Meet The Eddie, a boutique hotel and event venue on an historic Prince Edward County Farm

Michael von Teichman and Alex Portman weren’t planning on coordinating more than thirty weddings a year when they first toured what is now The Eddie Hotel & Farm, located between Wellington and Bloomfield in Prince Edward County.

Portman, Head of Corporate Partnerships for World Wildlife Fund Canada, and von Teichman, President of Montik Planning and Development, were seeking a low maintenance, two bedroom, lakefront cottage in The County when, out of curiosity, they toured what was then Fields on West Lake, an event venue known for hosting weddings in their beautiful, gambrel-roofed, red barn.

Upon setting foot in the historic barn, which was on the market along with the accompanying Victorian manor house and extensive grounds, they started to get ‘that feeling’ they were standing somewhere special, and knew their lives were about to change.

Entering the handsome manor house, built by Sameul Osterhout around 1860, they were totally captivated, and did not delay in submitting an offer. Included in the sale was seventy-eight acres of rural land across from West Lake, with an apple orchard, pond, access to the Millennium Trail, and an uncertain Covid future, with no weddings or events on the horizon.

Both men come to their roles as hoteliers and event organizers with some experience in the industry. Portman was National Sales Manager for Karisma Hotels and Resorts, a luxury chain with properties across Mexico and the Caribbean. von Teichman previously owned The Walper Hotel in Kitchener. Purchased in 2009 in a decrepit state, he invested in the historic hotel dating back to 1893, preserving and protecting its heritage features. The hotel was later sold to a local real estate company, but the hotelier’s spirit stayed with him.


Upon purchasing the Fields property, the couple set about renovating and refreshing the guest quarters and event spaces. The five unique guest rooms in the main house, a two bedroom carriage house and three bunkies present a thoughtfully curated mix of new and vintage furniture collected locally and abroad. von Teichman had previously lived in London, UK, and his time there informed the decor’s aesthetic of traditional prints, wallpapers and trims, infused with antique pieces, contrasted with contemporary art and furnishings. Original artwork from Charles Pachter, Kathleen Finlay and Bill Stearman among others, are found in the guest rooms and common areas.

The one and two bedroom suites offer a variety of accommodation for the many couples who get married in the red barn, as well as weekend travelers, family reunions, groups of friends, cyclists, corporate retreat guests. County visitors can enjoy breakfasts of fresh eggs laid by the farm’s dozen organic chickens, and sausages and bacon sourced from von Teichman’s family farm, Grandview Farms, in Thornbury.

Guests have access to bike rentals on site and close proximity to the Millennium Trail, a bikeable gateway to many County wineries and distilleries. Landscaped gardens feature a large pond with a fountain and benches cosseted in shaded nooks for outdoor reading and contemplation.

The dog friendly property is well suited for guests traveling with fur babies. “There’s lots of room to throw a ball around with your dog,” says von Teichman. “Just be careful of the chickens!”

The heritage outbuildings include the Sheep Shed, now a favoured spot for intimate wedding ceremonies, and Ruby’s Clubhouse in the lower level of the barn, named for their beloved pup who can often be seen around the property greeting guests.

In the winter months, Ruby’s hosts events such as the popular fondue nights. It’s a place where guests can relax after partaking in winter activities, such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing, with equipment available for guests to use, or simply after a day of sightseeing and touring The County’s wineries and attractions, many of which are open year round.

In addition to more than thirty weddings last year, The Eddie played host to conferences, gatherings, and a performance season, both in the red barn and outdoor theatre pavilion, which they added the summer after purchasing the property.

Following a conversation with Graham Abbey, artistic director of County Stage Company, then called Festival Players, about the disastrous effects that Covid would have on the 2021 summer theatre season, they realized they could help, and a partnership was formed. The Eddie could offer a central location and ample space for an outdoor theatre pavilion that would allow comfortable social distancing, keeping the audience and performers safe while enjoying the immense talent on stage. It also enabled productions to use the beautiful countryside and surroundings as muse and inspiration.

That first summer saw the “Six Feet Festival,” featuring a comedy show with Elvira Kurt and Carolyn Taylor called Live at the Eddie, FLIGHT: Prince Edward County’s Festival of Contemporary Dance and Chase The Ace, written and performed by actor and playwright Mark Crawford and directed by Miles Potter.

As Covid restrictions eased, and the demand for County entertainment increased with an influx of visitors, theatre performances also spilled into the barn. A highlight of the 2022 summer season was The Shape of Home, Songs In Search of Al Purdy, “a theatrical concert that investigates the life and work of Canada’s unofficial poet laureate.”

Commissioned by County Stage and performed in the Eddie’s Red Barn, it migrated to Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre and received nine nominations and two successes at the 2023 Dora Awards for the Performing Arts.

What made the work even more poignant for von Teichman and Portman was learning, from a relative of the previous owner, that Purdy, a famous County resident, had lived in the manor house for a period of time.
In the summer of 2023, there were more than fifty productions in the theatre pavilion and red barn.

When explaining what they enjoy most about hosting weddings and events and being hoteliers, it’s understandable why the duo excel in their roles providing the backdrop for a couple’s most important day.

“It’s amazing meeting all these different people,” says von Teichman, “seeing them on their happiest day, and seeing all the happy guests at the wedding, is so satisfying. Every time we see a bride’s first look with her dad, I’m in the background with tears in my eyes.”

Fall brides have used the orchard’s six varietals of organic apples in their wedding dinner desserts, and summer brides have used flowers grown on the property in their bouquets. Winter brides can be photographed in The Eddie’s horse-drawn carriage, a gift from von Teichman’s mother – an equestrian and horse lover.

In fine weather, photo opportunities are aplenty at the verdant property, where Portman and von Teichman recently planted over six hundred perennials, mostly pollinators, grasses, shrubs and trees.

From May to October, The Eddie is home to the Wellington Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. More than fifty local vendors gather to sell their artisan wares, fresh produce, prepared food, clothing, and jewellery.

“It’s a joy to support these small local entrepreneurs by hosting the Markets,” says von Teichman. “We have parking and ample space where you can shop, and relax and have a drink on the patio overlooking it all. We’re always so appreciative of the artisans and their efforts to make all their items by hand.”

Adds Portman, “It’s our goal to create authentic experiences, and I couldn’t think of anything more authentic than a farmers market on a farm.”

von Teichman and Portman have embraced the roles of farm stewards, innkeepers and wedding impresarios and also delight in hosting seasonally themed events for the community such as the annual Red Barn Christmas Market during the last weekend of November, and an epic Easter egg hunt and brunch in the spring. In the fall they open up the orchard for apple picking by the public.

“We see ourselves as long term stewards of this special property, and delight in sharing it with our guests. A lot of special memories have been made here over the decades.”

The Eddie Hotel & Farm is located at 15786 Loyalist Parkway in Bloomfield, PEC and operates year round. | @eddiepec


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