all over the world. The city is filled with romance, food, and some of the world’s best museums. But, did you also know that Paris has a pretty dope Black scene as well?
Traveler Pamela Garmon Johnson recently took 21 of her closest sister-friends to the city for an experience they will never forget. It was her 50th birthday and she wanted to bring in the milestone-year in style.
While she has been to Paris numerous times, this particular adventure was one for the books.
“I was able to leverage my previous trip to Paris, websites and my friend, Regine’s business relationships for the Champagne Region Tour,” Pamela told Travel Noire.
She previously built a friendship with Regine who happens to be a Black sommelier. Her company, Shall We Wine, is based in the United States but has a close connection to Paris. As a personal gift to Pamela, she helped to plan a champagne Tour with another black sommelier that lives in Paris.
“One of the highlights on the champagne Tour was our unique experience with Marie Cesaire, the only black female champagne house. Marie partnered with the Continental Restaurant and we had a 5-course meal which was accompanied by a Marie Cesaire champagne for each course. We learned how to properly open a bottle of champagne. There is not to be a POP, but only a slight wheeze of air upon opening.
In addition to the champagne tour, the group was able to visit several museums, including a Black tour of the famous Louvre.
“I used Julie Browne of Walking in The Spirit Tours. As the owner of a black tour company, Julie is based out of Canada and travels back and forth to Paris. She is quite accommodating and I appreciated her thoughtfulness in having an exploratory phone call with me to determine the best structure for our tour since we had a large group. I would suggest combining the African section of the Louvre Tour (Jay-Z and Beyoncé Tour) with the Black Images in the Louvre Tour”
A few of the women branched off from the group to check out the Black models exhibit at The Museum De Orsay. The women highly recommend this as a stop.
After spending several days in Paris, part of the group flew over to Cannes to catch the annual film fest. They were going to support 12-year filmmaker, Anah Ambuchi from Chicago. Some of the women donated money to help the young creative get to Cannes so that she could receive recognition for her film.
“Anah’s film, “Made In His Image,” is a heart-wrenching story on bullying. Anah received an award and the sister-friend crew was there to support her. She recognized us all from the stage and for all of our support. We were so blessed to be a part of the film festival. It is a priority to go specifically for Diversity In Cannes because you are able to see the films produced by people of color,” Pamela said.
If you are looking to put together similar experiences for you and your crew, Pamela suggests reaching out to friends who have gone before you, researching in travel groups, and utilizing websites such as Travel Noire to gain more insight.
If you want to check out more from Pamela’s amazing journey, you can find her at AHA_PGJohnson on Twitter.