So! For starters, this post is very long overdue. I hesitate to write or draw about someone that I have never met, or a place I have never been to. I finally did meet Alex Fida a short while ago, and have just now found the time to do this! He is a really interesting guy, and I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so. Fairly recently, he was touted in Toronto Life Magazine for his adorable tuck shop project at Angéline's; he has been celebrated in The Globe and Mail as one of Canada's best-dressed and even Vogue Magazine shouted him out in a glowing piece on PEC. Alex's passion for The County and his impact on the area can be felt far and wide.
A bit of background - Alex's father, Willie, was a well-known and well-loved chef who moved with his wife, Monika and baby Alex in tow from Switzerland to Bloomfield (via a brief stint in Toronto) with a desire to chart their own course. They achieved this by establishing a restaurant/inn called Angéline's. We discovered this lovely place years before we settled here, and I recall that the food was delicious and the dining room (which at the time inhabited most of the main floor of the house) boasted a warm and very welcoming country charm. Sadly, in 2007, tragedy struck when Willie was killed suddenly in a car accident. With the support of their mother, a young Alex and his even younger sister Melanie decided to carry on with the family business while concurrently pursing other vocations. For Alex it was interior design (he studied in Italy and then in Toronto) and for Melanie – it was nursing.
The décor of Angéline's certainly showcases Alex's talent. Last year, after we finished our lunch at The Hub (Angéline's restaurant) - Laura, the exceptionally friendly sommelier kindly offered us a tour of the guestrooms. We timed our visit brilliantly as the rooms were just being turned over and most were available for us to see and they are just stunning. None of the country warmth or charm was sacrificed when Alex incorporated urban chic elements into the overall design. Fun fact: Alex chose to decorate much of the space by incorporating gorgeous County-themed wallpaper that was designed right here in PEC by the lovely and talented Kate Golding. In all honestly - if we didn't have our own place here in PEC, I would for sure stay there and highly recommend it.
In the past year (or so, I'm losing track of time!), while still running Angéline's with his sister, Alex turned his attention to another worthy project, a stately manor located in the heart of Picton called The House of Falconer. Through this project – he is painstakingly preserving and renovating a beautiful century home that had fallen into a state of disrepair. And since starting this project – the space has been open to some very interesting pop-up shops presenting an awesome opportunity to go in and see how this beautiful space is unfolding. You can click here to watch a very interesting 18-minute documentary that focuses on Alex and the House of Falconer. He is doing the community a great service by resuscitating this diamond-in-the-rough!
A short while ago, Tim and I were at the Midtown Brewery (a terrific new brewery located in the heart of Wellington) when our friend Jeff Green walked in. He was there to meet a friend for dinner - none other than Alex Fida. I had been following him socially for quite some time, so when we met, I cited a few things I knew about him and really had to hold myself back from going on and on for fear of sounding like a stalker, which I guess is kind of hard not to do these days when you follow someone whose work you greatly admire through social media.
Alex is extremely talented and inspiring and is for sure is someone to watch. You too can easily stalk, or rather follow him, as he continues on his journey with The House of Falconer project through the magic of Instagram and Facebook :)
422 Main Street, Bloomfield
One Walton Street, Picton